Courage Campaign Institute



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Revenue: $360,139
Expenses: $468,696
Assets: $61,841




Left-Wing Advocacy Organization

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Courage Campaign Institute (CCI) is the educational arm of the left-of-center advocacy group Courage Campaign. Through multiple websites and media outlets, CCI aims to educate the public on issues regarding LGBT rights, liberal expansionist immigration policies, and other issue areas. 1


Equality on Trial

Equality on Trial is a project of CCI that conveys news stories regarding legal actions concerning LGBT interests. 2 CCI claims that the website was the top site for coverage of Proposition 8 and Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) litigation in 2012. (DOMA and Proposition 8 were two “traditional” marriage laws later overruled by the Supreme Court.) 3

Nestle Water Bottling

In 2016 and 2017, Courage Campaign Institute was at the forefront of a group of progressive and environmentalist organizations urging food manufacturer and distributor Nestle to stop diverting and pumping water in California to be bottled and sold as Arrowhead and Pure Life products. 4 The organizations collectively sued the U.S. Forest Service for letting Nestle renew a permit that expired 3 decades prior. It was discovered that Nestle had requested to renew the permit in 1988 immediately upon expiration, however, the Forest Service had failed to do its part. The International Bottled Water Association reported that water bottled in California accounted for only 0.02 percent of annual water use in the state. None of CCI’s suits succeeded and Nestle’s plants in California remained open. 5

In 2018 the Courage Campaign Institute, along with the Center for Biological Diversity and the Story of Stuff Project, reached a settlement with the US Forest Service regarding Nestle’s permit. The settlement required the US Forest Service to decide whether to issue a new permit to replace the original one from 1988, which would require a new Environmental Assessment Survey. The US Forest Service issued a new permit that would need to be renewed every 3 years.6

During a Californian drought in 2021, Californian officials filed a cease-and-desist order against Nestle siphoning water from the San Bernardino National Forest. Officials, after an investigation, stated, “while Nestlé may be able to claim a valid basis of right to some water in Strawberry Canyon, a significant portion of the water currently diverted by Nestlé appears to be diverted without a valid basis of right…”7

Anti-Gun Campaigns

Courage Campaign Institute took part in a 2013 campaign to lobby against Walmart to get the retailer to stop selling so-called “assault weapons”—certain semi-automatic rifles in common use. CCI helped organize a petition to appeal to Walmart to get them to stop selling such rifles. The petition was presented to the store manager of the Danbury, Connecticut Walmart location, which does not sell firearms.8

CCI has also teamed with Ultraviolet, a left-leaning LGBT and women’s rights activist organization, and DailyKos, a progressive news outlet, by providing links to petitions against Visa urging the credit card company to stop processing transactions that involve the sale of semi-automatic rifles.9

Leadership and Board of Directors

CCI board member Doug Moore is the executive director of UDW, a labor union based in Orange County, California, and an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. In 2014, Moore traveled to Ferguson, Missouri on his union’s dime to march with Black Lives Matter protestors in the wake of Mike Brown’s death.10

Lindsay Gardner serves as the chair of the board of directors for CCI. He previously worked as a media executive and strategist for Fox Networks and Cox Communications and has worked as an advisor for Miramax and AMC Networks. Gardner is responsible for launching Fox Sports Network. He also worked for a short period as National Finance Chairman for Democrat Harold Ford’s failed 2006 U.S. Senate campaign in Tennessee. He was defeated by Republican Bob Corker. 11

Rick Jacobs, founder of both the Courage Campaign and the Courage Campaign Institute, serves as the emeritus chair of the board of directors for CCI. He previously served as the Executive Vice Mayor and Deputy Chief of Staff for the City of Los Angeles under Mayor Eric Garcetti (D). According to his LinkedIn profile, he currently works as the CEO of Accelerator for America, an organization based in Los Angeles with ties to labor unions, progressive policy organizations, and Democratic politicians. He has mostly stepped away from his involvement with Courage Campaign and Courage Campaign Institute to focus on Accelerator for America. 12

Christine Ellice is a litigation attorney for the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP headquartered in NYC. She serves as counsel for asylum cases tried by the Department of Homeland Security according to her profile on the law firm’s website. 13

14Eric Paquette works as senior vice president of production for Screen Gems at Sony Pictures in Los Angeles. He also serves as the President of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Paquette Served as a member of President Obama’s National Finance Committee. 15

Board member Gillian Morshedi is a staff attorney for HomeBase, a nonprofit law firm based in San Francisco, California. Morshedi worked as a legal intern at ACLU, a left-leaning activist organization that focuses on civil liberties. She also interned at the Southern Center for Human Rights, a nonprofit civil rights law firm funded in part by George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. 16

Board member Jidan Terry-Koon is a community organizer working for the San Francisco Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that claims to ensure equity and opportunity in the Bay Area. 17 She served as a senior fellow at Movement Strategy Center, a left-of-center nonprofit which works with socialist organizations. She also served as Deputy Director of both Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (now known as Power California), and Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Action Fund, which help fund many progressive organizations while advocating for voting rights for illegal immigrants. 18

Lisa Garcia Bedolla is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Education. Her profile on the UC Berkeley website states that she “uses the tools of social science to reveal the causes of political and economic inequalities in the United States, considering differences across the lines of ethno-race, gender, class, geography, sexuality, et cetera.”19 She is a progressive author of such books as Fluid Borders: Latino Power, Identity, and Politics in Los Angeles; and Mobilizing Inclusion: Transforming the Electorate through Get-Out-the-Vote Campaigns. 20

Nick Roxborough is an attorney based in Los Angeles, California, who has also served as the Los Angeles City Commissioner. In a press release from his law firm, Roxborough Pomerance Nye & Adreani, Roxborough claims that he is working “to win progressive change throughout California.” The same release says, “Our leadership in the business community, and in the political arena serves as a catalyst for the development of personal relationships, as well as the ability to influence policy and legislation,”21 while Courage Campaign claims to fight for the removal of business influence in public policy.


Courage Campaign Institute reported total revenues of $492,479 in 2016, less than half of its reported revenue of $1,067,824 in 2013, according to 990 tax filings from each year. 22

According to 2016 tax filings, Courage Campaign, the 501(c)(4) branch of the organization, spent $152,017 in grants to CCI. These transactions were labeled as “Sharing of paid employees with related organization(s).” CC also gave another $21,531 to Courage Campaign Institute in “gift or grant” money. 23

Courage Campaign Institute is listed as a grantee on the Tides Foundation website. The grant amount is not listed. 24

CCI received 3 grants in the amounts of $75,000, $65,000, and $10,000 in 2012 and 2013 from the left-leaning Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund. The grants were in support of the organization’s advocacy for open borders immigration policies. 25


  1. “About.” Courage Campaign. Accessed February 13, 2019.
  2. “About.” Equality on Trial. Accessed February 13, 2019.
  3. “Send to the Supreme Court!” Courage Campaign. May 15, 2017. Accessed February 13, 2019.
  4. “Press Release.” Ocean Plastics Pollution. Accessed February 13, 2019.
  5. Reynolds, Matt. “California Groups Demand Info on Nestle’s Water Pumping.” Homepage. July 14, 2017. Accessed February 13, 2019.
  6. Wyloge, Ian James and Evan. “Environmental Groups, Forest Service Reach Settlement on Nestlé Water Permit Lawsuit.” The Desert Sun. Palm Springs Desert Sun, June 7, 2018.
  7. Wilson, Ian James and Janet. “Nestlé Doesn’t Have Valid Rights to Water It’s Been Bottling, California Officials Say.” The Desert Sun. Palm Springs Desert Sun, April 24, 2021.
  8. Honan, Edith. “Anti-gun Protesters Target Newtown-area Walmart.” Reuters. January 15, 2013. Accessed February 14, 2019.
  9. “Tell Visa: Stop Processing Assault Weapon Transactions.” Courage Campaign. Accessed February 14, 2019.
  10. Warino, Rachel. “Black History Month Profiles: Celebrating a Pioneering Labor Leader in California, Doug Moore.” AFL-CIO. Accessed February 13, 2019.
  11. Spangler, Todd. “Lindsay Gardner, Former Fox Networks Exec, Joins Virtual-Cable Startup Layer3 TV.” Variety. October 22, 2014. Accessed January 25, 2019.
  12. Jacobs, Rick. 2019, User Profile, Accessed February 13, 2019.
  13. “Christine E. Ellice – Special Counsel.” Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. Accessed January 24, 2019.
  14. Warino, Rachel. “Black History Month Profiles: Celebrating a Pioneering Labor Leader in California, Doug Moore.” AFL-CIO. Accessed February 13, 2019.
  15. Paquette, Eric. 2019, User Profile, Accessed February 13, 2019.
  16. Morshedi, Gillian. 2019, User Profile, Accessed February 13, 2019.
  17. “About TSFF.” The San Francisco Foundation. Accessed January 24, 2019.
  18. Terry-Koon, Jidan. 2019, User Profile, Accessed February 13, 2019.
  19. “Lisa García Bedolla.” UC Berkeley – Graduate School of Education. Accessed January 25, 2019.ía-bedolla.
  20. “Lisa García Bedolla.” IGS Poll: Californians Support Medical Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill | Institute of Governmental Studies – UC Berkeley. Accessed January 25, 2019.
  21. “Leadership & Politics.” RPNA | Roxborough, Pomerance, Nye & Adreani, LLP. Accessed January 25, 2019.
  22. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Courage Campaign (2016). Part 5
  23. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Courage Campaign (2016). Part 5
  24. “Courage Campaign Institute 501c3.” Tides. Accessed February 13, 2019.
  25. “Courage Campaign Institute.” Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. August 02, 2015. Accessed February 13, 2019.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2009

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form 990 $360,139 $468,696 $61,841 $8,245 N $360,139 $0 $0 $30,983
    2019 Dec Form 990 $366,000 $366,276 $162,153 $0 N $366,000 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $544,806 $516,836 $162,429 $41,501 N $544,806 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $488,989 $597,592 $117,980 $25,022 N $488,989 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $492,479 $388,418 $206,913 $0 N $514,010 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $462,189 $557,112 $102,852 $0 N $497,140 $0 $9,395 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $321,953 $478,867 $197,775 $0 N $317,701 $0 $35,090 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,035,804 $853,274 $425,646 $70,957 N $1,067,824 $0 $20,741 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $879,920 $776,786 $160,416 $0 N $772,143 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $677,750 $663,956 $66,934 $9,652 N $553,663 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $991,118 $968,469 $43,488 $0 N $998,018 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Courage Campaign Institute

    777 S FIGUEROA ST STE 4050
    LOS ANGELES, CA 90017-5864