Non-profit

Craigslist Foundation

Location:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Tax ID:

94-3375324

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2014):

Revenue: $50,000
Expenses: $45,690
Assets: $51,667

The Craigslist Foundation is a now-defunct charitable organization affiliated with the online marketplace Craigslist and its founder Craig Newmark. Established in 2001 and based out of San Francisco, California, the foundation aimed to promote a broad range of left-of-center policy outcomes. [1]

In January 2012, the Craigslist Foundation announced that it would be shutting down by March of that year. [2] Two organizations continue the mission of the Craigslist Foundation: the Craigslist Charitable Fund, which primarily donates to left-of-center journalism projects, Second Amendment restriction initiatives, and environmentalist groups,[3] and the Craig Newmark Foundation, a personal project that Craigslist founder Craig Newmark founded in 2015 to fund left-of-center journalism as well as initiatives to block election integrity legislation and to suppress right-of-center narratives in the media. [4]

History

The Craigslist Foundation received media attention in July 2007 for several planned initiatives intended to make an impact on the nonprofit world. The left-of-center blog Gawker, which is also now-defunct, reported that the foundation would be creating an index of nonprofit organizations with listings similar to those on its online marketplace. Gawker reported that such a database had the potential to disrupt the nonprofit industry, as it could render the jobs of many consultants, advertisers, publishers, and others involved in promoting nonprofit groups obsolete. [5] That month, the Nonprofit Law Blog also reported that the foundation would be hosting an educational and networking “boot camp” for more than 2,000 nonprofit groups in the San Francisco Bay Area. [6]

In January 2012, the Craigslist Foundation announced that it would be shutting down by March of that year, and that it would “find appropriate homes” for its “boot camp” and its nonprofit networking initiatives. The foundation also indicated that Craigslist would manage its philanthropy through a new charity. [7]

There are now two organizations continuing the mission of the Craigslist Foundation. One of these is the Craigslist Charitable Fund, which primarily donates to left-of-center journalism projects, Second Amendment restriction initiatives, and environmentalist groups. [8] The other is the Craig Newmark Foundation, a personal project that Craigslist founder Craig Newmark founded in 2015. The foundation also funds left-of-center journalism, as well as initiatives that aim to block election integrity legislation and suppress right-of-center narratives in the media. [9]

Past executive directors of the Craigslist Foundation include Lynn Luckow and Darian Rodriguez Heyman. [10][11] Luckow is a career nonprofit advisor and executive who worked for the Craigslist Foundation from 2007 to 2012. [12] Heyman, who preceded Luckow as executive director, went on to work for a number of left-of-center nonprofits, and is currently a board member at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, an international pro-abortion advocacy group. [13]

Craigslist

The online marketplace Craigslist, known for its simple, old-fashioned design, allows users to post advertisements for job openings, property rentals, sales, and other purposes. The site only charges a fee for some types of advertising, and allows most users to post listings for free. According to AIM Group, a consulting firm that has studied Craigslist, the website generates as much as $1 billion per year and has a net profit margin between 75 and 85 percent. [14] According to Forbes, a large portion of the site’s revenue comes from listings seeking intimate encounters. [15]

AIM consultant Peter Zollman has estimated that the company could charge significantly higher fees than it currently does, which would allow it to increase its current revenue as much as tenfold. Zollman described the company’s business philosophy as “not in any sense … conventional,” and said that Newmark and the rest of the Craigslist team “really are socialists about it,” referring to the unusually low fees and free listings that the site offers. [16]

Craig Newmark

Craig Newmark is the billionaire businessman and philanthropist who founded Craigslist. [17] Newmark handed off control over the company’s operations to his colleague Jim Buckmaster in 2000 because he decided that his management skills were not sufficient to continue running the company effectively. [18] However, he continues to help maintain the site and solve customer service issues. [19]

Newmark says that the goal of his grantmaking is to “strengthen American democracy” and that he means to “do no harm” through his philanthropic activities. [20] In addition to managing the Craig Newmark Foundation, he sits on the boards of several left-of-center organizations, including journalism projects, environmentalist groups, and think tanks. [21] According to Forbes, Newmark has a net worth of approximately $1.3 billion. [22]

References

  1. Craigslist Foundation. GuideStar. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3375324 ^
  2.        “Craigslist Foundation Announces Plans to Close.” Philanthropy News Digest. January 13, 2012. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/craigslist-foundation-announces-plans-to-close ^
  3. Craigslist Charitable Fund. Craigslist. Craigslist. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.craigslist.org/about/charitable ^
  4.        Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Accessed May 21, 2021.https://craignewmarkphilanthropies.org/ ^
  5.             Owen Thomas. “Craigslist.org plans to assimilate all nonprofits.” Gawker. July 11, 2007. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://wayback.archive-it.org/9790/20180306063140/http://gawker.com/277239/craigslistorg-plans-to-assimilate-all-nonprofits ^
  6.        Gene Takagi. “Craigslist Foundation Nonprofit Boot Camp – August 18.” Nonprofit Law Blog. July 29, 2007. Accessed May 21, 2021.

    Craigslist Foundation Nonprofit Boot Camp – August 18

    ^

  7.        “Craigslist Foundation Announces Plans to Close.” Philanthropy News Digest. January 13, 2012. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/craigslist-foundation-announces-plans-to-close ^
  8.             Craigslist Charitable Fund. Craigslist. Craigslist. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.craigslist.org/about/charitable ^
  9. Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://craignewmarkphilanthropies.org/ ^
  10.        Craigslist Foundation. GuideStar. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3375324 ^
  11.        Owen Thomas. “Craigslist.org plans to assimilate all nonprofits.” Gawker. July 11, 2007. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://wayback.archive-it.org/9790/20180306063140/http://gawker.com/277239/craigslistorg-plans-to-assimilate-all-nonprofits ^
  12.   Lynn Luckow. LinkedIn. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynnluckow/ ^
  13.        Darren Rodriguez Heyman. LinkedIn. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dheyman/ ^
  14.         Angel Au-Yeung. “Why Billionaire Craig Of Craigslist Is Giving Millions To Journalism And Education.” Forbes. August 13, 2018. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/angelauyeung/2018/08/13/why-billionaire-craig-of-craigslist-is-giving-millions-to-journalism-and-education/?sh=1ea9c0db7942 ^
  15.       Craig Newmark. Forbes. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/profile/craig-newmark/?sh=2ce97e9b7a4c ^
  16.          Angel Au-Yeung. “Why Billionaire Craig Of Craigslist Is Giving Millions To Journalism And Education.” Forbes. August 13, 2018. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/angelauyeung/2018/08/13/why-billionaire-craig-of-craigslist-is-giving-millions-to-journalism-and-education/?sh=1ea9c0db7942 ^
  17.        Craig Newmark. Forbes. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/profile/craig-newmark/?sh=2ce97e9b7a4c ^
  18.         Angel Au-Yeung. “Why Billionaire Craig Of Craigslist Is Giving Millions To Journalism And Education.” Forbes. August 13, 2018. Accessed May 21, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/angelauyeung/2018/08/13/why-billionaire-craig-of-craigslist-is-giving-millions-to-journalism-and-education/?sh=1ea9c0db7942 ^
  19.       Paul M. Bangiola. “An interview with Craigslist founder: Morristown native Craig Newmark.” NJ.com. September 16, 2008. Accessed May 21, 2021.https://www.nj.com/morristown/paulbangiola/2008/09/an_interview_with_craigs_list.html ^
  20.             About Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Accessed May 21, 2021.https://craignewmarkphilanthropies.org/about-us/ ^
  21.   Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Accessed May 21, 2021.https://craignewmarkphilanthropies.org/ ^
  22.            Craig Newmark. Forbes. Accessed May 21, 2021.https://www.forbes.com/profile/craig-newmark/?sh=2ce97e9b7a4c ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 2001

  • 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
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $50,000 $45,690 $51,667 $13,933 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990EZ $28,100 $93,818 $46,667 $13,243 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $445,147 $412,063 $124,142 $0 N $442,381 $0 $7 $111,615 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,199,131 $1,485,893 $646,265 $128,453 N $1,127,360 $61,201 $280 $151,164 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $2,020,671 $1,305,348 $880,959 $76,384 N $1,903,379 $79,674 $908 $100,064 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Craigslist Foundation

    668 POST ST
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109-8232