Democracy 21




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $45,251
Expenses: $38,170
Assets: $14,846

Democracy 21 is a non-profit organization in the United States that aims to combat the influence of private money in politics by enacting campaign finance reform. It was founded in 1997 by longtime activist Fred Wertheimer.

In 2020, Democracy 21 co-signed a letter addressed to president Donald Trump which advocated for hiring Federal Election Commission (FEC) Commissioners to reach quorum and to enforce election laws.

Support of H.R.1

In 2019, Norman Eisen, current chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and former US ambassador to the Czech Republic, and Fred Wertheimer, founder and president of Democracy 21, wrote an op-ed for Politico together entitled “How to Fix America’s Broken Political System.” [1]

The article discusses the introduction the H.R.1 bill in the House of Representatives in 2019. The bill consists of a package of democracy reforms introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes on behalf of the Democratic House majority. The bill addresses election security reforms, establishing standards for election vendors, providing assistance to states to protect their election systems, and enhancing federal initiatives to respond to threats to election systems.

The legislation addresses Russian President Vladimir Putin’s violations of United States campaign finance laws. In 2016, when Russian agents spent money on campaign advertisements in the United States, they violated a U.S. ban on foreign governments making expenditures to influence local elections. H.R.1 includes disclosure provisions that would allow American citizens to know which advertisements are sponsored by foreign governments.

The H.R.1. bill also seeks to expand the access of voters in the United States to ballots. Voting reforms include requiring states to register voters automatically, to offer online and same-day voter registration options, to expand voting rights to ex-criminals that are no longer serving a sentence, and to establish Election Day as a national holiday.

The H.R.1 bill seeks to create financing systems for congressional and presidential campaigns that allow for candidates to run for office without becoming financially dependent on large campaign donors. It creates a financing system that matches contributions to campaigns of up to $200 with public funds at a 6-1 ratio. [2]


  1. Eisen , Norman, and Fred Wertheimer. “How to Fix America’s Broken Political System.” In The Arena. Politico Magazine. 9 Jan. 2019. ^
  2. Eisen , Norman, and Fred Wertheimer. “How to Fix America’s Broken Political System.” In The Arena. Politico Magazine. 9 Jan. 2019. ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 1996

  • 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
    2015 Dec Form 990EZ $45,251 $38,170 $14,846 $2,011 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $45,502 $47,523 $13,018 $7,264 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2013 Dec Form 990EZ $45,153 $42,420 $9,658 $1,883 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2012 Dec Form 990EZ $60,329 $64,609 $8,223 $3,181 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2011 Dec Form 990EZ $16,237 $26,032 $13,008 $3,686 $0 $0 $0 $0

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Democracy 21

    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-1022