Non-profit

Douglas H. Phelps Foundation

Location:

WILMINGTON, DE

Tax ID:

20-8076161

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $242
Expenses: $61,987
Assets: $1,306,750

The Douglas H. Phelps Foundation is the private foundation of left-progressive activist Doug Phelps, president of the Public Interest NetworkFund for the Public InterestGrassroots Campaigns Inc., and a number of related Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) organizations. [1] The foundation has slightly over $1 million in assets and makes a handful of annual contributions to national left-leaning organizations and community groups near Phelps’ home of Aspen, Colorado. [2]

Background

The Douglas H. Phelps Foundation is the personal funding vehicle for Doug Phelps, who is the president and executive director of the controversial left-wing organizing entity known as the Public Interest Network. Phelps holds many additional roles, and dozens of titles inside the left-progressive movement in addition to his position with Public Interest Network, a collection of over 15 national and a large number of state-level groups that work in left-progressive engagement mostly through canvassing. [3]

Commentators and former employees have criticized Phelps’s organizations for fostering a “churn and burn”[4] approach to hiring low level canvassers for his many for-profit and non-profit operations. The news outlet Daily Beast characterized Fund for the Public Interest as “the liberal sweatshop.” [5] Phelps is known to be very private and has little presence in public settings and is rarely photographed. [6]

Phelps is also a founding member of the Colorado Democracy Alliance, the Colorado prototype of the Democracy Alliance, a strategizing group that convenes top-level donors and influencers on the political left. [7]

Phelps has amassed a fortune through a complex political operation that incorporates his nonprofits under Fund for the Public Interest and the Public Interest Network and the for-profit companies Telefund and Grassroots Campaigns. All the entities incorporate canvassing and grassroots campaigning while employing entry-level and low-paid staffers. [8]

Activity

The Douglass H. Phelps Foundation is managed by a management company called Foundation Source, giving it a Delaware address. The organization has slightly over $1 million in total assets and has made annual contributions ranging from a total of $60,000 to $114,000 in annual grants. In 2018, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Aspen Institute were among 5 organizations receiving just over $50,000 total. [9]

References

  1. “Doug Phelps”. Public Interest Primer. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://publicinterestprimer.wordpress.com/doug-phelps/ ^
  2. IRS Form 990. 2018. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/208076161/05_2019_prefixes_20-20%2F208076161_201812_990PF_2019053116364033 ^
  3. “Doug Phelps”. Public Interest Primer. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://publicinterestprimer.wordpress.com/doug-phelps/ ^
  4. “Doug Phelps”. Public Interest Primer. Accessed September 18, 2020.https://publicinterestprimer.wordpress.com/doug-phelps/ ^
  5. Rosiak, Luke. “The Liberal Sweatshop.” The Daily Beast. July 15, 2009. Accessed September 18, 2020.https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-liberal-sweatshop ^
  6. “Doug Phelps”. Public Interest Primer. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://publicinterestprimer.wordpress.com/doug-phelps/   ^
  7. Fender, Jessica. “Progressive Gang Uses Nonprofits to Push Politics.” The Denver Post. October 05, 2008. Accessed Accessed September 18, 2020. https://www.denverpost.com/2008/10/05/progressive-gang-uses-nonprofits-to-push-politics/ ^
  8. Rosiak, Luke. “The Liberal Sweatshop.” The Daily Beast. July 15, 2009. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-liberal-sweatshop ^
  9. IRS Form 990. 2018. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/208076161/05_2019_prefixes_20-20%2F208076161_201812_990PF_2019053116364033 ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Doug Phelps
    President, Main Funder
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2008

  • 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 PF $242 $61,987 $1,306,750 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $335 $78,719 $1,368,495 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $162 $67,694 $1,446,879 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $75,167 $58,435 $1,514,411 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $205,297 $61,246 $1,497,679 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Douglas H. Phelps Foundation

    FOUNDATION SOURCE 501 SILVERSIDE RD
    WILMINGTON, DE 19809-0000