Non-profit

Franciscan Action Network

Website:

franciscanaction.org/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

26-2015539

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $426,261
Expenses: $517,850
Assets: $91,543

Type:

Left-leaning religious activist organization

Formation:

2007; 2009 (became tax exempt)

Executive Director:

Michelle Dunne

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Franciscan Action Network is left-leaning Christian activist organization which serves as the American affiliate to Franciscan International. It advocates for a wide range of left-of-center causes which it claims are rooted in the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi and the Catholic Church, including environmentalism, opposition to the use of zero carbon nuclear energy, liberal immigration policies, pacifism, and an expanded welfare state. 1 The organization criticized a decision by the Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that affirmed longstanding Catholic doctrine opposing blessing same-sex unions. 2 3

Franciscan Action Network is a member of the Declaration for American Democracy coalition, a project of Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen Foundation. 4

Founding and History

Franciscan Action Network was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 2007, as an outgrowth of the European non-governmental organization Franciscan International in order to influence American policymaking. To accomplish this goal, Franciscan International ordered a conference of about 150 representatives of different Franciscan groups, including the main Catholic Franciscan groups (the Friars Minor, the Conventual Friars, the Capuchin Friars, Poor Clare sisters, and the lay Third Order), as well as Lutheran, Episcopal, and Ecumenical Franciscans, in Baltimore. This conference announced the creation of the Franciscan Action Network to coordinate between the various groups in activism for various causes which they view as inspired by the life and values of Francis of Assisi, including environmentalism, large-scale immigration, and pacifism. 5

The network received tax-exempt status in 2009. It has since expanded to fifty-four national member organizations. 6

Activism

The network engages in activism and lobbying for various liberal causes, including advocating for lower levels of border security, amnesty for illegal immigrants, environmentalist policies on energy and regulation, and expanded welfare access. 7

In 2012, Franciscan Action network condemned then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s criticism of certain welfare programs and their potential to build dependency. It also criticized Romney’s policy proposals for welfare spending cuts as well as then-U.S. Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) spending resolution. 8

In 2016, then-executive director Patrick Carolan claimed he was risking arrest by participating in protests calling for a repeal of Citizens United v. FEC. 9

Carolan penned an opinion article in 2018 which argued that the pro-life movement ought to focus less on abortion and more on promoting immigration, environmentalist activism, and left-wing economic policies, arguing that such issues are morally equivalent to abortion. 10 He repeated the same position in another article in 2020. 11

In 2021, Franciscan Action Network issued a press release denouncing the Vatican’s stance against blessing same-sex civil unions and stated clear support for the LGBT community. 12

Franciscan Action Network is also a member of the Declaration for American Democracy coalition, a project of Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen Foundation, alongside a wide range of other left-of-center organizations which focus on a variety of issues. 13

Opposition to Nuclear Energy

In May of 2021, Franciscan Action Network was one of 715 groups and businesses listed as a co-signer on a letter to the leadership of the U.S. House and Senate that referred to nuclear energy as a “dirty” form of energy production and a “significant” source of pollution. The letter asked federal lawmakers to reduce carbon emissions by creating a “renewable electricity standard” that promoted production of weather dependent power sources such as wind turbines and solar panels, but did not promote low carbon natural gas and zero carbon nuclear energy. 14

Nuclear power plants produce no carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas emissions, and as of 2021 accounted for 19 percent of American electricity production—the largest source of zero carbon electricity in the United States. 15 An October 2018 proposal from The Nature Conservancy noted that zero-carbon nuclear plants produced 7.8 percent of total world energy output and recommended reducing carbon emissions by increasing nuclear capacity to 33 percent of total world energy output. 16

References

  1. “History of FAN.” Franciscan Action Network. Accessed February 2, 2023. https://franciscanaction.org/about/history-of-fan/
  2. “Franciscans Recognize the Hurt of LGBTQ Catholics.” Franciscan Action Network. March 17, 2021. https://franciscanaction.org/press-release-franciscans-recognize-the-hurt-of-lgbtq-catholics/
  3. Letter from Center for Biological Diversity et. al. to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Joe Manchin, and Rep. Frank Pallone. “RE: CONGRESS SHOULD ENACT A FEDERAL RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY STANDARD AND REJECT GAS AND FALSE SOLUTIONS.” May 12, 2021. Accessed July 25, 2023. https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/energy-justice/pdfs/2021-5-12_600-Group-Letter-for-RES.pdf?_gl=1*1c9h3t8*_gcl_au*MTc3NjM3MTM1Mi4xNjg5OTU1MzAz
  4. “Our Members.” Declaration for American Democracy. Accessed February 6, 2023. https://dfadcoalition.org/
  5. “History of FAN.” Franciscan Action Network. Accessed February 2, 2023. https://franciscanaction.org/about/history-of-fan/
  6. “History of FAN.” Franciscan Action Network. Accessed February 2, 2023. https://franciscanaction.org/about/history-of-fan/
  7. “Issues.” Franciscan Action Network. Accessed February 2, 2023. https://franciscanaction.org/issues/
  8. Alex Becker. “Mitt Romney Criticized By Franciscan Friars For Comments On The Poor.” HuffPost. August 9, 2012. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mitt-romney-franciscan-friars-poor_n_1760580
  9. Nathan Schneider. “The Director of Franciscan Action Network May Be Arrested This Morning. Here’s Why.” America Magazine. April 18, 2016. https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/why-director-franciscan-action-network-may-be-arrested-morning-washington-dc
  10. Patrick Carolan. “March for Life Should Be About More Than Abortion.” The Hill. January 17, 2018. https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/369417-march-for-life-should-be-about-more-than-abortion/
  11. Patrick Carolan. “It’s Time to Change the Abortion Debate in America.” National Catholic Reporter. January 9, 2020. https://www.ncronline.org/opinion/guest-voices/its-time-change-abortion-debate-america
  12. “Franciscans Recognize the Hurt of LGBTQ Catholics.” Franciscan Action Network. March 17, 2021. https://franciscanaction.org/press-release-franciscans-recognize-the-hurt-of-lgbtq-catholics/
  13. “Our Members.” Declaration for American Democracy. Accessed February 6, 2023. https://dfadcoalition.org/
  14. Letter from Center for Biological Diversity et. al. to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Joe Manchin, and Rep. Frank Pallone. “RE: CONGRESS SHOULD ENACT A FEDERAL RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY STANDARD AND REJECT GAS AND FALSE SOLUTIONS.” May 12, 2021. Accessed July 25, 2023. https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/energy-justice/pdfs/2021-5-12_600-Group-Letter-for-RES.pdf?_gl=1*1c9h3t8*_gcl_au*MTc3NjM3MTM1Mi4xNjg5OTU1MzAz
  15. “Nuclear explained.” U.S. Energy Information Administration. Accessed July 25, 2023. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/nuclear/us-nuclear-industry.php
  16. “The Science of Sustainability.” The Nature Conservancy. October 13, 2018. Accessed July 25, 2023. https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-insights/perspectives/the-science-of-sustainability/
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 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
    2016 Dec Form 990 $426,261 $517,850 $91,543 $59,808 N $412,348 $13,913 $0 $72,567
    2015 Dec Form 990 $519,932 $457,203 $130,690 $63,035 N $514,425 $5,507 $0 $70,000 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $384,827 $314,306 $71,935 $3,974 N $384,827 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $285,687 $322,968 $1,414 $3,974 N $279,088 $6,599 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $300,954 $303,689 $32,516 $0 N $300,954 $0 $0 $63,630 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $208,127 $238,601 $38,251 $3,000 N $208,127 $0 $0 $60,000 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $274,823 $238,531 $85,155 $19,430 N $274,823 $0 $0 $14,130 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Franciscan Action Network

    1400 QUINCY ST NE
    WASHINGTON, DC 20017-3041