Non-profit

Golden State Opportunity Foundation

Website:

goldenstateopportunity.org

Location:

LOS ANGELES, CA

Tax ID:

47-4325738

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $3,728,685
Expenses: $3,377,809
Assets: $479,538

Founder:

Joe Sanberg

The Golden State Opportunity Foundation is a left-of-center non-profit founded by investor and activist Joe Sanberg. The Foundation’s main program is CalEITC4ME, which engages in outreach to low-to-moderate-income Californians in order to enroll them in California’s state-level Earned Income Tax Credit program.

Background

The Golden State Opportunity Foundation was founded in 2015 by investor and left-of-center activist Joe Sanberg. [1] Prior to founding the Foundation, Sanberg was a prominent advocate for legislation instituting a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program, a welfare program wherein participating low-to-moderate-income individuals and couples receive a refundable tax credit the size of which varies according to recipients’ income and number of children. In 2015, when California instituted an EITC program, Sanberg considered the amount of investment the state put into outreach to low-income communities inadequate and created CalEITC4ME, the foundation’s flagship program, to facilitate awareness and advocate for the expansion of the new program. [2]

CalEITC4ME

CalEITC4ME is the Golden State Opportunity Foundation’s main program. It seeks to increase enrollment in California’s Earned Income Tax Credit program and the federal EITC program. In order to accomplish these goals, the program, engages in direct outreach through publicity events, fliers, and texts. Additionally, CalEITC4ME features versions of its website in Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, and Russian, and offers free tax preparation services to California residents.

CalEITC4ME also leads advocacy campaigns for the expansion of California’s EITC program. In January 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) approved a state budget that doubled the size of California’s EITC program, for which CalEITC4ME claimed credit. [3][4][5]

People

Founder Joe Sanberg is an investor and left-of center activist. Before becoming involved in activism, Sanberg worked for financial services firms including Blackstone and Tiger Global Management. Sanberg’s wealth largely derives from a successful early investment in Blue Apron, the food delivery service, and Aspiration, a financial services company of which he is a co-founder. Aside from his involvement with the Golden State Opportunity Foundation, Sanberg sits on the advisory boards of the University of California Riverside’s School of Public Policy and Casa Teresa, a nonprofit based in Orange County, California, which provides services to pregnant women experiencing homelessness, domestic abuse, and drug addiction. [6][7]

State director Sandra Lyon formerly worked with the Democratic National Committee and state Democratic committees in Florida and Connecticut. Additionally, Lyon was the director of President Barack Obama’s direct mail operation in 2012, a member of the creative team of the 2013 Inaugural Committee, and the Managing Director of the National Need to Impeach Campaign. [8]

Chief operating officer Timothy Merritt worked for U.S. Representative Gene Green (D-TX) and Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Merritt also worked on President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign as director of scheduling for Michelle Obama and later worked in an equivalent capacity in the 2013 Inaugural Committee. Following the inauguration, Merritt was appointed to Ambassador Susan Rice’s senior staff as director of scheduling and advance at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, after which he served in a similar capacity with Ambassador Samantha Power. In 2015, Merritt joined the Los Angeles-based finance team of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign. [9]

Blanca Lopez, the inland region campaign director, worked for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, where she primarily focused on increasing turnout among Latino voters. [10] Jenny Bach, director of strategic partnerships worked for California State Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) as a Consultant for the Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and was an officer for the California Young Democrats. [11]

Funding

According to the Golden State Opportunity Foundation’s 2017 public tax filings, the Foundation has made grants ranging from $7,500 to $25,000 from left-of-center organization including the Youth Policy Institute, Community Partners for California Partnership, All of Us or None (Starting Over Inc.), and the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, all to support the Foundation’s CalEITC4ME program. [12]

The left-of-center James Irvine Foundation and Silicon Valley Community Foundation have reported making grants to the Golden State Opportunity Foundation. [13]

References

  1. “Joseph N. Sanberg.” Inside Philanthropy. Accessed September 18, 2019.

    https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/guide-to-individual-donors/joseph-n-sanberg ^

  2. “Our Team.” Golden State Opportunity. Accessed September 18, 2019. http://goldenstateopportunity.org/our-team/ ^
  3. “Press Release: GOVERNOR DOUBLES DOWN ON THE CAL EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT PUTTING $1 BILLION BACK IN THE POCKETS OF HARD WORKING CALIFORNIANS.” CALEITC4ME. January 10, 2019. Accessed September 18, 2019. https://caleitc4me.org/governor-doubles-down-on-the-california-earned-income-tax-credit-putting-1-billion-back-in-the-pockets-of-hard-working-californians/ ^
  4. Matthews, Dylan. “Gavin Newsom’s biggest accomplishment as governor yet: a $1 billion cash plan for the poor.” Vox. June 27, 2019. Accessed September 18, 2019. https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/6/27/18744563/gavin-newsom-california-earned-income-tax-credit ^
  5. “About Us.” Accessed September 18, 2019. https://caleitc4me.org/about-us/ ^
  6. “Joseph N. Sanberg.” Inside Philanthropy. Accessed September 18, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/guide-to-individual-donors/joseph-n-sanberg ^
  7. https://www.casateresa.org/who-we-are/ ^
  8. “Our Team.” Golden State Opportunity. Accessed September 18, 2019. http://goldenstateopportunity.org/our-team/ ^
  9. “Our Team.” Golden State Opportunity. Accessed September 18, 2019. http://goldenstateopportunity.org/our-team/ ^
  10. “Our Team.” Golden State Opportunity. Accessed September 18, 2019. http://goldenstateopportunity.org/our-team/ ^
  11. “Our Team.” Golden State Opportunity. Accessed September 18, 2019. http://goldenstateopportunity.org/our-team/ ^
  12. Golden State Opportunity Foundation. Form 990, Schedule I, Part II. 2017. Accessed September 18, 2019. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/474325738/201833199349318003/IRS990ScheduleI ^
  13. Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted September 20, 2019. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Wally Adeyemo
    Board Member
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2016

  • 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 $3,728,685 $3,377,809 $479,538 $128,482 N $3,728,685 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Dec Form 990 $581,043 $580,863 $180 $0 N $581,043 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Golden State Opportunity Foundation

    10877 WILSHIRE BLVD
    LOS ANGELES, CA 90024-4341