Non-profit

Impact Project

Project of:

Hopewell Fund

Executive Director:

Courtney Cuff

The Impact Project, also referred to as the State Impact Project, is a left-of-center advocacy campaign that sponsors and coordinates local- and state-level groups to promote left-leaning economic and election policies. The project is headed by Courtney Cuff, a left-leaning operative who previously served as president and CEO of the Gill Foundation, a large national funder of LGBT causes.

Not much is known about the specific operations, budget, or activism conducted by the project due to its status as a project of the Hopewell Fund, a 501(c)(3) funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit known for running many left-leaning issue campaigns. [1] Hopewell Fund is additionally managed by the Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Arabella Advisors, a for-profit consulting company that controls the strategy, advocacy, impact investing, and management for high-dollar left-leaning nonprofits that has ties to many notable left-leaning donors and activists. [2]

Background

The Impact project is one of many projects of the Hopewell Fund, an organization run by for-profit consulting firm Arabella Advisors. The Impact Project is one of many ostensibly “grassroots” projects directed by Arabella and its child organizations that have been criticized for being organized by a large, Washington, D.C.-based consultancy. [3]

Activity

The Impact Project advances left-leaning policies in ten target states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Specific policies supported by the project to include “areas of economic reform (i.e., worker pay and benefits, health care, education and tax fairness) and democracy (i.e., independent redistricting, complete Census count, judicial independence and money in politics reforms),” all of which are key issues in the left-leaning activism community leading up to the 2020 elections. [4]

The Impact Project identifies itself as different from traditional progressive activism groups that are “largely focused on short-term issue-specific campaigns.” Impact Project works across various left-leaning issues causes, organizations, and state legislative sessions to change targeted states to a “progressive policy environment.” While much of the work of the project is vague it is clear from various sources, including a recent job description for a policy director that a main tenant of the project is to both shift power in targeted state legislatures to the left and promote the passage of left-leaning legislation. [5]

People

The executive director of The Impact Project is Courtney Cuff. Prior to joining The Impact Project, Cuff was the CEO of the Gill Foundation, an organization that funds pro-LGBT projects. Cuff is credited with changing the focus of the Gill Foundation following the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. Prior to leading the Gill Foundation, Cuff cofounded and was the CEO of the Western Conservation Foundation, a left-leaning environmental group. She previously held over roles for environmentalist groups including serving as the director of the pacific regional office for the National Parks Conservation Association and as legislative director of Friends of the Earth. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado and sits on the Board of Healthier Colorado. [6] Cuff is by far the highest paid employee of the Hopewell Fund, according to recent tax documents, earning a total compensation of approximately $350,000 annually. [7]

References

  1. “Board of Directors” Healthier Colorado. Accessed May 27, 2020. https://healthiercolorado.org/board/ ^
  2. Hayden R. Ludwig. “Big Money in Dark Shadows: Arabella Advisors’ Half-billion-dollar ‘Dark Money’ Network.” Capital Research Center (DarkMoneyATM.org). Accessed May 27, 2020.  https://darkmoneyatm.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/CRC_Arabella-Advisors-Dark-Money_small.pdf ^
  3. Hayden R. Ludwig. “Big Money in Dark Shadows: Arabella Advisors’ Half-billion-dollar ‘Dark Money’ Network.” Capital Research Center (DarkMoneyATM.org). Accessed May 27, 2020.  https://darkmoneyatm.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/CRC_Arabella-Advisors-Dark-Money_small.pdf ^
  4. “Policy Director, Hopewell Fund” The Bridgespan Group. Accessed May 27, 2020. https://www.bridgespan.org/jobs/nonprofit-jobs/position-details?jobId=32356&orgName=Hopewell+Fund&title=Policy+Director ^
  5. “Policy Director, Hopewell Fund” The Bridgespan Group. Accessed May 27, 2020. https://www.bridgespan.org/jobs/nonprofit-jobs/position-details?jobId=32356&orgName=Hopewell+Fund&title=Policy+Director ^
  6. “Board of Directors” Healthier Colorado. Accessed May 27, 2020. https://healthiercolorado.org/board/ ^
  7. “IRS Form 990.” Hopewell Fund. 2018. Accessed May 27, 2020.  https://pp-990.s3.amazonaws.com/01_2020_prefixes_47-47/473681860_201812_990_2020011717045570.pdf?response-content-disposition=inline&X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=AKIA266MJEJYTM5WAG5Y%2F20200530%2Fus-east-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20200530T153052Z&X-Amz-Expires=1800&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Signature=6f1be62a4b20bc484b169cbb08d1425ffb60f8363b6d68c3add5676480787908 ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Courtney Cuff
    Executive Director
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