Non-profit

Independent Women’s Voice

Location:

Washington, DC

Tax ID:

36-4534086

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $731,401
Expenses: $1,626,906
Assets: $2,317,513

Formation:

2003

Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) is the political arm of the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), a right-of-center nonprofit organization which focuses on policy issues affecting women. The organization develops policy approaches to appeal to women, independents, and millennial voters [1] [2]

Background

Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) is the political arm of the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), a conservative-leaning organization which focuses on policy issues related to women. [3]

IWV advocates for right-of-center policies, including earned leave for parents rather than government-mandated paid leave programs, school choice, Title IX reforms, worker freedom, market-based healthcare, and the preservation of women’s sports. [4]

IWV seeks to appeal to women, independents, and millennials by messaging right-of-center policy in new ways. The organization has contended that Republicans do not always understand how to talk to voters who are not already Republicans, arguing that conservatives must learn to appeal to new bases, including women, to win elections. [5] [6] [7]

IWV CEO Heather Higgins has claimed that the organization is “what is needed in the Republican conservative arsenal” because it can “talk to those cohorts that would not otherwise listen, but can do it in a way that is taking a conservative message and packaging it in a way that will be acceptable and will get a hearing.” [8]

IWV seeks to represent mainstream conservative and independent women in the political arena to ensure that policymakers hear from everyday women, as opposed to only hearing from left-wing feminists. [9]

To advance its policy goals, IWV conducts research and advocacy campaigns, runs “informative quizzes” to influence key demographics, and engages in strategic writing campaigns. [10]

Tammy Bruce, a talk-radio host and the former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the left-of-center National Organization for Women (NOW), became president of the IWV in 2018 and stepped down from the role in 2021. [11] [12]

Finances

Independent Women’s Voice has received some funding from right-of-center organizations, including $25,000 from the Club for Growth and over $8 million from the Freedom and Opportunity Fund, a nonprofit organization associated with right-of-center legal policy advocate Leonard Leo. [13][14]

IWV has many corporate sponsors as well. The brochure from the joint Independent Women’s Forum and IWV 2019 gala lists private and non-profit sponsors including Facebook, Juul, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, the American Beverage Association, the Walton Family Foundation; Karen Wright, and Amway. The gala was also funded by Dick DeVos, the former Amway CEO and the husband of then-Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. [15]

In 2016, the left-wing Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) accused IWV of spending millions of dollars in the 2010, 2012, and 2014 elections to benefit Republican candidates despite its assertion of being independent. [16]

Leadership

Heather Higgins is the CEO of Independent Women’s Voice. She is also the chairwoman of the board for the Independent Women’s Forum. Higgins previously had a career in journalism as a former editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal and former assistant editor at the Public Interest magazine. [17]

Carrie Lukas is the vice president of IWV and president of IWF. She is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism. Previously, she was a domestic policy analyst for the House Republican Policy Committee. She also previously worked for the libertarian Cato Institute. [18]

Victoria Coley is the vice president of communications for both IWV and IWF. She was previously a producer at Fox News. [19]

Somerlyn Cothran is the IWF senior vice president of investor relations. She is the former president and a board member of the Ada City Schools Foundation. She has also been a board member of the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center and Mama T’s Homeless Shelter. [20]

References

  1. Independent Women’s Voice. Cause IQ. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/independent-womens-voice,364534086/ ^
  2. Independent Women’s Voice IWV. Act Local. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.actlocal.network/organizations/independent-womens-voice-iwv ^
  3. Independent Women’s Voice. Cause IQ. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/independent-womens-voice,364534086/ ^
  4. Issues. Independent Women’s Forum. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.iwv.org/issue/earned-leave-for-new-parents/ ^
  5. Independent Women’s Voice. LegiStorm. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.legistorm.com/organization/summary/113761/Independent_Women_s_Voice.html ^
  6. Independent Women’s Voice IWV. Act Local. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.actlocal.network/organizations/independent-womens-voice-iwv ^
  7. Independent Women’s Voice. LinkedIn. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/company/independent-womens-voice/ ^
  8. Walsh, Joan. “Meet the ‘Feminists’ Doing the Koch Brothers’ Dirty Work.” The Nation. August 18, 2016. Accessed August 6, 2021. https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/meet-the-feminists-doing-the-koch-brothers-dirty-work/ ^
  9. Independent Women’s Voice. Cause IQ. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/independent-womens-voice,364534086/ ^
  10. Independent Women’s Voice. LinkedIn. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/company/independent-womens-voice/ ^
  11. Press Release. “Update in Independent Women’s Voice Leadership.” Independent Women’s Voice. June 25, 2021. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.iwv.org/2021/06/update-in-independent-womens-voice-leadership/ ^
  12. Press Release. “Former NOW Leader Tammy Bruce Tapped as Next Independent Women’s Voice President.” Independent Women’s Voice. March 1, 2018. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.iwv.org/2018/02/press-release-former-now-leader-tammy-bruce-tapped-as-next-independent-womens-voice-president/ ^
  13. Independent Women’s Voice. Cause IQ. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/independent-womens-voice,364534086/ ^
  14. Moran, Greta. “The Dark Money-Funded Women’s Group Rallying Behind Amy Coney Barrett.” The Intercept. October 24, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2020/10/24/amy-coney-barrett-women-group-dark-money/ ^
  15. Moran, Greta. “The Dark Money-Funded Women’s Group Rallying Behind Amy Coney Barrett.” The Intercept. October 24, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2020/10/24/amy-coney-barrett-women-group-dark-money/ ^
  16. Carmon, Irin. “Conservative Women’s Group Accused of Violating Election Law.” NBC News. November 1, 2016. Accessed August 7, 2021. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/conservative-women-s-group-accused-violating-election-law-n675916 ^
  17. Heather Higgins. Independent Women’s Voice. Accessed August 6, 2021. https://www.iwf.org/people/heather-higgins/ ^
  18. Carrie Lucas. Independent Women’s Voice. Accessed August 6, 2021. https://www.iwv.org/people/carrie-l-lukas/ ^
  19. Victoria Coley. Independent Women’s Voice. Accessed August 6, 2021. https://www.iwv.org/people/victoria-coley/ ^
  20. Somerlyn Cothran. Independent Women’s Voice. Accessed August 6, 2021. https://www.iwv.org/people/somerlyn-cothran/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 2004

  • 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
    2019 Dec Form 990 $731,401 $1,626,906 $2,317,513 $15,505 N $686,348 $0 $41,220 $0
    2018 Dec Form 990 $2,148,976 $2,911,604 $3,223,065 $22,964 N $2,110,958 $0 $34,531 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $3,014,965 $2,025,703 $3,986,612 $20,413 N $2,981,161 $0 $31,418 $0
    2016 Dec Form 990 $5,152,385 $2,371,287 $3,024,789 $35,282 N $5,145,690 $0 $5,238 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $980,320 $1,781,059 $239,334 $30,925 N $978,837 $0 $1 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $6,177,785 $5,490,529 $1,021,582 $12,434 N $6,176,619 $0 $2 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,982,834 $2,318,795 $347,337 $25,445 N $1,981,744 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $5,599,972 $5,040,110 $699,192 $41,339 N $5,592,117 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $719,714 $984,378 $110,433 $12,442 N $719,786 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Independent Women’s Voice

    1300 I Street NW
    Washington, DC 20005