Non-profit

Industrial Areas Foundation

Website:

www.industrialareasfoundation.org/

Location:

Austin, TX

Tax ID:

36-2334627

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $2,007,574
Expenses: $1,675,844
Assets: $1,508,898

Type:

Community Organizers

President:

Ernesto Cortes, Jr.

Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) is a left-of-center community and interfaith organizing organization founded in 1940 by a group of business and faith leaders including far-left activist Saul Alinsky, who authored the book Rules for Radicals. The organization took on its current form in the early 1970s following Alinsky’s death and has grown into a large collection of pro-labor union left-of-center regional and local organizations. IAF and its affiliates partner with churches, synagogues, and other faith-based organizations to promote “interfaith” organizing in support of left-of-center economic and social policies including increases in the minimum wage, gun control, and government-provided healthcare. [1] [2]

Background and History

The Industrial Areas Foundation was founded in 1940 in Chicago by far-left community activist Saul Alinsky; businessman Marshall Field III, heir to the Marshall Field’s department store fortune; Kathryn Lewis, daughter of United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis; and Bernard James Sheil, a Roman Catholic bishop from Chicago. [3]

Alinsky designed IAF to emulate the model established by his Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council in Chicago. After founding IAF, Alinsky led organizing efforts among farm workers in California and other organizing efforts in Rochester, Buffalo, and Chicago. [4]

IAF was fully formed by Alinsky’s death in 1972. In the 1970s, the organization was operated by Ed Chambers and Richard Harmon, who moved to “professionalize” the role of organizer. They created several organizer-training formats including a ten-day national training program and began a policy of formal affiliation agreements between the national IAF and the many organizations under its umbrella. [5]

IAF projects from the 1970s onward included a campaign against pollution in Chicago and the creation of affiliate groups including COPS in San Antonio, the Queens Citizens Organization and East Brooklyn Congregations in New York City, BUILD (Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development) in Baltimore, UNO in East Los Angeles, and TMO (The Metropolitan Organization) in Houston. [6] [7]

As of 2022, IAF is subdivided into two subdivisions called Metro IAF and West/Southwest IAF that manage the activities of the IAF and affiliates in the eastern and western halves of the United States, respectively. [8]

Past Campaigns

Industrial Areas Foundation has been responsible for many left-of-center organizing campaigns since its founding in 1940s and has also worked with other left-leaning advocacy groups and labor unions to promote left-leaning policies on topics including universal healthcare, wage increases, and housing. [9]

In the 1990s, the IAF affiliate group in Baltimore, Maryland pushed the city council to adopt one of the first “living wage” ordinances in the country, which required all city employees and contractors be paid a wage “that would bring a family of four above the poverty line.” IAF groups in New York, London, and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas pushed their local governments to become early adopters of such ordinances, which IAF claims have been adopted in over 200 localities worldwide. [10]

IAF’s Massachusetts affiliate, the Greater Boston Interfaith organization, was heavily involved in promoting the 2006 universal health care law in Massachusetts signed by then-Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and that inspired the national Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which IAF also supported. [11]

East Brooklyn Congregations, an IAF affiliate in New York City, created the Nehemiah Housing Strategy which replaced “hundreds of acres of blighted, abandoned housing with large-scale developments of new, high-quality housing affordable for ownership to low- and moderate-income residents of those communities.” The housing strategy has since been implemented in New York City with more than 5,000 units built there and more than 1,000 in Baltimore and 250 in Washington, D.C. [12]

IAF has also created a labor market intermediaries program led by the West/Southwest IAF Division that created adult career training programs partnered with community colleges and community groups to create workforce development programs for low-income individuals in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Iowa, and Illinois. [13]

IAF has led a program called “Alliance Schools” that began as a partnership between partner group Austin Interfaith and the Austin, Texas public school system that “engaged parents and community in the transformation of their schools.” The Alliance Schools program was supported by the Texas IAF Network and led the state of Texas to create the Investment Capital Fund, a $9 million competitive state grant to support school restructuring through community organizations. [14]

Activities

Advocacy campaigns led by the Industrial Areas Foundation and its affiliate organizations include supporting increased funding for public school programs in states including Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Virginia, as well as pushing for a school district policy change in San Antonio that expanded access to campus activities for illegal immigrant parents. [15]

IAF also conducts voter engagement and get-out-the-vote campaigns. Though it claims that its voter engagement efforts are “strictly nonpartisan,” the group engaged voters on left-of-center issues and promotes voter turnout from traditional Democratic-leaning constituencies. The group’s 2020 election organizing efforts targeted swing states including Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin. IAF and its affiliates also opposed a ballot measure in Louisiana that would have allowed companies to negotiate tax breaks directly with local governments, worked with members of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks to promote voter turnout in Wisconsin, and in Ohio “succeeded in making sure that 7,000 previously rejected ballot applications were accepted.” [16]

IAF also operates a gun control campaign called Do Not Stand Idly By, which promotes policies around gun locks, gun dealer restrictions, and releasing data on the manufacturers of guns used in crimes. Democratic politicians including Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) signed on to the group’s campaign in 2019. [17]

The group’s work on immigration policy includes promoting allowing illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses and identification cards, increasing taxpayer funding for legal services for illegal immigrants, and opposing local law enforcement collaboration with the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). [18]

Affiliated Organizations

Industrial Areas Foundation affiliates exist in nearly half of states, though some states have only one or two local affiliates that also engage on statewide issues. Examples of affiliated IAF organizations include One LA – IAF (Los Angeles), Bay Area IAF (San Francisco), Common Ground (Vallejo, California), Coloradans for the Common good (Denver), Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) (Washington, D.C.), United Power for Action and Justice (Chicago), and Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) (Arlington, Virginia). [19]

References

  1. “Signature Accomplishments.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022. https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/signature_accomplishments ^
  2. “History.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.  https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/history ^
  3. “History.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.  https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/history ^
  4. “History.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.  https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/history ^
  5. “History.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.  https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/history ^
  6. “History.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.   https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/affiliates ^
  7. “History.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.  https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/history ^
  8. [1]  “About the IAF.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.  https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/ ^
  9.  “Signature Accomplishments.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022. https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/signature_accomplishments ^
  10. “Signature Accomplishments.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022. https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/signature_accomplishments ^
  11. “Signature Accomplishments.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022. https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/signature_accomplishments ^
  12. “Signature Accomplishments.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022. https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/signature_accomplishments ^
  13. “Signature Accomplishments.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022. https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/signature_accomplishments ^
  14. “Signature Accomplishments.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022. https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/signature_accomplishments ^
  15. “2020 IAF Impact Report.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.   https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/iaf/pages/50/attachments/original/1622571763/2020_IAF_Impact_Report_Letter_size.pdf?1622571763 ^
  16. “2020 IAF Impact Report.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.   https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/iaf/pages/50/attachments/original/1622571763/2020_IAF_Impact_Report_Letter_size.pdf?1622571763 ^
  17. “2019 IAF Impact Report.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.   https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/iaf/pages/52/attachments/original/1622576910/2019_Impact_Report_FINAL_for_EMAIL.pdf?1622576910 ^
  18. “2020 IAF Impact Report.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.   https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/iaf/pages/50/attachments/original/1622571763/2020_IAF_Impact_Report_Letter_size.pdf?1622571763 ^
  19. “About the IAF.” Industrial Areas Foundations. Accessed July 16, 2022.  https://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Larry McNeil
    Former West Coast Director
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1941

  • 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
    2020 Dec Form 990 $2,007,574 $1,675,844 $1,508,898 $152,218 N $450,000 $1,533,000 $21,660 $380,000
    2019 Dec Form 990 $1,600,626 $1,719,444 $1,147,105 $149,506 N $0 $1,568,604 $30,878 $462,431 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $1,584,063 $1,959,240 $1,274,613 $155,961 N $0 $1,578,617 $5,174 $340,000 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $1,544,100 $2,060,254 $1,582,315 $37,352 N $0 $1,512,544 $29,791 $340,000 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,573,662 $1,614,701 $2,052,429 $44,672 N $0 $1,561,325 $11,476 $340,000 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $2,167,283 $1,514,153 $2,054,132 $15,843 N $0 $1,469,833 $14,233 $320,000 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $556,507 $673,850 $1,416,016 $20,196 N $3,656 $559,959 $-7,108 $300,000 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $215,947 $153,366 $1,522,293 $9,130 N $1,488 $206,397 $8,062 $70,000 PDF
    2013 Sep Form 990 $616,325 $962,491 $1,482,560 $31,978 N $16,587 $594,762 $4,976 $423,765 PDF
    2012 Sep Form 990 $1,241,734 $1,361,012 $1,881,465 $84,717 N $77,451 $1,147,291 $16,992 $623,514 PDF
    2011 Sep Form 990 $1,255,779 $1,429,377 $2,008,578 $92,552 N $1,098 $1,239,533 $15,148 $511,501

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Industrial Areas Foundation


    Austin, TX