Kentucky Coalition



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2016):

Revenue: $3,121,147
Expenses: $2,134,146
Assets: $5,348,320

Executive Director:

Burt Lauderdale

The Kentucky Coalition is the educational and research arm of the left-of-center organizing group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC). The Coalition was founded in 1984, three years after KFTC. It “provides financial support” for KFTC’s “charitable and educational activities.” In the past, KFTC’s activities have included lobbying Obama administration Federal agency officials, conducting “environmental justice tours” of Kentucky for Democratic legislators, and participating in environmentalist protests in Kentucky and Washington, D.C.

History and Background

In 1981 following the publication of the Appalachian Land Ownership Study, environmentalists in eastern Kentucky launched an advocacy organization named the Kentucky Fair Tax Coalition, which would later rename itself Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. The organization’s first activities included running a “Tax Workshop,” focusing on developing a strategy to advocate for environmentalist tax policies in Kentucky.

In 1983, the organization shifted its focus to include education and water policy. In 1984, the Kentucky Coalition was established as the educational and research arm of the organization. [1] Its activities include organizing campaigns and public policy advocacy in Kentucky, the southern United States, and Appalachia. It is the fiscal agent for KFTC, and “provides financial support” for KFTC’s “charitable and educational activities.” [2]


According to its 2017 990 filing with the Internal Revenue Service, the Coalition spent a total of $8,417 lobbying from 2014 to 2017. [3] In the four years prior to that period, according to its 2013 filing, the coalition spent $68,885 from 2009 to 2013. [4]


The following individuals are either board members or directors of the Kentucky Coalition: [5]

  • Meta Mendel Reyes, Chair
  • Randy Wilson, Vice Chair
  • Leslie McBride, Director
  • Megan Naseman, Director
  • Alan Smith, Director
  • Burt Lauderdale, Executive Director

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth

The Coalition’s parent organization is Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, a left-of-center organizing and advocacy group focusing on environmental issues, originally founded by environmentalists in 1981 as the Kentucky Fair Tax Coalition. In the decades after its founding, the Coalition adopted its present name and expanded its area of focus to include advocacy efforts related to education, labor union-backed employment policy, and regulations restricting political advocacy. [6] In 1984, KFTC founded the Coalition as its education and research arm. Like, the Coalition, its executive Director is Burt Lauderdale. [7]

Some of KFTC’s notable advocacy activities include meeting, in 2010, nearly 20 times with the Obama administration’s federal agencies to lobby for increased enforcement of mining and water protection laws. In that vein, in 2011, over a dozen members of KFTC held a sleep-in at the state capitol building during the weekend preceding KFTC’s I Love Mountains Day to protest the governor’s alleged friendliness to the coal industry. Following the protest, Governor Steve Beshear (D) visited with KFTC members in several eastern Kentucky communities. [8] Similarly, during that year, KFTC hosted nine Environmental Protection Agency officials for an “environmental justice tour of eastern Kentucky.” [9]


In 2014, the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, a left-of-center philanthropic organization started by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco heiress Mary Reynolds Babcock, provided a $300,000 grant to the Kentucky Coalition in order to support “general operations.” [10] A number of other liberal foundations, among them the Ford Foundation, The Chorus Inc., the New World Foundation, the Blue Moon Fund, and the Marguerite Casey Foundation have also made six-figure contributions to the Kentucky Coalition. [11]


  1. “Our History.” Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Accessed April 18, 2019. ^
  2. “Kentucky Coalition.” Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Accessed April 18, 2019. ^
  3. Kentucky Coalition, Form 990-PF, 2017, Schedule C, Part II-A ^
  4. Kentucky Coalition, Form 990-PF, 2013, Schedule C, Part II-A ^
  5. Kentucky Coalition, Form 990-PF, 2017, Part VII, Section A ^
  6. “Our History.” Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Accessed April 18, 2019. ^
  7. Staff.” Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Accessed April 18, 2019. ^
  8. Howard, Jason. “Kentucky Rises.” The Nation. February 17, 2011. Accessed April 18, 2019. ^
  9. “Our History.” Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Accessed April 18, 2019. ^
  10. “Kentucky Coalition.” Mary Reynolds Backock Foundation. Accessed May 6, 2019 ^

  11. Data compiled by subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted July 22, 2019. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 1984

  • 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 $3,121,147 $2,134,146 $5,348,320 $658,187 N $2,901,135 $34,278 $35,841 $0
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,941,826 $2,094,094 $4,280,990 $581,668 N $1,362,837 $132,201 $42,769 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,293,554 $1,777,955 $4,351,487 $181,163 N $1,180,960 $29,735 $54,237 $0
    2013 Dec Form 990 $4,376,266 $1,959,384 $4,787,862 $141,928 N $4,236,357 $55,649 $36,725 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,346,912 $1,756,376 $2,144,609 $141,047 N $1,180,997 $50,309 $42,858 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $2,421,301 $2,096,346 $2,580,606 $152,393 N $2,323,327 $25,797 $31,834 $0 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $2,268,379 $2,184,878 $2,260,916 $157,254 N $2,093,539 $23,023 $26,658 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Kentucky Coalition

    PO BOX 1450
    LONDON, KY 40743-1450