Manpower Development Corps (MDC) Inc



Durham, NC

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2019):

Revenue: $4,290,372
Expenses: $3,104,838
Assets: $2,933,343




Left-of-Center Think Tank


John Simpkins

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Manpower Development Corps (MDC) Inc. is a left-of-center think tank based in Durham, North Carolina. Created in 1967 to address issues of poverty and racial inequality in the rural South, MDC is an offshoot of the North Carolina Fund, an anti-poverty initiative developed in 1963 by then-North Carolina Gov. Terry Sanford (D). This organization was one of more than 400 selected to receive funding from the $3.8 billion pool of grant money pledged by philanthropist Mackenzie Scott-Bezos in 2021. 1


State of the South Reports

“State of the South” is a biennial report published by Manpower Development Corps on racial and social equity and economic developments in that region. While the reports emphasize that strides toward racial equity have been achieved since the civil rights movement of the 1960s and note that “the South … is no longer the ‘backward child’ of America,” these reports also highlight still-existing cultural and economic disparities along socio-economic and racial lines. 2

Passing Gear Philanthropy Institute

Passing Gear Philanthropy Institute is a collaborative project developed by Manpower Development Corps that organizes groups (styled “cohorts”) of non-profits to improve outcome efficiency in line with its partner mission statements. The initiative formed its first cohort in 2020, and by the year 2025 plans to complete the formation of 20-25 cohorts, each containing four to five member organizations. 3

Rural Community College Initiative/Vision to Action Africa

Rural Community College Initiative (RCCI), founded in 1994 and sustained by grants from the Ford Foundation, was a project designed to strategize methods to improve economic outcomes in (generally poor) rural areas through education. Among other strategies, RCCI sought to shift communities away from local, service-based economies towards those based on export of goods and tourism. RCCI also advocated decreased dependence on natural resources such as coal and timber, towards more intangible resources such as “intellectual [and] cultural” resources. 4

A spinoff of this program, Vision to Action Africa, was a 1998 collaboration between Manpower Development Corps , the Ford Foundation, and University of Namibia that attempted to develop a community college in that nation. 5

Achieving the Dream

MDC began as one of the managing/founding partners of the “Achieving the Dream” project in 2004, eventually rebranding it as its own non-profit in 2010. Initially conceived in collaboration between Lumina Foundation for Education and seven other organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Achieving the Dream focuses on gathering statistical, anecdotal, and formal survey data to inform education policy reforms. 6 7

Great Expectations

Manpower Development Corps partners with the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust on the Great Expectations project, which focuses on grants for early childhood education in the Forsyth County, New York area. The project included the development of the survey organizations Forsyth Family Voices and Early Childhood Services Systems Analysis, and the Family Friend and Neighbor Care study, which examined the landscape of daycare and education arrangements in that region. 8

Learning for Equity

Learning for Equity is a project spearheaded by Manpower Development Corps in conjunction with the Oak Foundation to examine the relationship between minority communities and prevalence of various learning disabilities such as dyslexia. 9


John Simpkins, president of Manpower Development Corps , is also the vice president of Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network. Simpkins is the former general counsel of the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Obama administration. Prior to this, he was deputy general counsel in the Office of Management and Budget from 2013 to 2015. 10


  1. “MDC Receives Gift in Recent Round of Giving from Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott.” MDC. March 25, 2022. Accessed April 24, 2022.
  2. [1] “Philanthropy as the South’s Passing Gear: Fulfilling the Promise.” MDC. Accessed April 24, 2022.
  3. “Passing Gear Philanthropy.” MDC. Accessed April 25, 2022.
  4. “Expanding Economic and Educational Opportunity in Distressed Rural Areas.” Accessed April 25, 2022.
  5. “Vision to Action in Africa.” MDC. Accessed April 25, 2022.
  6. “Achieving the Dream.” MDC. Accessed April 25, 2022.
  7. MDC. “What We Know.” MDC. Accessed April 25, 2022.
  8. [1] Compass Evaluation and Research, MDC.  “Family, Friend, and Neighbor Care in Forsyth County.” Accessed April 25, 2022.
  9. “Learning for Equity.” MDC. Accessed April 25, 2022.
  10. [1] “South Carolinian John L.S. Simpkins Selected New President of MDC.” MDC. May 11, 2020. Accessed April 25, 2022.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 1968

  • 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 Jun Form 990 $4,290,372 $3,104,838 $2,933,343 $270,324 N $2,934,347 $973,149 $34,212 $965,327 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $2,721,905 $3,638,660 $2,040,080 $340,140 N $1,850,363 $707,768 $39,170 $979,534 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $2,704,926 $3,678,695 $2,899,233 $265,408 N $1,861,597 $739,686 $35,667 $879,335 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $4,105,334 $3,881,596 $4,041,549 $537,465 N $3,572,579 $404,226 $32,399 $546,353 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $4,183,155 $4,172,924 $4,095,852 $775,303 N $2,679,524 $1,434,461 $44,263 $699,953 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $4,199,973 $4,350,783 $3,657,050 $275,717 N $3,056,876 $1,133,668 $42,135 $650,183 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $2,495,768 $5,619,494 $3,717,010 $375,685 N $1,376,509 $1,106,860 $53,053 $510,153 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $3,433,488 $11,252,877 $7,153,645 $774,811 N $1,041,145 $2,396,828 $61,386 $675,312 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $9,661,347 $10,148,753 $19,345,472 $5,166,547 N $6,230,996 $3,341,963 $88,254 $639,559 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Manpower Development Corps (MDC) Inc

    Durham, NC