Non-profit

Movement Alliance Project

Website:

movementalliance.org/

Location:

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Tax ID:

26-0307123

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $639,425
Expenses: $602,127
Assets: $358,696

Movement Alliance Project (formerly Media Mobilizing Project) is a left-wing community organizing outfit in Philadelphia. Despite its charitable organization tax status, the organization’s website has made statements cheerleading electoral outcomes for which Movement Alliance Project claimed credit.[1]

Activities

Movement Alliance Project conducts a number of campaigns, with a focus as of 2020 on supporting left-of-center approaches to criminal justice.[2] In a 2020 online townhall with Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney (D), Movement Alliance Project activist Devren Washington called for using police salary cuts and layoffs as a “choreographed obsolescence” plan to defund police.[3]

In addition to its in-house programs, Movement Alliance Project sponsors various left-of-center Philadelphia-based advocacy groups,the most prominent of which are likely Black Lives Matter Philadelphia, Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, and 215 People’s Alliance Education Fund, the charitable-activity arm of the election campaign group 215 People’s Alliance.[4]

Funding

Movement Alliance Project receives support from a range of left-progressive institutions: the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation,[5] the Ford Foundation,[6] the New Venture Fund,[7] the Proteus Fund,[8] and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation all have funded Movement Alliance Project, often under its former Media Mobilizing Project name.[9] The Open Philanthropy Project provided the then-Media Mobilizing Project with $140,000 in support of a “Coalition for a Just District Attorney.”[10]

Other notable funders include labor unions; the American Federation of Teachers, Communications Workers of America, and SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania have all funded Movement Alliance Project.[11]

Other financial supporters of Movement Alliance Project include the left-leaning Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation, and Fidelity Charitable, a provider of donor-advised funds.[12]

Controversies

Statements of Electoral Achievement

Movement Alliance Project is tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) as a charitable organization; IRS guidance states, “Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”[13]

Despite the absolute proscription against electoral campaign intervention by 501(c)(3) organizations under IRS rules, Movement Alliance Project/Media Mobilizing Project has made statements of election-related accomplishments on its website. Its “History” page read as follows as of January 13, 2021:[14]

Around 2013,  Media Mobilizing Project started to become a hub, beyond its original projects and tactics, able to support critical victories in our communities: we unseated Governor Corbett, whose legacy included massive cuts to education, we ended the state takeover of Philadelphia schools, and we campaigned both for a district attorney who would work to end mass incarceration and for a city council with leaders who would fight for justice.

“Governor Corbett” presumably refers to Tom Corbett, Republican Governor of Pennsylvania from 2011 until 2015, who lost re-election in 2014.

People

Bryan Mercer leads the Movement Alliance Project as executive director. Mercer is a national left-progressive media activist and sits on the boards of Free Press and MediaJustice.[15] Mercer is also involved in the 215 People’s Alliance campaign group; as a representative of 215 People’s Alliance, he participated in the Fall 2017 Democracy Alliance conference in a session on supporting the election of radical-left prosecutors.[16]

References

  1. “Our History.” Movement Alliance Project, November 17, 2020. Archived from the original January 12, 2021. http://web.archive.org/web/20210113135534/https://movementalliance.org/about/. ^
  2. “Programs.” Movement Alliance Project, May 14, 2020. https://movementalliance.org/programs/. ^
  3. Platt, Larry. “Larry Platt: Does Police Reform Include Better Policing?” Broad + Liberty, September 13, 2020. https://broadandliberty.com/2020/09/13/larry-platt-does-police-reform-include-better-policing/. ^
  4. “Sponsored Projects.” Movement Alliance Project, October 16, 2020. https://movementalliance.org/sponsored-projects/. ^
  5. Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV Line 3 https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/30300865/201842489349100909/IRS990PF ^
  6. Ford Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV Line 3 https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/131684331/201803209349100025/IRS990PF  ^
  7. New Venture Fund, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Schedule I https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/205806345/201723179349305572/IRS990ScheduleI ^
  8. Proteus Fund, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/43243004/201803189349304195/IRS990ScheduleI ^
  9. W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2018, Part XV Line 3 https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/381359264/201901939349100620/IRS990PF ^
  10. “Media Mobilizing Project – Criminal Justice Coalition.” Open Philanthropy, June 1, 2018. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/criminal-justice-reform/media-mobilizing-project-criminal-justice-coalition. ^
  11. Data compiled from Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards Payer-Payee Search tool from forms filed by labor unions. Queries on “Media Mobilizing Project” conducted January 13, 2021. ^
  12. Data compiled from FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted January 12, 2021. ^
  13. IRS. “The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations.” Internal Revenue Service. Accessed January 13, 2021. https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/the-restriction-of-political-campaign-intervention-by-section-501c3-tax-exempt-organizations#:~:text=Under%20the%20Internal%20Revenue%20Code,candidate%20for%20elective%20public%20office. ^
  14. “Our History.” Movement Alliance Project, November 17, 2020. Archived from the original January 12, 2021. http://web.archive.org/web/20210113135534/https://movementalliance.org/about/. ^
  15. “Bryan Mercer.” Movement Alliance Project, May 14, 2020. https://movementalliance.org/staff/bryan-mercer/. ^
  16. Democracy Alliance. “Democracy Alliance Fall Investment Agenda.” Posted to Scribd by The Washington Free Beacon. November 2017. Accessed May 27, 2020. Available at: https://freebeacon.com/politics/resistance-royalty-pelosi-soros-headline-lefts-biggest-dark-money-conference/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 2008

  • 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 $639,425 $602,127 $358,696 $4,308 N $593,425 $45,425 $0 $46,350
    2015 Dec Form 990 $447,087 $623,749 $333,411 $16,321 N $437,692 $7,770 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $450,945 $481,758 $502,206 $8,454 N $431,160 $18,615 $0 $87,000 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $392,808 $519,175 $528,028 $3,463 N $378,571 $9,708 $0 $85,546
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,012,653 $694,598 $668,813 $17,881 N $966,319 $45,909 $0 $28,125 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $834,482 $753,094 $244,685 $0 N $801,373 $32,073 $0 $0 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990EZ $136,885 $134,417 $173,716 $20,394 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Movement Alliance Project

    4534 BALTIMORE AVE
    PHILADELPHIA, PA 19143-3705