For more information, see National Democratic Redistricting Committee (PAC)
The National Redistricting Foundation (NRF) is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a Democratic Party-aligned PAC chaired by former Attorney General Eric Holder, and the 501(c)(4) advocacy group National Redistricting Action Fund. The nonprofit was created to litigate against Republican state elected officials for alleged Voting Rights Act infractions and what it deems illegal “gerrymandering” of state legislative and congressional districts ahead of the 2020 U.S. Census.
The National Democratic Redistricting Foundation describes its mission as “initiating litigation that will have a nationwide impact in creating more just and representative electoral districts,” a goal it pursues through engaging in “work that affects the redistricting process, including monitoring the national census activity.”
The NRF’s targeted litigation and national census efforts are coordinated with its two “sister” affiliates: the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a Democratic Party PAC chaired by Eric Holder, and the National Redistricting Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) advocacy nonprofit. The organizations share the same Washington, D.C. office space. 
On February 26, 2018, the group filed a lawsuit against then-Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) “for his refusal to hold two special elections for seats in the Wisconsin General Assembly.”  The lawsuit arose after two Wisconsin state officials, Rep. Keith Ripp and Sen. Frank Lasee, resigned their offices in December 2017 to accept positions in Gov. Walker’s administration.
Three days after former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law Republican-backed legislation restricting early voting in December 2018, One Wisconsin Institute (OWI), a self-described “non-partisan research & education organization,” filed a lawsuit challenging the legislation. NRF backed OWI in filing the lawsuits. Eric Holder said: “Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature and their defeated governor are using their gerrymandered majorities to—once again—attempt to suppress the votes of people of color in the state.”
On October 3, 2017, the nonprofit was reported by the New York Times as filing a racial gerrymandering lawsuit against Georgia Republicans. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment in 2015 by “adjusting the state’s 105th and 111th legislative districts to minimize the influence of black voters and failing to draw a majority-minority district in the Atlanta area.” 
Common Cause, a left-leaning nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., sued the state of North Carolina after the 2018 midterm elections on the grounds that its current congressional districts violate the state constitution’s Equal Protection Clause in that they are based off of voter data rather than population. Bob Phillips, executive director for Common Cause North Carolina, claimed: “We don’t have fair and legal maps in North Carolina. And we certainly have not had them at any time in this decade.” NRF will cover the legal fees for Common Cause.
In 2019, the National Redistricting Foundation supported voters that filed a lawsuit separate from Common Cause’s lawsuit over the alleged partisan gerrymandering of the North Carolina congressional map. The lawsuit was filed in Wake County Superior Court and states that the 2016 redistricting plan for North Carolina violates the North Carolina Constitution. The lawsuit seeks to draw a new redistricting plan for North Carolina for the 2020 elections.
In particular, the lawsuit states that the 2016 redistricting map violates the state constitution’s “Free Elections” and “Equal Protection” clauses that work to outline and protect the rights of North Carolina voters. The lawsuit also stated that the 2016 North Carolina redistricting plan violated the North Carolina state constitution’s Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Speech clauses.
The National Redistricting Foundation is an affiliate company of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. The National Redistricting Foundation paid for the legal fees of Arnold & Porter and Perkins Coie and Patterson Harkavy LLP during the lawsuit. 
Note that NRF’s Form 990 does not follow a normal calendar year, and instead covers the period of July 1 through June 31
In 2019-2020, the National Redistricting Foundation reported total revenues of $9,029,944, total expenditures of $6,841,375, and net assets of $5,357,826. 
In 2018-2019, NRF reported total revenues of $7,020,744, total expenditures of $4,320,030 (including grants paid totaling $962,493), and net assets of $3,170,848. 
In 2017-2018, the National Redistricting Foundation reported total revenues of $3,325,489, total expenses of $5,645,424 (including grants paid totaling $50,000), and net assets $489,244.  The NRF also reported holding $1,015,250 in publicly traded securities in 2017. 
Donors to National Redistricting Foundation
The donor-advised fund providers Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund, Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund, and the San Francisco Foundation have passed financial support from anonymous donors to National Redistricting Foundation, an arrangement liberal organizations have criticized as “dark money” when practiced by conservatives.
In January 2021, the left-leaning Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, which funds liberal groups in North Carolina, announced a grant of an unknown size to NRF for its “Fighting for Fairer Maps in North Carolina project.” The grant was part of the foundation’s “State-Level Systemic Change Strategy” grant awards. 
The following are all known grants to NRF: 
|Combined Jewish Philanthropies Of Greater Boston||$500,000||2018||DAF - Civil Rights|
|Kohl Feinerman Fam Charitable Trust||$500||2017||UNRESTRICTED GRANT TO FURTHER THE ORGANIZATION'S EXEMPT PURPOSE|
|Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund||$215,200||2017||FOR GRANT RECIPIENT'S EXEMPT PURPOSES|
|Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund||$200,000||2019||To ensure a fair and accurate 2020 Census through public and policymaker education and litigation in order to achieve a representative democracy.|
|San Francisco Foundation||$100,000||2017||FOR GENERAL SUPPORT|
|San Francisco Foundation||$100,000||2018||FOR GENERAL SUPPORT.|
|Scott A. Nathan Charitable Trust||$100,000||2017||GENERAL PURPOSE|
|Stephen M Silberstein Foundation||$100,000||2018||TO DISMANTLE UNFAIR ELECTORAL MAPS AND CREATE A REDISTRICTING SYSTEM BASED ON DEMOCRATIC VALUES|
|San Francisco Foundation||$100,000||2019|
|Seattle Foundation||$51,000||2019||TO PROVIDE GENERAL SUPPORT.|
|Cavali Foundation||$50,000||2018||GENERAL USE|
|Florence S Beecher Foundation||$50,000||2018||PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN|
|Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund||$50,000||2019||COMMUNITY & HUMAN SERVICES|
|Baton Rouge Area Foundation||$50,000||2020|
|The Heyday Foundation||$25,000||2017||GENERAL SUPPORT|
|California Community Foundation||$20,000||2018||Civic Engagement|
|East Bay Community Foundation||$12,000||2018||GENERAL SUPPORT|
|Citizens for Truth||$12,000||2019||To dismantle unfair electoral maps and create a redistricting system based on democratic values in advance of the 2021 redistricting cycle|
|Good Heart Work Smart Foundation||$10,000||2018||CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION|
|Van De Bunt Fox Family Foundation||$10,000||2018||GENERAL OPERATING SUPPORT|
|Wedner Family Foundation||$10,000||2017||TO FURTHER PROGRAM SERVICES|
|Bastian Family Foundation||$6,000||2018||GENERAL|
|Eacho Family Foundation||$5,000||2018||General Support|
|George And Judy Marcus Family Foundation||$5,000||2018||CHARITY|
|MGG Foundation||$2,000||2018||PUBLIC CHARITY|
|Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund||$1,142,000||2018||For grant recipient's exempt purposes|
|The Foundation For Maryland'S Future||$1,013,312||2017||Support for education|
|Silicon Valley Community Foundation||$1,004,500||2019|
|Sara & Evan Williams Foundation||$1,000,000||2018||General support|
|Sara & Evan Williams Foundation||$1,000,000||2017||GENERAL SUPPORT|
|Greater Washington Community Foundation||$1,000,000||2018|
|Jewish Communal Fund||$100,000||2020|
NRF’s Form 990 filings for 2019 and 2020 are available here:
- 2020 Form 990 (covers July 1, 2019 through June 31, 2020)
- 2019 Form 990 (covers July 1, 2018 through June 31, 2019)
President and CEO
Kelly Ward serves as president and chief executive officer of the National Redistricting Foundation and the National Redistricting Action Fund, and she also serves as executive director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), the nonprofit’s PAC affiliate.   Ward is a Democratic Party operative and campaign strategist. From 2010 to 2017, she served first as political director and then as executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), a PAC used to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives. Prior to that, Ward served in various positions for a number of left-leaning nonprofits in Arizona, campaign manager for Democratic congressional candidates, and in the office of Democratic Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano.
Board of Directors
Elisabeth Pearson is president of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC). From 2013 to December 2018, Pearson served as executive director of the Democratic Governors Association; she has also served as political director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).
Mitch Stewart is a Democratic Party consultant and campaign strategist. Stewart is a founding partner at 270 Strategies, a Democratic consulting firm whose clients include Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, the U.S. Senate campaign for Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Organizing for America, and Planned Parenthood.  He served as battleground states director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and prior to that as national director for Organizing for America, a left-wing advocacy group.