Non-profit

New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) Citizen Lobby

Website:

www.njpirg.org

Location:

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ

Tax ID:

22-2708332

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $489,221
Expenses: $269,522
Assets: $8,222,141

Formation:

1987

The New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) Citizens Lobby is a left-of-center nonprofit and member of the PIRG network, a group of state level organizations supporting the activities of the national level U.S. PIRG. [1] Although ostensibly semi-independent, NJPIRG Citizens Lobby is led entirely by national level employees of the US PIRG, none of whom are based in New Jersey. [2] [3] The majority of the NJPIRG Citizens Lobby’s funding is sent to a national level advocacy contractor, whose work focuses on fundraising. [4]

The activities of the NJPIRG Citizens Lobby are varied, and support left-leaning climate change activism, left-of-center economic policies, and restrictions on campaign finance. [5] These include ending road expansion projects in favor of public transit and switching power generation to weather-dependent methods like wind and solar. [6] [7] Although presented separately on the NJPIRG state-level website, the most of the NJPIRG’s programs are taken directly from those taking place on the national level. [8] [9]

Background

The New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) Citizen Lobby is the New Jersey state level organization of the National Association of Organizations in the Public Interest (NAOPI). [10] The NJPIRG sends much of its annual revenue to Fund for the Public Interest Inc., which supports paid activists who perform fundraising and outreach activities on behalf of more local and organic seeming organizations. [11] [12]

The Fund for the Public Interest is closely connected to NAOPI and its sister organizations. The Fund was founded by Environment America, itself a member of the Public Interest Network, which serves as the umbrella organization for many state level groups, including NJPIRG Citizen Lobby. [13] [14] [15] The Fund for the Public Interest spends much of its money on canvassing campaigns. [16]

Funding

In the fiscal year ending July 2019, the NJPIRG Citizen Lobby reported revenue of $526,776. [17] During the same calendar year, the NJPIRG Citizen Lobby spent $368,952 on program and outreach services provided by Fund for the Public Interest Inc. Other expenses for the NJPIRG Citizens Lobby in the fiscal year 2019 were largely made up of $200,000 worth of direct grants. [18]

Activities

The activities listed by the NJPIRG Citizens Lobby broadly overlap with the list of activities and programs pursued by its parent organization, the United States Public Interest Research Group. [19] [20] These programs cover a broad group of goals, including left-leaning climate policy, sharply reducing the use of plastics, ending road building infrastructure projects, building a “New Economy”, and supporting “Democracy for the People.” [21] [22]

Energy Policy

NJPIRG promotes the end of fossil fuel subsidies and claims that the United States government spends tens of billions of dollars each year subsidizing the oil and gas industry. [23] Merrill Matthews of the Institute for Policy Innovation, writing in The Hill, noted that most U.S. “subsidies” are tax breaks offered and claimed by every other industry, as well as oil and gas. [24] NJPIRG supports the construction of more, and greater reliance on, weather-dependent technologies, such as solar and wind. [25] Sister organization Environment America has made statements opposing zero-carbon nuclear energy. [26]

Election Spending

The Democracy for the People project, with nearly identical webpages on the U.S. PIRG and NJPIRG websites, supports the removal of “big money” from politics. A May 2016 report from Open Secrets, a center-left political money and non-profit accountability database run by the Center for Responsive Politics, described Environment America as a “major dark money donor” that outsourced its advocacy to Fund for the Public Interest (a major funder of NJPIRG and part of the Public Interest Network). [27] [28] [29]

Preventing New Road Infrastructure

NJPIRG supports ending the construction of new roadways and road infrastructure. [30] They support rerouting highway funds to support new mass transit projects in urban areas. [31]

Leadership

NJPIRG shows only one regional employee on its staff list, and no New Jersey-exclusive employees, the NJPIRG’s ostensibly regional outlook. [32] [33] The officers listed in the NJPIRG Citizen Lobby’s annual tax filing are all PIRG national employees, some of whom live in Colorado and California. [34] [35]

References

  1. NJPIRG Citizen Lobby, IRS 990, 2019 ^
  2. “Our Staff.” The Public Interest Network. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://publicinterestnetwork.org/our-staff.html. ^
  3. NJPIRG Citizen Lobby, IRS 990, 2019 ^
  4. NJPIRG Citizen Lobby, IRS 990, 2019 ^
  5. NJPIRG. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://njpirg.org/. ^
  6. “End Fossil Fuel Subsidies.” NJPIRG. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://njpirg.org/feature/njp/end-fossil-fuel-subsidies. ^
  7. Stop highway boondoggles. NJPIRG. (n.d.). Retrieved August 5, 2022, from https://njpirg.org/feature/njp/stop-highway-boondoggles ^
  8.  “U.S. PIRG.” U.S. PIRG | The Federation of State PIRGs. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://uspirg.org/. ^
  9. NJPIRG. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://njpirg.org/. ^
  10. NJPIRG Citizen Lobby, IRS 990, Schedule R, 2019 ^
  11. NJPIRG Citizen Lobby, IRS 990, 2019 ^
  12. Tucker, Will. “Lucky Sole Vendors for Some Nonprofits Do Very Well, Thank You.” OpenSecrets News, May 23, 2016. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2016/05/lucky-sole-vendors-for-some-nonprofits-do-very-well-thank-you/. ^
  13. Tucker, Will. “Lucky Sole Vendors for Some Nonprofits Do Very Well, Thank You.” OpenSecrets News, May 23, 2016. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2016/05/lucky-sole-vendors-for-some-nonprofits-do-very-well-thank-you/. ^
  14. “Action for a Greener, Healthier America.” Environment America. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://environmentamerica.org/feature/ame/about-us. ^
  15. The Public Interest Network. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://publicinterestnetwork.org/. ^
  16. Tucker, Will. “Lucky Sole Vendors for Some Nonprofits Do Very Well, Thank You.” OpenSecrets News, May 23, 2016. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2016/05/lucky-sole-vendors-for-some-nonprofits-do-very-well-thank-you/. ^
  17. NJPIRG Citizen Lobby, IRS 990, 2019 ^
  18. NJPIRG Citizen Lobby, IRS 990, 2019 ^
  19. “U.S. PIRG.” U.S. PIRG | The Federation of State PIRGs. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://uspirg.org/. ^
  20. NJPIRG. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://njpirg.org/. ^
  21. “U.S. PIRG.” U.S. PIRG | The Federation of State PIRGs. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://uspirg.org/. ^
  22. NJPIRG. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://njpirg.org/. ^
  23. “End Fossil Fuel Subsidies.” NJPIRG. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://njpirg.org/feature/njp/end-fossil-fuel-subsidies. ^
  24. Matthews, Merrill. “Debunking Democrats’ Claims about Fossil Fuel Tax Breaks.” The Hill. The Hill, June 16, 2019. https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/448794-debunking-democrats-claims-about-fossil-fuel-tax-breaks/. ^
  25. “End Fossil Fuel Subsidies.” NJPIRG. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://njpirg.org/feature/njp/end-fossil-fuel-subsidies. ^
  26. Statement: $6 billion in subsidies for distressed nuclear plants are misguided. Statement: $6 billion in subsidies for distressed nuclear plants are misguided | Environment America. (2022, April 20). Retrieved August 5, 2022, from https://environmentamerica.org/news/ame/statement-6-billion-subsidies-distressed-nuclear-plants-are-misguided ^
  27. Tucker, Will. “Lucky Sole Vendors for Some Nonprofits Do Very Well, Thank You.” OpenSecrets News, May 23, 2016. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2016/05/lucky-sole-vendors-for-some-nonprofits-do-very-well-thank-you/. ^
  28. “Big Money Out.” NJPIRG. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://njpirg.org/feature/njp/big-money-out. ^
  29. “Big Money Out.” NJPIRG. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://njpirg.org/feature/njp/big-money-out. ^
  30. Stop highway boondoggles. NJPIRG. (n.d.). Retrieved August 5, 2022, from https://njpirg.org/feature/njp/stop-highway-boondoggles ^
  31. Stop highway boondoggles. NJPIRG. (n.d.). Retrieved August 5, 2022, from https://njpirg.org/feature/njp/stop-highway-boondoggles ^
  32. “Staff & Principals.” NJPIRG. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://njpirg.org/staff. ^
  33. “Our Staff.” Our Staff. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://uspirg.org/sites/pirg/files/usp-staff/index.html. ^
  34. NJPIRG Citizen Lobby, IRS 990, 2019 ^
  35. “Our Staff.” The Public Interest Network. Accessed July 24, 2022. https://publicinterestnetwork.org/our-staff.html. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Cassandra McKee
    Former Staffer
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: July - June
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 1987

  • 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 Jul Form 990 $489,221 $269,522 $8,222,141 $293,752 N $435,758 $0 $53,479 $0
    2019 Jul Form 990 $526,776 $520,706 $7,623,605 $398,780 N $469,860 $0 $56,127 $0 PDF
    2018 Jul Form 990 $461,450 $332,220 $7,234,477 $423,219 N $440,429 $0 $21,021 $0 PDF
    2017 Jul Form 990 $564,854 $329,345 $6,549,173 $225,702 N $437,555 $100,000 $27,299 $0
    2016 Jul Form 990 $601,552 $361,843 $5,879,180 $143,688 N $489,067 $100,000 $12,485 $0
    2015 Jul Form 990 $620,868 $317,162 $5,562,830 $211,712 N $523,844 $0 $88,906 $1,406 PDF
    2014 Jul Form 990 $674,205 $364,191 $5,256,747 $272,343 N $620,266 $0 $27,052 $19,116 PDF
    2013 Jul Form 990 $573,259 $374,824 $4,770,777 $171,803 N $530,781 $0 $40,664 $19,131 PDF
    2012 Jul Form 990 $577,306 $385,925 $4,557,188 $235,144 N $526,691 $0 $50,395 $21,759 PDF
    2011 Jul Form 990 $605,941 $410,692 $4,322,378 $169,075 N $579,745 $0 $23,141 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) Citizen Lobby

    104 BAYARD STREET 6TH FLOOR
    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ 08901-2392