Non-profit

New Organizing Institute

Website:

neworganizing.wellstone.org/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

56-2538200

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $1,070,117
Expenses: $1,287,586
Assets: $135,176

Formation:

2005

Executive Director:

Ethan Roeder

Type:

Democratic personnel trainer

New Organizing Institute was a left-progressive group that trained digital organizers and campaigners for the Democratic Party and liberal political causes. The organization and its sister group, the New Organizing Institute Education Fund, trained 30,000 members in ten years before experiencing a mass staff walkout in 2015. Shortly afterward, New Organizing Institute was disbanded and its core program and most remaining members were folded into Wellstone Action, one of the largest left-of-center campaigner training organizations.

In 2012, Whitney May, Tiana-Epps Johnson, and Donny Bridges founded Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), a left-of-center voter outreach group. All three would work for New Organizing Institute from 2012-2015 and then return to CTCL. In 2020, CTCL received a $250 million grant from Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.

Leadership

New Organizing Institute and the New Organizing Institute Education Fund and were co-founded by Judith Freeman, a long-time strategist for the Democratic Party and allied organizations. In 2004, after attending college at the University of Chicago, Freeman worked for M+R Strategic Services and on then-Senator John Kerry’s (D-MA) presidential campaign. In 2005, Freeman began serving as a senior political strategist for the AFL-CIO labor union federation and co-founded New Organizing Institute. In 2008, Freeman worked as a digital field director for Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy. [1] From 2004-2015, Freeman served as president of New Organizing Institute. [2][3]

In 2013, Ethan Roeder became the new executive director of New Organizing Institute and the Education Fund. Roeder had served as a voter file manager and the national data manager Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. He then worked at New Organizing Institute as director of data, technology, and election administration for three years until he returned to President Obama’s reelection campaign as director of data. [4]

Staff Walkout

In February 2015, eight senior staff members and an unknown number of the “20 or so” lower level staffers of the New Organizing Institute quit en masse. The day prior, senior staff members had presented an ultimatum to the New Organizing Institute board demanding the resignation of executive director Ethan Roeder due to alleged financial mismanagement which had left the organization on the verge of insolvency. The board, led by Judith Freeman, refused to remove Roeder. [5]

Dissolution

After the walkout, Freeman vowed to continue the New Organizing Institute,[6] but the Institute and the Education Fund would dissolve eight months later. In an October press release, Freeman announced that NOI’s core training program would be absorbed by Wellstone Action (now RePower). [7]

Center for Tech and Civic Life

Among the senior staff members who quit the New Organizing Institute in February 2015 were Whitney May, Tiana Epps-Johnson, and Donny Bridges. [8][9][10] In 2012, these three had founded the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a voter outreach organization which targets demographic groups which tend to support the Democratic Party. After establishing the organization, the three joined New Organizing Institute. May worked as the Institute’s voter information project state liaison and election administration government liaison. Johnson was the Institute’s election administration director. Bridges served as the Institute’s election administration research director. [11]

In February 2015, after leaving the Institute, the three rejoined CTCL. May became director of government services, Epps-Johnson became executive director, and Bridges became director of civic data. [12][13][14]

In 2020, CTCL would receive $250 million from Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg to increase voter registration and mail voting for the 2020 elections. [15]

References

  1. “Judith Freeman.” LinkedIn. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/judithfreeman/. ^
  2. “New Organizing Institute Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/562538200/2015_10_EO%2F56-2538200_990O_201501. ^
  3. McMorris-Santoro, Evan. “Liberal Organizing Group Implodes In One Tumultuous Afternoon.” Buzzfeed News. February 10, 2015. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/evanmcsan/new-organizing-institute-implodes. ^
  4. “Ethan Roeder.” LinkedIn. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ethanroeder/. ^
  5. McMorris-Santoro, Evan. “Liberal Organizing Group Implodes In One Tumultuous Afternoon.” Buzzfeed News. February 10, 2015. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/evanmcsan/new-organizing-institute-implodes. ^
  6. McMorris-Santoro, Evan. “Liberal Organizing Group Implodes In One Tumultuous Afternoon.” Buzzfeed News. February 10, 2015. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/evanmcsan/new-organizing-institute-implodes. ^
  7. “Wellstone to continue NOI’s work developing the next generation of progressive digital and data strategy.” Wellstone. October 9, 2015. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.wellstone.org/noi. ^
  8. “Whitney May.” LinkedIn. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/whitney-maybe/. ^
  9. “Tiana Epps-Johnson.” LinkedIn. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/tianaej/. ^
  10. “Donny Bridges.” LinkedIn. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/donny-bridges-4880bb7/. ^
  11. “Skoll Awardee.” Skoll. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://skoll.org/organization/center-for-tech-and-civic-life/. ^
  12. “Whitney May.” LinkedIn. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/whitney-maybe/. ^
  13. “Tiana Epps-Johnson.” LinkedIn. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/tianaej/. ^
  14. “Donny Bridges.” LinkedIn. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/donny-bridges-4880bb7/. ^
  15. Schleifer, Theodore. “Mark Zuckerberg’s $300 million donation to protect elections must overcome Facebook’s past.” Vox. September 21, 2020. Accessed September 12, 2020. https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/9/1/21417022/mark-zuckerberg-elections-300-million-facebook-center-for-tech-and-civic-life. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Zack Exley
    Co-Founder and Former President
  2. Carlos P. Odio
    Former Special Projects Director
  3. Billy Wimsatt
    Former Fellow

Coalition Memberships

  1. Democracy Alliance Conferences
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: January - December
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 2011

  • 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
    2015 Jan Form 990 $1,070,117 $1,287,586 $135,176 $508,320 N $474,878 $595,235 $4 $43,918 PDF
    2014 Jan Form 990 $1,055,688 $1,553,992 $369,549 $525,224 N $725,157 $328,261 $2,270 $46,441 PDF
    2013 Jan Form 990 $1,005,081 $1,572,682 $349,885 $7,256 N $312,564 $691,899 $618 $20,366 PDF
    2012 Jan Form 990 $841,506 $554,885 $911,674 $1,444 N $636,009 $205,093 $404 $15,352 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    New Organizing Institute

    1133 19TH ST NW STE 850
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-3664