Non-profit

New York Communities Organizing Fund

Website:

www.nycofi.org/

Location:

BROOKLYN, NY

Tax ID:

27-2332649

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $1,153,129
Expenses: $1,182,629
Assets: $441,355

Formation:

2010

Executive Director:

Jonathan Westin

Type:

Non-Profit Advocacy

The New York Communities Organizing Fund Incorporated (NYCOFI) is a left-of-center fundraising group that advocates for laws to restrain landlords from evicting tenants even if rent has not been paid. [1] It received $700,000 from the Ford Foundation, which is a major contributor to progressive housing and tenants’ causes and has close ties to other left-leaning organizations like New York Communities for Change (NYCC). [2] Critics have identified the group as a successor organization to the controversial now-defunct ACORN network of left-progressive community organizing groups. [3]

The executive director of NY Communities Organizing Fund is Jonathan Westin, a left-progressive activist who has previously led NYCC[4] and served as co-chair of the left-wing Working Families Party. [5]

Controversies

Critics of New York Communities Organizing Fund have scrutinized the group’s ties to the related New York Communities for Change and similar organizations for possible infringements of NYCOFI’s tax-exempt status. In 2012, the right-leaning watchdog group Cause of Action accused NYCOFI of an inappropriate financial arrangement with NYCC and illegal lobbying. Jonathan Westin was caught up in the investigation due his creation of a campaign against then-Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. [6]

In 2020 it was reported that New York Communities Organizing Fund, which has campaigned against landlords and evictions, contributed $92,000 to the Mutual Housing Association of New York, which had evicted tenants for back rents as low as $1,220. [7]

Causes

Labor

The New York Communities Organizing Fund is staunchly aligned with left-progressive and labor-union interests. [8] It supports the $15 minimum wage campaign;[9] the affiliated New York Communities for Change received millions from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) that seeded the campaign,[10] and NYCOFI has taken funding from SEIU local affiliates including SEIU 32BJ. [11]

Environmentalism

NYCOFI seeks environmental justice as climate change and climate inequality are alleged “moral crises” for minority communities. [12]

Housing

The New York Communities Organizing Fund pursues housing regulations designed to limit property owners’ discretion. It is a member of a variety of New York-based left-progressive housing coalitions including the Alliance for Tenant Power and the Upstate/Downstate Alliance. These groups support eviction prohibitions and rent controls, aligning against property owners. [13]

Education

NYCOFI is an advocate for improving the New York public education system purportedly underfunded for decades and failing minority students due alleged Wall Street school privatization initiatives. It supported the firing of a pro-school choice school board president and installed two of their supporters to influence education policy. [14]

Immigration

The New York Communities Organizing Fund established a fund for illegal immigrants to make up for the lack of government sponsored support during the Covid-19 pandemic. [15]

Funding

New York Communities Organizing Fund is financially supported by left-progressive organizations including Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund[16] and Center for Popular Democracy;[17] left-wing foundations including the Ford Foundation,[18] Cultures of Resistance Network Foundation,[19] and the Douglas H. Phelps Foundation;[20] and labor unions including SEIU 32BJ, the RWDSU division of the United Food and Commercial Workers, and the American Federation of Teachers. [21]

References

  1. Gartland, Michael. “Anti-Eviction Ally Responsible for Starting Hundreds of NYC Eviction Cases.” nydailynews.com. New York Daily News, January 18, 2020. https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-mutual-housing-association-evictions-communities-for-change-20200119-tqbvfot5xndwlfsvxyudsojy3i-story.html. ^
  2. Scanlon , Terrence. “The Other IRS Scandal.” Capital Research Center. Capital Research Center, August 22, 2013. https://capitalresearch.org/article/scanlon-the-other-irs-scandal/. ^
  3. Scanlon, Terrence. “SCANLON: The Other IRS Scandal.” The Washington Times. The Washington Times, August 22, 2013. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/22/scanlon-the-other-irs-scandal/. ^
  4. Rebong, Kevin. “The Upstate/Downstate Alliance Raised a Little over $500,000 from Foundations and Grassroots Fundraising.” The Real Deal New York, September 24, 2019. https://therealdeal.com/2019/08/23/the-money-behind-the-new-york-tenant-movement/. ^
  5. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NIAGARA. NIAGARA COUNTY CLERK 07/22/2019. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NIAGARA, 2019. https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hurley-niagara.pdf. ^
  6. Cause of Action. Cause of Action . Washington, DC: Cause of Action , 2012. https://causeofaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/2012-8-22-Request-for-Revocation-of-Tax-Exempt-Status-NYCC.pdf?e129f2. ^
  7. Gartland, Michael. “Anti-Eviction Ally Responsible for Starting Hundreds of NYC Eviction Cases.” nydailynews.com. New York Daily News, January 18, 2020. https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-mutual-housing-association-evictions-communities-for-change-20200119-tqbvfot5xndwlfsvxyudsojy3i-story.html. ^
  8. “When We Fight, We Win.” New York Communities Organizing Fund, Inc. NYCOFI. Accessed July 1, 2020. https://www.nycofi.org/issues. ^
  9. A 990: New York Communities Organizing Fund, Inc, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Part III, Lines 4a, 4b, 4c https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2018/272/332/2018-272332649-17127011-9.pdf ^
  10. Manheim, Jarol. “The Emerging Role of Worker Centers in Union Organizing: An Update and Supplement.” Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America. 2017. Accessed April 5, 2018. https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/uscc_wfi_workercenterreport_2017.pdf ^
  11. SEIU 32BJ (Department of Labor file number 011-661), Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2013, Schedule 17 https://olms.dol-esa.gov/query/orgReport.do?rptId=592429&rptForm=LM2Form ^
  12. A 990: New York Communities Organizing Fund, Inc, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Part III, Lines 4a, 4b, 4c https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2018/272/332/2018-272332649-17127011-9.pdf ^
  13. A 990: New York Communities Organizing Fund, Inc, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Part III, Lines 4a, 4b, 4c https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2018/272/332/2018-272332649-17127011-9.pdf ^
  14. “When We Fight, We Win.” New York Communities Organizing Fund, Inc. NYCOFI. Accessed July 1, 2020. https://www.nycofi.org/issues. ^
  15. New York Communities Organizing Fund, Inc. Accessed July 1, 2020. https://www.nycofi.org/. ^
  16. Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Schedule I ^
  17. Center for Popular Democracy, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2015, Schedule I ^
  18. Ford Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2016, Part XV Line 3 ^
  19. Cultures of Resistance Network Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2018, Part XV Line 3 ^
  20. Douglas H. Phelps Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2014, Part XV Line 3 ^
  21. Data compiled from Annual Reports of Labor Organizations filed with the Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards. Queries conducted August 10, 2020. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 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
    2017 Dec Form 990 $1,153,129 $1,182,629 $441,355 $359,115 N $1,153,129 $0 $0 $24,378 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,206,853 $1,303,139 $631,735 $519,995 N $1,206,853 $0 $0 $20,038 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,280,477 $1,386,302 $405,411 $197,385 N $1,280,477 $0 $0 $9,570 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,124,884 $1,053,387 $529,789 $215,938 N $1,124,884 $0 $0 $77,476 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $593,607 $651,749 $253,290 $10,936 N $593,607 $0 $0 $80,943 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $625,344 $501,098 $341,542 $41,046 N $625,344 $0 $0 $78,316 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $447,315 $330,514 $271,047 $94,797 N $447,315 $0 $0 $24,340 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    New York Communities Organizing Fund

    1 METROTECH CTR N STE 11
    BROOKLYN, NY 11201-3875