The Niskanen Center For Public Policy is the lobbying arm of the right-leaning Niskanen Center, an environmentalist think tank created in 2016.
According to its 2017 IRS filing (Form 990), the Niskanen Center for Public Policy reported three unpaid board members, all of whom are listed as officers of the organization. 1
Joseph Coon is the interim president of the Niskanen Center for Public Policy.
Alan Dye is board treasurer of the Niskanen Center for Public Policy.
In 2017, the Niskanen Center for Public Policy reported $610,000 in total revenues, $25,667 in expenditures, and $584,333 in net assets. 3 In 2018, its “sister” nonprofit, the Niskanen Center, transferred $1,011,752 to the advocacy group. 4
According to a 2019 donation history document and a 2022 donation history on Niskanen Center’s website, the Center for Public Policy reported grants from funding groups on the political Left for advocacy: 5 6
- Open Society Foundations: $500,000 in 2017 for “Immigration and Foreign Policy Departments advocacy”
- Open Society Policy Center: $75,000 in 2021 for “strategic constituency building for refugee resettlement and refugee protection”
- Democracy Fund Voice: $50,000 in 2021 for “Open Society Project”
- Democracy Fund Voice: $175,000 in 2018 for “Open Society Project advocacy” (confirmed) 7
- Sall Family Foundation: $200,000 in 2018 for “Climate policy advocacy”
- Sall Family Foundation: $200,000 in 2021 for “climate policy carbon tax project”
- FWD.US: $125,000 in 2021 for “permanent solution to DACA recipients project”
In 2017, the Sustainable Markets Foundation granted $54,000 to the Niskanen Center for Public Policy for “climate change.” 9 The Sustainable Markets Foundation provides administrative support and grants to far-left environmentalist groups, including 350.org and Frack Action, and is itself funded by left-wing foundations including the Rockefeller Family Fund, Tides Foundation, and TomKat Charitable Trust. 10 The group has been accused of being a “dark money” organization by the center-right Washington Free Beacon; in 2019, it was discovered that the Sustainable Markets Foundation had paidan LLC, Our Next Economy, in independent contractor fees reportedly to support the Climate Investigations Center (CIC), a center-left environmental journalism group, instead of using grants. 11 12
Niskanen Center for Public Policy’s tax-exempt determination later from the IRS is available here.
Niskanen Center for Public Policy’s IRS Form 990 filings for 2017 and 2018 are archived here:
- Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Niskanen Center for Public Policy. 2017. Available: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/05/Niskanen-Center-for-Public-Policy-2017-Form-990.pdf
- Lippman, Daniel. “Think Tank President Quits after Domestic Violence Complaint.” POLITICO. POLITICO, September 29, 2021. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/29/think-tank-president-quits-domestic-violence-514601.
- Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Niskanen Center for Public Policy. 2017. Schedule A, Part I. Lines 12, 18, 22. Available: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/05/Niskanen-Center-for-Public-Policy-2017-Form-990.pdf
- Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Niskanen Center. 2018. Schedule R. Part V (Transactions With Related Organizations). Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/05/Niskanen-Center-2018-Form-990.pdf
- “Niskanen Center for Public Policy: Donation History.” Niskanen Center. Accessed May 6, 2019. Original URL: https://niskanencenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Niskanen-Center-donation-history-March-2019-3.pdf. Available here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/05/Niskanen-Center-2019-Donations.pdf
- Niskanen Center Contributors, 2022. Accessed April 7, 2022. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2022/04/niskanen-center-donors-2021.pdf
- Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Democracy Fund Voice. 2018. Schedule I. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/05/Democracy-Fund-Voice-2018-Form-990.pdf.
- Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Environmental Defense Action Fund. 2015. Schedule I, Part II (Grants…).
- Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sustainable Markets Foundation. 2017. Schedule I. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/05/Sustainable-Markets-Foundation-2017-Form-990.pdf
- Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sustainable Markets Foundation. 2015. Schedule I.
- Todd Shepherd. “Climate Change Reporting Website Obscures Its Funding With Dark Money Network.” Washington Free Beacon. October 12, 2019. December 6, 2019. https://freebeacon.com/issues/climate-change-reporting-website-obscures-its-funding-with-dark-money-network/
- Spencer Walrath. “CLIMATE INVESTIGATIONS CENTER UTILIZES DARK MONEY NETWORK TO OBSCURE ITS FUNDERS.” Energy In Depth. October 14, 2019. Accessed December 6, 2019. https://eidclimate.org/climate-investigations-center-utilizes-dark-money-network-to-obscure-its-funders/