New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) Fund

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Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2021):

Revenue: $4,576,431
Expenses: $3,252,047
Assets: $2,603,679


Public Interest Research Group




Blair Horner

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New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) Fund is one of many public interest research groups (PIRGs) originally founded by Ralph Nader and Donald Ross in the 1970s as a way to use left-of-center student groups as a hub for research and lobbying efforts towards policy change. 1 Many PIRGs use mandatory student fees to fund their efforts, which are in turn used to pay for professional lobbyists to push legislation for which student members advocate. 2

NYPIRG is a student-directed statewide political-advocacy nonprofit, operating largely on college campuses, whereas NYPIRG Fund is the public-outreach and education sister organization. NYPIRG Fund operates on similar issues as the student-led NYPIRG, but outside of college campuses and often more directly on public policy.


Public Bank and the Green New Deal

Efforts towards establishing a public banking system have been organized by NYPIRG Fund in cooperation with New Economy Project and the Public Bank NYC Coalition. Activists have called a government-run public bank “the one strategy that could finance the whole Green New Deal” agenda, and it could also fund other left-wing issues such as affordable housing and “cooperatively-owned businesses.” 3

Climate Change Super Fund

NYPIRG has worked with lawmakers and progressive groups to advocate for New York’s “Climate Change Super Fund.” 4 The bill is an effort to financially punish companies for their use of conventional fuels, and then use those funds to pay for “infrastructure adaptation projects” towards weather-dependent energy sources such as solar and wind power. 5 The bill would also require companies to pay for damages from natural disasters, even past events, such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012. NYPIRG director Horner has said, “they have the money… they should pay.” 6

Opposition to Nuclear Energy

NYPIRG has opposed using carbon-free nuclear energy, writing that “nuclear plants should be replaced” by more “investing in solar and wind power” in a press release with the “Stop the Cuomo Tax” campaign. 7 Environmental Policy Director for NYPIRG celebrated the “tremendous victory” of the closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, stating that “nuclear was wrong forty years ago, and it is wrong today.” 8

Government Accountability

NYPIRG has sought a New York State constitutional amendment for an independent ethics commission, even after judges struck down milder efforts at a state ethics panel, for concerns that the panel was creating a fourth branch of government unaccountable to voters. 9


Working with other student organizations such as the American Medical Student Association and the American Red Cross, NYPIRG campaigns abortion issues and organizes marches to promote liberal abortion legislation. One such rally was led by Planned Parenthood Generation Action and held at Binghamton University. 10

Public Health

The organization advocates for greater spending on public health issues, such as tobacco use prevention education. In February of 2023 they released a report criticizing the city of New York for flatlined spending (based on inflation rates) towards lowering tobacco usage. 11

Higher Education

Working with New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the New York state-level teachers union federation, NYPIRG has pushed for a “New Deal for Higher Education.” It proposed free or more affordable college tuition, billions in expanded spending for the SUNY and CUNY public university systems, expanding financial aid, and lowering interest rates for student loans. 12


NYPIRG works on mass transit issues, such as pushing for lower fares and expanded bus routes, as well as repairs to subway lines. 13


Donald K Ross was the founding and longtime director of NYPIRG. He passed away in 2022 and was largely credited with initially proposing the public interest research group model to Ralph Nader in the 1970s. 14


  1. “Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) .” Pollution A to Z. . 16, 2023).
  2. “UMass Lowell Students Weigh in on MassPIRG Opt-out Fee.” The Connector, March 26, 2019.
  3. Anzilotti, Eillie. “The one strategy that could finance the whole Green New Deal.”Fast Company, June 26, 2019.
  4. “Help Fight Climate Change.” NYPIRG. Accessed November 27, 2023.
  5. Simões, Mariana. “New York Considers First-in-the-Nation Bill to Charge Fossil Fuel Companies for Climate Change Destruction.” City Limits, March 27, 2023.
  6. Justin, Raga. “Dems back climate bills, including ‘Superfund’ to make oil companies foot the bill.” Times Union, January 20, 2023.
  7. “Emphasizing the Massive Cost of Cuomo’s Nuke Bailout to Energy Consumers, Albany Advocates Urge State Legislature to Block His Plans & Take His Own Advice on Indian Point: Close Upstate Nuke Plants Too.”
  8. “NYPIRG Statement on the Closure of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.” NYPIRG, April 30, 2021.
  9. DeWitt, Karen. “Judge strikes down New York state ethics panel.” WXXI News, September 11, 2023.
  10. Gottiparthy, Divya. “Reproductive rights advocates march BU Brain.” Pipe Dream, October 10, 2022.
  11. Reisman, Nick. “Report finds New York’s anti-tobacco efforts have lagged.” Spectrum 1 News, February 28, 2023.
  12. “NYSUT activists rally for New Deal for Higher Education, with broad support from voters.” NYSUT Media Relations, March 9, 2023.
  13. “Mass Transit.” NYPIRG Fund, accessed November 27, 2023.
  14. Roberts, Sam. “Donald K. Ross, Leading Public Interest Lawyer, Dies at 78.” New York Times, May 19, 2022.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Jay Halfon
    Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: August - July
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1977

  • 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
    2021 Aug Form 990 $4,576,431 $3,252,047 $2,603,679 $591,436 Y $4,297,338 $4,769 $25,042 $196,814
    2020 Aug Form 990 $2,769,371 $3,508,464 $1,537,087 $849,228 Y $2,465,624 $10,190 $25,244 $178,047 PDF
    2019 Aug Form 990 $4,746,822 $4,707,292 $1,617,561 $190,609 Y $4,462,427 $15,899 $34,291 $185,580 PDF
    2018 Aug Form 990 $4,492,628 $4,237,315 $1,550,386 $162,964 Y $4,260,065 $14,471 $29,100 $175,075 PDF
    2017 Aug Form 990 $4,943,603 $4,153,765 $1,431,255 $299,146 Y $4,727,940 $40,147 $24,383 $148,896 PDF
    2016 Aug Form 990 $3,359,593 $3,066,720 $623,214 $274,622 Y $3,071,926 $167,473 $0 $154,850 PDF
    2015 Aug Form 990 $3,180,340 $3,163,134 $648,233 $235,306 Y $2,910,717 $93,250 $0 $144,212 PDF
    2014 Aug Form 990 $3,574,600 $3,709,046 $685,393 $289,672 Y $3,274,928 $79,136 $0 $168,664 PDF
    2013 Aug Form 990 $3,155,262 $5,677,555 $807,290 $277,123 Y $2,854,492 $81,246 $6,208 $142,387 PDF
    2012 Aug Form 990 $13,673,153 $10,663,419 $3,229,696 $177,236 Y $13,411,222 $22,525 $65,000 $109,855 PDF
    2011 Aug Form 990 $3,728,121 $3,565,598 $749,513 $706,787 Y $3,476,168 $17,904 $21 $103,210 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) Fund

    NEW YORK, NY 10007-2223