Non-profit

Oxfam America Advocacy Fund

Website:

www.oaaf.org

Location:

BOSTON, MA

Tax ID:

20-1971032

DUNS Number:

23-706-9110

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $383,930
Expenses: $339,905
Assets: $1,189,329

Formation:

2006

President:

Abby Maxman

Also see Oxfam America (Non-profit)

Oxfam America Action Fund (Oxfam Action) is the lobbying and political advocacy arm of Oxfam America, which pushes for more stringent environmental regulations, increased foreign aid and higher taxes, among other issues.[1] It ramped up some of those efforts after President Donald Trump took office in 2017, criticizing his administration’s relatively hostile stance to the refugee resettlement program.[2]

Critics have argued Oxfam Action reports are misleading and some of the group’s arguments are unfounded. [3]

Controversial Activities

“Heroes for Hope” Controversy

In 1985, Marvel Comics published the comic book Heroes for Hope to raise money for East African famine relief, and initially intended to give the proceeds to Oxfam America. However, Oxfam America demanded to review the book before accepting the donation and rejected the publication, saying the book “was unbelievably offensive and that we, the people of Marvel Comics, were racist, sexist, and reprehensible,” former Marvel Comics senior editor Jim Shooter wrote on his blog.[4]

A representative of Oxfam America visited Marvel Comics, Shooter wrote, and urged the company not to publish the comic, and bragged about how Oxfam American and other charitable groups were helping to spotlight the famine in Africa. “This Oxfam America fellow, let’s call him Midas, just plain gushed about how good for business the East African famine was, how donations were rolling in at record levels. He talked about the millions dying as if it were a great marketing opportunity,” Shooter wrote. Marvel Comics eventually donated more than $500,000 to the Quaker-affiliated American Friends Service Committee from the proceeds of the comic book.[5]

Inequality Reports

Oxfam releases annual reports condemning international wealth inequality. Critics have found serious methodological problems with these reports, making them highly misleading. Money, for example, said Oxfam’s metric wasn’t a very “instructive way to view global inequality,” largely because Americans who spend a lot rank below those in other countries who don’t earn much. The publication pointed out that the U.S. has more residents in the bottom 10 percent than China does, due in part to the negative household savings rate of 2 percent for American adults under the age of 35. [6]

Further illustrating that point, Fraser Nelson noted in The Spectator the annual poverty report would rank a penniless Chinese peasant above a just-graduated Harvard law student. Nelson argued the truth that global capitalism is lifting people out of poverty at the fastest rate in human history didn’t fit Oxfam’s anti-capitalist agenda so it focused on the richest people and tax havens instead. [7]

Criticism of the Trump Administration

Oxfam was among the most vocal critics of President Trump in the wake of his response to the extensive damage in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico after it was hit by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The group dubbed the American government’s response to its island territory’s plight as “slow and inadequate.”[8]

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, the military officer named to oversee the hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, pushed back against the criticism of the administration. He said the U.S. military worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the governor of Puerto Rico to assess the needs. “This is not a dictatorship. We’ve got great teamwork going on with them. When they say they need more help with distribution, we’re able to respond and make it happen.”[9]

People

Kitt Sawitsky, who serves as a member of the Oxfam America board of directors, is the chairman of the board for the Oxfam America Action Fund. Sawitsky practices general corporate and business law, and his firm Goulston & Storrs does pro bono work for Oxfam America. [10]

Abby Maxman serves as president of Oxfam America. She previously served as deputy secretary general and other positions with CARE International in Geneva. Maxman also worked stints with the U.S. Peace Corps, U.N. World Food Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. [11]

As Oxfam America Action Fund fights for income equality, it pays four members of its staff in the six figures, and then-director Raymond C. Offenheiser earned a total compensation package of $502,935 in 2015. Others on the five-figure list include then- president Stephanie O. Kurzina with $299,556, assistant treasurer Mark Kripp with $263,776 and assistant clerk Maura Policelli with $179,100. [12]

Funding

Oxfam America Action Fund’s IRS Form 990 for 2016 shows revenue of $430,997 and expenses of $368,303. [13]

Those expenses included $36,051 spent on lobbying and advocacy on food aid reform and the Global Food Security Act, as well as $82,323 for “constituency building.” Online supporters were engaged on Oxfam issues that included such topics as support for Syrian refugees and asking that Congress support President Barack Obama’s request of $500 million for the Green Climate Fund. [14]

Oxfam reported giving grants of $4,000 to the American Values Network and $3,780 to the Foods Resource Bank. [15]

References

  1. Oxfam America Action Fund: Who We Are. Accessed October 3, 2017. https://www.oaaf.org/who-we-are/ ^
  2. Oxfam America Action Fund: Our Work. Accessed October 4, 2017. https://www.oaaf.org/work/ ^
  3. Giles, Chris. “Three reasons to questions Oxfam’s inequality figures.” Financial Times. January 18, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2017. https://www.ft.com/content/bc09a15d-d04d-3f15-9b61-8bad80392947 ^
  4. Shooter, Jim. “Heroes for Hope and Why I Don’t Like Oxfam America.” Jimshooter.com. September 13, 2011. Accessed October 18, 2017. ^
  5. Shooter, Jim. “Heroes for Hope and Why I Don’t Like Oxfam America.” Jimshooter.com. September 13, 2011. Accessed October 18, 2017. ^
  6. Davidson, Jacob. “Yes, Oxfam, the Richest 1% Have Most of the Wealth. But That Means Less Than You Think.” Money. January 21, 2015. Accessed October 3, 2017. http://time.com/money/3675142/oxfam-richest-1-wealth-flawed/ ^
  7. Nelson, Fraser. “What Oxfam won’t tell you about capitalism and poverty.” The Spectator. January 16, 2017. Accessed October 3, 2017. https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/01/oxfam-wont-tell-capitalism-poverty/ ^
  8. Staff. “International aid organization Oxfam slams the Trump administration’s ‘inadequate’ Puerto Rico hurricane response.” The Week. October 3, 2017. Accessed October 3, 2017. http://theweek.com/speedreads/728515/international-aid-organization-oxfam-slams-trump-administrations-inadequate-puerto-rico-hurricane-response ^
  9. Shinkman, Paul D. “General in Charge of Puerto Rico Response Pushes Back on Criticism of Trump.” U.S. News & World Report. September 29, 2017. Accessed October 3, 2017. https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-09-29/lt-gen-jeffrey-buchanan-pushes-back-on-criticism-of-trumps-puerto-rico-response ^
  10. Oxfam America Action Fund: Who We Are. Accessed October 3, 2017. https://www.oaaf.org/who-we-are/ ^
  11. Oxfam America: Abby Maxman profile. Accessed October 4, 2017. https://www.oxfamamerica.org/people/abby-maxman/ ^
  12. Oxfam America, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part VII, Section A . Accessed October 19, 2017. ^
  13. Oxfam America, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part I. Accessed October 19, 2017. ^
  14. Oxfam America, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part III, Line 4c . Accessed October 19, 2017. ^
  15. Oxfam America, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Schedule I, Part II. Accessed October 19, 2017. ^

Associated Organizations

  1. Oxfam America (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: March - February
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 2006

  • 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 Mar Form 990 $383,930 $339,905 $1,189,329 $158,603 N $383,269 $0 $661 $7,112
    2016 Mar Form 990 $430,997 $368,303 $1,084,894 $98,193 N $430,158 $0 $839 $2,264 PDF
    2015 Mar Form 990 $459,521 $475,500 $1,038,534 $114,527 N $458,674 $0 $847 $1,356 PDF
    2014 Mar Form 990 $476,141 $427,671 $1,026,170 $86,184 N $475,321 $0 $820 $1,853 PDF
    2013 Mar Form 990 $468,374 $505,939 $1,035,082 $143,566 N $467,214 $0 $704 $1,804 PDF
    2012 Mar Form 990 $206,936 $309,542 $1,055,553 $126,472 N $206,741 $0 $195 $2,024 PDF
    2011 Oct Form 990 $457,202 $415,968 $1,096,467 $64,780 N $455,786 $0 $1,416 $6,122 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Oxfam America Advocacy Fund

    226 CAUSEWAY STREET 5TH FLOOR
    BOSTON, MA 02114-2206