Non-profit

Pershing Square Foundation

Website:

pershingsquarefoundation.org

Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

20-8068401

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $46,345,661
Expenses: $15,173,770
Assets: $94,392,710

Founder:

Bill Ackman

Pershing Square Foundation (PSF) is a nonprofit organization that funds for-profit organizations that provide social services and left-of-center advocacy organizations. [1] [2] PSF is the private foundation of Pershing Square Capital Management, both of which were founded by billionaire Bill Ackman. [3]

PSF invests in and provides grants to organizations that address social issues and advocate for liberal policy. [4] The majority of PSF’s assets belong to investments not classified as being for “charitable purposes” as determined by the IRS, such as low-income housing developments. [5]

Background

Pershing Square Foundation is a nonprofit donor-advised fund that was founded in 2006 by the billionaire Bill Ackman and his wife Karen. [6] [7] PSF is a grantmaking organization that funds left-of-center advocacy groups and for-profit organizations that provide social services. [8]

PSF describes its spending as impact investing. PSF trustee Bill Ackman states he prefers to invest in for-profit companies that provide social services, such as low-income housing developments, so that its philanthropy has a lasting impact. [9]

Finances

In 2020, Pershing Square Foundation received $12.4 million in contributions, all of which were from Bill Ackman. [10] [11] It also spent $30.6 million in contributions to other organizations and reported $35.3 million in total spending. [12]

Most of PSF’s spending goes towards for-profit organizations, which is not considered by the IRS to be for charitable purposes. In 2020, PSF reported having $241.8 million worth of assets that are not to be used for charitable purposes. [13] From its for-profit assets, PSF made an $11.9 million return on its investments. [14]

In 2021, it was announced Ackman arranged to give $1.3 billion worth of stock to the foundation. [15] Based on U.S. tax law, it has been argued that Ackman donates his stock to PSF and has it as a donor-advised fund as opposed to a private foundation for increased tax benefit. By doing so, it has been estimated to reduce Ackman’s taxable income by up to 20%. [16]

In 2020, PSF gave $6.25 million to the New Venture Fund, a left-of-center nonprofit organization that acts as a pass-through organization, donating to left-of-center and environmentalist groups without disclosing the original donors. [17] [18]

Bill Ackman

Bill Ackman is a trustee of Pershing Square Foundation and portfolio manager of Pershing Square Capital Management since 2003. Before creating Pershing Square Capital Management, Ackman co-founded Gotham Partners Management, an investment firm that managed hedge fund portfolios. [19] Historically, Ackman has predominantly donated to Democratic campaigns, has supported left-progressive social programs, and donated to liberal advocacy groups. [20] [21]

References

  1. Shazar, Jon. “Bill Ackman Invests in The American Dream, Which in Turn Pays for His Dreams.” Dealbreaker. Dealbreaker, December 8, 2020. https://dealbreaker.com/2020/12/ackman-invests-in-turner-impact. ^
  2. Staff, IP. “The inside Philanthropy Power List.” Inside Philanthropy. Inside Philanthropy, August 12, 2021. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2021/7/21/the-inside-philanthropy-power-list. ^
  3. “William Ackman.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine. Accessed October 8, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/profile/william-ackman/?sh=7744ce2f298d. ^
  4. “Be Creative with the Toolkit.” Pershing Square Foundation, February 22, 2018. https://pershingsquarefoundation.org/lessons-learned/be-creative-with-the-toolkit/. ^
  5. Shazar, Jon. “Bill Ackman Invests in The American Dream, Which in Turn Pays for His Dreams.” Dealbreaker. Dealbreaker, December 8, 2020. https://dealbreaker.com/2020/12/ackman-invests-in-turner-impact. ^
  6. “A Better Gala-Here’s How Pershing Square Marked a Key Milestone.” Philanthropy New York, June 19, 2017. https://philanthropynewyork.org/news/better-gala-heres-how-pershing-square-marked-key-milestone. ^
  7. Ackman, Bill. Twitter. March 15, 2021. https://twitter.com/BillAckman/status/1371460410130436099?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1371460410130436099%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ffinance.yahoo.com%2Fnews%2Fbill-ackman-donates-billion-worth-of-coupang-stock-to-charity-145442387.html ^
  8. “About Us.” Pershing Square Foundation, May 21, 2021. https://pershingsquarefoundation.org/about-us/. ^
  9. Shazar, Jon. “Bill Ackman Invests in The American Dream, Which in Turn Pays for His Dreams.” Dealbreaker. Dealbreaker, December 8, 2020. https://dealbreaker.com/2020/12/ackman-invests-in-turner-impact. ^
  10. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Pershing Square Foundation. 2020. Part I, Line 1. ^
  11. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Pershing Square Foundation. 2020. Part B. ^
  12. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Pershing Square Foundation. 2020. Part I, Lines 25-26. ^
  13. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Pershing Square Foundation. 2020. Part X, line 1d. ^
  14. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Pershing Square Foundation. 2020. Part X, line 6. ^
  15. Staff, IP. “The inside Philanthropy Power List.” Inside Philanthropy. Inside Philanthropy, August 12, 2021. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2021/7/21/the-inside-philanthropy-power-list. ^
  16. Ashworth, Will. “By Donating CPNG Stock to His Foundation, Bill Ackman Wins Twice.” InvestorPlace, March 21, 2021. https://investorplace.com/2021/03/cpng-stock-donated-to-ackman-foundation/. ^
  17. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Pershing Square Foundation. 2020.Part XV. ^
  18. Markay, Lachan. “Over 100 Left-Wing Groups Sourced to DC Dark Money Outfit.” Washington Free Beacon. October 22, 2015. Accessed September 27, 2021. http://freebeacon.com/issues/over-100-left-wing-groups-sourced-to-d-c-dark-money-outfit/ ^
  19. “William A. Ackman.” Pershing Square Foundation, May 12, 2021. https://pershingsquarefoundation.org/people/william-a-ackman-2/. ^
  20. “Search Opensecrets.org.” OpenSecrets. Accessed September 27, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?q=bill%2Backman&type=donors. ^
  21. Staff, IP. “The inside Philanthropy Power List.” Inside Philanthropy. Inside Philanthropy, August 12, 2021. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2021/7/21/the-inside-philanthropy-power-list. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: September - August
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 2009

  • 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
    2019 Sep Form PF $46,345,661 $15,173,770 $94,392,710 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Sep Form PF $78,115,346 $34,325,122 $78,523,048 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Sep Form PF $32,992,967 $34,992,075 $34,732,021 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Sep Form PF $10,002,234 $32,498,127 $36,731,129 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Sep Form PF $10,091,304 $21,042,263 $59,227,022 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Sep Form PF $59,002,678 $25,477,893 $70,177,981 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Pershing Square Foundation

    C/O EISNERAMPER LLP 733 THIRD AVE
    NEW YORK, NY 10017-0000