Non-profit

Sixteen Thirty Fund

Website:

www.sixteenthirtyfund.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

26-4486735

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $21,258,592
Expenses: $19,660,860
Assets: $7,840,711

Formation:

2009

Type:

Funding and Fiscal Sponsorship Nonprofit

President:

Eric Kessler

Managed By:

Arabella Advisors

The Sixteen Thirty Fund (sometimes styled “1630 Fund”) is a left-of-center lobbying and advocacy organization founded in 2008.[1] Sixteen Thirty Fund often operates alongside its charitable “sister” nonprofit New Venture Fund, which provides similar funding and fiscal sponsorship services to center-left organizations. Both groups, along with the Hopewell Fund and Windward Fund,  are administered by Arabella Advisors, a Washington, D.C.-based philanthropy consulting firm that caters to left-leaning clients.

According to its founding documents, the Sixteen Thirty Fund was created with seed funding from Americans United for Change (AUFC), ACORN, USAction, the Sierra Club, and Working America. [2]

Both Sixteen Thirty Fund and New Venture Fund have been criticized as “dark money” organizations, serving as a way for left-leaning groups to anonymously funnel money toward various advocacy issues, such as attacking vulnerable Republicans or pushing state-level environmental restrictions. [3][4] The left-leaning Politico has called the Sixteen Thirty Fund a “massive ‘dark money’ network” responsible for “boost[ing] Democrats” in the 2018 midterm elections. [5] In its 2018 Form 990, New Venture Fund shows a $26.7 million grant to the Sixteen Thirty Fund for “capacity building.” [6] Sixteen Thirty Fund’s Form 990 of the same year, also shows zero employees, and notes in Schedule O that “New Venture Fund (NVF) is the paymaster for Sixteen Thirty Fund payroll. NVF pays the salary and immediately invoices Sixteen Thirty Fund, which reimburses the full amount.” [7]

The Sixteen Thirty Fund has also been characterized as one of the “key groups founded to resist Trump” by the left-leaning Atlantic. [8]

In 2015, the Fund provided millions in grants to 29 different organizations. That year, Sixteen Thirty Fund’s largest grant—exceeding $1.9 million—went to the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, the “educational” arm of the League of Conservation Voters, an organization activating and rallying environmentalists to political activism. [9]

Seed Capital from the Left

The Sixteen Thirty Fund is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. According to its original filings with the IRS (archived here), the group received $350,745 in seed capital in 2009 from five left-wing organizations, including the scandal-ridden ACORN, which collapsed in 2010. [10]

Americans United for Change (AUFC) has been characterized as a “dark money group” by the left-leaning Sunlight Foundation for its support of left-wingcauses and Democratic Party candidates. The group is headed by Brad Woodhouse, a controversial Democratic operative who also runs Protect Our Care, a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund. [11] AUFC is heavily funded by labor unions, including the AFL-CIO and AFSCME. [12]

ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is a now-defunct community organizing network that once had hundreds of affiliates nationwide. The group, which provided voter registration and mobilization efforts for left-wing causes beginning in the 1970s, disbanded in 2010 after declaring bankruptcy following a loss of federal funding. [13]

USAction was a center-left advocacy nonprofit created by activist Heather Booth in 1999 as a successor to the scandal-ridden consumer advocacy group Citizen Action, founded by Ralph Nader in the 1970s. USAction was a key player in the creation of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a major coalition of center-left groups formed in 2007 to help pass the Democratic Party’s healthcare overhaul bill (which later became Obamacare). [14] HCAN was later revived as a joint project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund and the New Venture Fund, which manages the HCAN Education Fund. [15] In 2016, USAction merged with a number of other left-wing groups to form People’s Action.

The Sierra Club is one of the oldest and most powerful environmentalist organizations in the country, known for funding many activist groups on the Left.

Working America is a center-left labor union characterized as the “community affiliate” of the AFL-CIO. The group was formed in 2003 and claims more than 3 million members, many of whom it encourages to canvass neighborhoods during elections in order to support left-wing and Democratic Party political candidates. [16]

Low-Profile Funding Activities

The Sixteen Thirty Fund keeps a low profile compared with comparable nonprofit organizations. The organization boasts a one-page website, no Facebook page and no Twitter account. The fund has received little news coverage in the past few years. What little press coverage to be found centered on the 2013 effort to recall Democratic sate legislators in Colorado over their votes on a controversial gun-control measure.

That year, Sixteen Thirty Fund donated $35,000 to a Colorado group founded to defended Democratic state Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) from a recall effort over her votes for more gun control in the state. [17] Giron lost the effort after only 44 percent voted to retain her. [18] During the same recall effort, Sixteen Thirty Fund donated another $35,000 to a group supporting Colorado state Sen. John Morse (D-Colorado Springs), who also supported stricter gun control. [19] Morse also lost the recall vote when 51 percent voted to oust him. [20]

In 2017, the Washington Free Beacon tied the Sixteen Thirty Fund to progressive efforts to hide big money fueling criticism of President Donald Trump’s nominees to several Cabinet-level posts. Targeted nominees included businessman Andy Puzder (who would later withdraw as nominee for Secretary of Labor) and Steven Mnuchin (later confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury). [21]

Another publication, Tax Analysts, noticed Sixteen Thirty Fund’s financial support for “Tax March” rallies planned to protest President Trump’s unwillingness to release his tax returns. It is unclear how much Sixteen Thirty Fund contributed to the march. [22]

“Dark Money” Funder

The Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that isn’t required by the IRS to disclose its donors, has been criticized by groups on the political Left and Right as a “dark money” funder.

In 2018, the left-leaning website Politico profiled the Sixteen Thirty Fund, noting that it spent “$141 million on more than 100 left-leaning causes during the [2018] midterm election”: [23]

Sixteen Thirty Fund played a role in the battle for the House of Representatives in 2018, a crucial contest for Democrats trying to seize back power after Trump’s rise. The election featured dozens of Democratic candidates who decried the influence of money in politics on the campaign trail.

Ballot Initiatives

On September 4, 2018, the Missouri-based Kansas City Star reported a $3 million donation from Sixteen Thirty Fund to Raise Up Missouri, a left-wing PAC seeking to raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour through a 2018 ballot initiative. Sixteen Thirty Fund also reportedly gave $500,000 to the PAC in 2017, and an additional $500,000 to it in May 2018. [24]

2018 Midterm Election

The Sixteen Thirty Fund spent approximately $740,000 in independent expenditures and electioneering communications during the 2018 midterm election.[25]

Sixteen Thirty Fund: 2018 Midterm Outside Spending
Sum:$740,091
Sixteen Thirty Fund ProjectAmountExpenditure Type
Demand Justice$317,696Electioneering Communications
Floridians for a Fair Shake$286,113Electioneering Communications
Floridians for a Fair Shake$7,537Independent Expenditure
SoCal Healthcare Coalition$120,149Electioneering Communications
SoCal Healthcare Coalition$5,875Independent Expenditure
Ohioans for Economic Opportunity$2,721Independent Expenditure

Lobbying for H.R. 1

In November 2019, the Sixteen Thirty Fund hired lobbyists Dana Singiser of Keefe Strategies and former chief of staff to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) Maura Keefe to lobby in favor of H.R. 1, an anti-dark money campaign finance and ethics reform bill (named the “For the People Act 2019”) that passed the House in March, 2019. [26] The bill aims to expand access to voting, create stronger ethics rules for public servants, and combat the influence of money in politics. [27]

Criticism

In November 2019, Politico released a report on the Sixteen Thirty Fund and their $114 million efforts in attacking Justice Brett Kavanaugh with Demand Justice and in helping Democratic candidates win elections in 2018. Politico highlighted how the spending was “fueled by massive anonymous donations” and explained that the donors can remain anonymous due to federal laws protecting “social welfare” groups. The report also mentioned Sixteen Thirty’s connections to Arabella Advisors and noted that Arabella was “founded by former Clinton administration appointee Eric Kessler.” [28]

A few days later, the Washington Post published an editorial about Politico’s report, decrying the ability of dark money groups to “push causes and issues before voters” without disclosing “what special interests might lurk behind” their ads and campaigns. After detailing what Politico learned about Sixteen Thirty’s spending and activities, the Post called on Congress to “change the law and force social welfare groups to identify their donors in full.” [29]

Leadership

Eric Kessler, a former Clinton administration environmental policy staffer who also serves as principal of liberal philanthropic and investment strategy firm Arabella Advisors, is president of Sixteen Thirty Fund. [30] He additionally serves as the board chair for the New Venture Fund. [31] More than 100 progressive organizations boast connections to Kessler and the New Venture Fund. [32]

Board of Directors

From 2016 to 2018, the Sixteen Thirty Fund board of directors consisted of Arabella Advisors principal Eric Kessler; Albright Stonebridge Group senior adviser Michael Madnik, who resigned from the board in July 2018; Democratic Party consultant and former Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign spokesman Douglas Hattaway; Arabella Advisors chief financial officer Wilbur Priester; Arabella Advisors general counsel Andrew Schulz; American Democracy Institute vice president Dara Freed; former Democratic PAC staffer Monica Dixon; Latino Victory Project president Cristobal Alex, who resigned from the board in February 2019; and Hill-Snowdon Foundation executive director Nathaniel Chioke Williams, who resigned from the board in December 2018. [33]

Key Staff

All of Sixteen Thirty Fund’s IRS Form 990 filings from 2009 to 2018 show zero employees. Instead, as stated in the organization’s 2017 Form 990, “New Venture Fund (NVF) is the paymaster for all managed organizations under Arabella for payroll[.] NVF pays the salary and immediately invoices Sixteen Thirty Fund, which pays the full amount back[.]” [34]

Funding

Financial Overview

The Sixteen Thirty Fund’s revenues grew 1,547 percent between 2009 and 2017.

Sixteen Thirty Fund: Financial Overview (2009-2018)
Grand Total:$277,801,314$191,036,108$140,753,352
Total RevenuesTotal ExpendituresGrants PaidNet Assets
2018$143,837,877$141,396,752$91,386,301$42,513,247
2017$79,559,836$2,441,125$13,336,144$39,872,122
2016$21,258,592$19,660,860$14,584,591$7,205,369
2015$5,617,209$8,660,897$6,768,578$5,607,637
2014$16,523,735$10,880,643$9,719,545$8,651,325
2013$5,269,965$2,721,133$1,322,500$3,008,233
2012$812,500$353,098$152,500$459,401
2011$93,600$93,600--
2010-$447,394$146,569-
2009$4,828,000$4,380,606$3,336,624$447,394

From 2017 to 2018, the Sixteen Thirty Fund’s revenues increased from $79.6 million to $143.8 million, an increase of 80.8 percent. [35]

From 2016 to 2017, the Sixteen Thirty Fund’s revenues increased from $21.3 million to $79.6 million, an increase of 274 percent. [36]

From 2015 to 2016, the Sixteen Thirty Fund’s revenues increased from $5.6 million to $21.3 million, an increase of 278 percent. [37]

Donors to Sixteen Thirty Fund

As a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, the Sixteen Thirty Fund isn’t required by the IRS to report its donors.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that the Sixteen Thirty Fund received $860,000 from four labor unions in 2015 and 2016, including the AFL-CIO and the National Education Association. [38]

Sixteen Thirty Fund also received over $4.5 million from the Atlantic Philanthropies, a Bermuda-based philanthropic enterprise that funded left-of-center organizations. [39] Other known funders of Sixteen Thirty include the Tides Foundation. [40]

In 2018, Politico identified a handful of liberal donors to the Fund: [41]

The group does disclose the amount of money of each donation, which shows several strikingly large contributions: One donor gave the group $51,705,000; a second gave $26,747,561 and a third gave $10,000,000. And The Hub Project disclosed three of its donors in 2017: Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, the union American Federation of Teachers and the Wyss Foundation, founded by businessman and environmentalist Hansjörg Wyss.

The second donor noted above is likely the New Venture Fund, since it shows a $26,747,561 grant to the Sixteen Thirty Fund for “capacity building.” [42]

Grants from Sixteen Thirty Fund

While the Sixteen Thirty Fund primarily provides incubation (or fiscal sponsorship) services, it also pays out millions of dollars in grants each year.

In 2018, the Sixteen Thirty Fund paid $91,386,301 in grants: [43]

Sixteen Thirty Fund Grantees (2018)Amount
America Votes27150000
League of Conservation Voters8000000
Nevadans for Secure elections6250000
Count MI Vote6000000
Raise up Missouri4241000
Save Our Neighborhoods3500000
Stop Deceptive Amendments3500000
Change Now Inc.2822500
Floridians for a Fair Democracy2650000
Coloradans for Fairness2500000
Coloradans to Stop Predatory Payday Loans2075000
Michigan Time to Come1760000
Fund for a Better Future Inc.1750000
Arkansas for a Fair Wage1346000
Environmental Defense Action Fund1000000
Forward Majority Action1000000
Good Jobs Colorado920000
State Engagement Fund787918
New Venture Fund778000
Alliance for Youth Action750000
Center for Popular Democracy701500
The Fairness Project697000
Justice Colorado600000
No Cuts to Care PAC600000
Coloradans Creating Opportunities545000
Center for American Progress500000
Ohio Safe and Healthy Communities Campaign500000
Our Colorado Values500000
Florida for All, Inc.480000
North Carolina Citizens for Protecting our Schools400000
Environment America357300
Progress North Carolina Action355000
Progress Now335688
Kansas Values Institute325000
Maine People's Alliance250713
Color of Change Education Fund250000
Michigan League or Responsible Voters250000
Promote the Vote250000
Progress Michigan240000
Network225000
Make North Carolina First223000
American Bridge 21st Century200000
The Arena200000
ProgressNow Colorado191700
One PA188000
Vote No on Amendment 1, Inc.150000
Common Cause125000
Plan Action Fund125000
Casa In Action100000
Raise up Massachusetts100000
Secure Democracy95000
Arizona Wins93300
People's Action Institute93062
Battle Born Progress90000
Green Tech Action Fund75000
Momsrising together75000
Stand Up for Ohio75000
State Innovation Exchange75000
Working People of Colorado75000
State Employers Association of North Carolina73700
Florida Alliance for Civic Engagement70000
NC Justice Center70000
The Hopewell Fund68112
Fair Maps Colorado68000
West Virginia Citizen Action Group55000
Chirlaction Fund50000
Colorado People's Action50000
Community Voices Heard Power Inc.50000
Faith in Public Life Action Fund50000
hiladelphia Unemployment Project50000
Kingdom Mission Society50000
National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund50000
Promise Arizona in Action50000
The Movement Cooperative46250
Alaska Conservation Voters43500
Citizen Action of New York40000
Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates Inc.40000
Run For Something Action Fund40000
The Arc of the United States40000
American Cancer Society30000
The Advocacy Fund27000
Ballot Initiative Strategy Center25000
Care in Action, Inc.25000
PICO Action Fund25000
Stand Up America PAC25000
Women's Foundation of California25000
Citizen Action Illinois20000
ProgressOhio.org Inc.20000
Colorado Fiscal Institute17750
Jannus Inc.17750
Montana udget and Policy Center17750
ACT Indiana, Inc.15000
Social Good Fund15000
We the People of Florida, Inc.15000
Women's March, Inc.15000
Black Youth Project 10012500
Chicago International Social Change Film Festival12500
Tides Center12500
Urban Affairs Coalition12500
The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Foundation12000
Citizen Action of New Jersey10500
Blue Institute Enterprises, Inc.10000
Collective Future10000
New Era Colorado Action Fund10000
Organize Now Inc.10000
Save the Children Action Network Inc.10000
Texas Organizing Project10000
Win Colorado10000
TakeAction Minnesota Education Fund9450
215 People's Alliance8500
Economic Policy Institute6000
40 Friends (We Care)5000
Action NC5000
Latino Victory Project5000
Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action5000
Pennsylvania Health Access Fund5000

In 2017, the Sixteen Thirty Fund paid $13,319,818 in grants: [44]

Sixteen Thirty Fund Grantees (2017)Amount
Sum$13,319,818
League of Conservation Voters$3,850,000
Partnership Project Action Fund$1,160,000
Environment America$1,100,000
Mainers for Health Care $800,000
Natural Resource Defense Council Action Fund$750,000
Raise Up Missouri$500,000
Michigan Time to Care$400,000
New Venture Fund $313,722
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network$310,846
Virginia New Majority $285,196
BlackPAC$225,463
Progress Now$221,500
New Jersey Working Families Alliance$215,000
Maine People's Alliance$215,000
Black Progressive Action Coalition$200,000
MoveOn.org Civiv Action$170,000
ColorOfChange.org$150,000
New Florida Majority $150,000
Organizing for Action$150,000
Black Leadership Organizing Collaborative $150,000
Raise Up Massachusetts $110,000
Center for American Progress Action Fund$110,000
Kingdom Mission Society$105,000
Fair Share$100,000
Our Revolution$100,000
National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund$100,000
Faith in Public Life Action Fund$98,000
Working Families Organization$90,000
California Calls Action Fund$75,000
Center for Gender and Racial Equity$75,000
Citizen Action of New York$65,000
Citizen Action of New Jersey$65,000
MomsRising Together$65,000
Mijente $50,000
America Votes$50,000
Advance North carolina Inc. $50,000
West Virginia Citizen Action Group$50,000
NEO Philanthropy Action$41,907
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action Fund$40,000
Promise Arizona in Action$40,000
Arizona Wins$30,196
Citizen Action of Wisconsin $30,000
Center for Community Change Action$28,000
Texas Organizing Project$25,000
Action NC$25,000
Citizen Action Illinois$25,000
Missouri Jobs With Justice Voter Action$25,000
Arkansas Community Organizations$25,000
TakeAction Minnesota $25,000
Rights and Democracy Project $25,000
Organize Now Inc. $25,000
Washington Community Action Network Education and Research Fund$25,000
Delawareans for Social and Economic Justice$25,000
Bread for the World$25,000
Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias and Ward PA$24,225
Arizonans for Fair Wage and Healthy Families$20,000
Missouri Impact Inc.$15,000
Pennsylvania Health Access Fund$15,000
Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Inc.$15,000
Tennessee Citizen Alliance$15,000
ProgressNow Education$15,000
South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce$10,500
Network$10,000
US Black Chambers Inc. $8,000
The Hopewell Fund$6,549
Battle Born Progress$5,714

In 2016, the Sixteen Thirty Fund paid $14,482,590 in grants: [45]

Sixteen Thirty Fund Grantees (2016)Amount
Sum$14,482,590
350.org Action Fund$100,000
Advance North Carolina Inc. $100,000
Alaska Conservation Voters $47,500
All Hands on Deck Nework Inc. $18,000
America Votes $400,000
Americans United for Change $98,860
Arizonans for Fair Wage and Healthy Families $190,000
Black Leadership Organizing Collaborative $100,000
Bus Federation Civic Fund$25,000
Business Council of Alabama $30,000
Center for American Progress Action Fund $12,5000
Center for Community Change Action $975,000
Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund $37,000
Center for Racial and Gender Equity $50,000
Citizen Action of Wisconsin Inc. $20,000
Civic Participation Action Fund $1,100,000
Colorado Families for a Fair Wage$22,4500
colorofchange.org$100,000
Community Organizations in Action$25,917
Democratic Governors Association$20,000
Emerge Wisconsin $35,000
Environement America$1,100,000
Environmental Advocates of New York$10,000
Environmental Defense Action Fund$1,500,000
Every Voice $990,000
Fight for the Future Education Fund$5,000
For Our Future Action Fund $600,000
Free Press Action Fund $20,000
Freeman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias and Ward PA$22,500
Freedom for all Americans $37,326
Greater Wisconsin Committee Inc. $207,750
House Majority PAC$25,000
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law $25,000
LCV Political Engagement Fund$50,000
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights$49,000
League of Conservation Voters$1,300,000
Living United for Change in Arizona $20,000
Maine People's Alliance$10,000
Majority Forward $500,000
Make North Carolina First $50,000
Media Matters Action Network$429,000
New Florida Majority Action Fund $100,000
New Futures Fund $25,000
New Venture Fund $379,964
NILC Immigrant Justice Fund$25,000
No On U$6,000
Ohio Organizing Campaign$50,000
One Wisconsin Now Inc. $14,000
Organize Now Inc. $116,900
Partnership Project Action Fund $1,120,000
People for the American Way$11,073
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsn Inc. $20,000
Progressive Agenda Committee $48,500
ProgressNow $15,000
Raise Up Washington$10,000
Represent.Us$150,000
Sierra Club$1,000,000
South Dakota for Responsible Lending$9,800
State Engagement Fund$250,000
US Global Leadership Campaign$25,000
Virginia New Majority$120,000
Voter Access Institute $50,000
We Are Wisconsin Inc. $14,000
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters$20,000
Wisconsin Progress$100,000
Woring Families Organization $20,000
Working Families Party National Independent Expenditure Committee$10,000

In 2015, the Sixteen Thirty Fund paid $6,279,578 in grants: [46]

Sixteen Thirty Fund Grantees (2015)Amount
Sum$6,279,578
350.org Action$75,000
Americans for Tax Fairness$100,000
Bread for the World$12,500
Center for Community Change (CCC) Action$610,000
Center for Rights in Action$50,000
Church World Service$12,500
Citizen Action of Wisconsin$14,000
Color of Change$40,000
Color of Change Education Fund$75,000
Demand Progress Action (fiscally sponsored by Sixteen Thirty Fund)$55,000
Earth Day Network$50,000
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)$675,000
Fair Share$550,000
Free Press Action Fund$125,000
Freedom for All Americans$75,000
League of Conservation Voters (LCV)$1,925,000
Louisiana Federation for Children PAC$70,000
New Progressive Network$13,000
Northwest Health Foundation$10,000
One Nation Forward$5,000
Pineros Campesinos Unidos Del$20,000
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin$14,000
Presente Action$20,000
Stand for Children$80,000
Sumofus$25,000
Partnership Project Action Fund$1,450,000
The Public Investigator$28,578
United Working Families$75,000
US Global Leadership Campaign$25,000

Consulting and Management Fees

Between 2009 and 2018, Sixteen Thirty Fund paid $39.3 million in contracting and management fees. [47]

Sixteen Thirty Fund Contractors
Sum$39,295,664
ContractorTotal (2009-2018)
SKDKnickerbocker$10,618,536
Arabella Advisors$7,122,923
Buying Time LLC$6,693,226
Targeted Platform Media$5,396,502
Blueprint Interactive$2,887,800
Ethica Media LLC$1,739,975
Revolution Messaging LLC$1,287,619
Block By Block Inc$527,950
K&L Gates$450,740
Precision Strategies$435,141
Democracy Alliance$400,000
Information Staffing Services$339,548
US Action$264,500
Freedman Consulting LLC$235,000
Arabella Philanthropic Investment$162,604
Community Organizations in Action$151,500
Americans for Democratic Action$132,500
Jochum Shore & Trossevin PC$126,000
Seligman Consulting$108,350
The Konkurrenz Group$108,000
The Atlas Project$107,250

In 2018, the Sixteen Thirty Fund paid its highest contractor, Targeted Platform Media, $5.4 million in consulting fees. Other major contractors paid that year include Arabella Advisors at $3.5 million; SKDKickerbocker at $3.3 million; Buying Time LLC at $3 million; and Blueprint Interactive at $2.9 million. [48]

In 2017, the Sixteen Thirty Fund paid its highest contractor, SKDKnickerbocker, $7.1 million in consulting fees. The other highest contractors for that year include Buying Time LLC, which received $3.7 million; Arabella Advisors, for $2.1 million; Ethica Media, for $1.7 million; and Revolution Messaging, for $1.3 million. [49]

In 2016, the Sixteen Thirty Fund paid $400,000 in consulting fees to the left-wing Democracy Alliance. [50] It also hired Arabella Advisors, which was paid $789,891 in consulting fees; SKDKnickerbocker for $268,944; Block By Block, Inc. for $527,950; and Precision Strategies for $435,141. [51]

Financial Documents

The Sixteen Thirty Fund’s Application for Recognition of Exemption (Form 1024) was filed with the IRS on August 31, 2009, and is available here.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund’s IRS Form 990 filings for 2016, 2017, and 2018 were obtained by the Capital Research Center and are available here:

The Sixteen Thirty Fund’s lobbying disclosure (LD-2) form is available here.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund’s IRS 1024 application for recognition of tax exempt status by the IRS is available here; the file also includes:

  • a description of Sixteen Thirty Fund’s charitable activities as a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, including a “public communications program,” limited lobbying activity, “organizational coalition building,” “community leadership development,” and “grassroots lobbying and non-partisan civic engagement”;
  • the nonprofit’s founding board of directors (Eric Kessler, Brian Kathman, and Molly McUsic), as well as their “qualifications”;
  • a list of the Fund’s initial grantees: Americans United for Change, USAction, Working America, ACORN, and the Sierra Club;
  • Sixteen Thirty Fund’s articles of incorporation filed with the District of Columbia on February 19, 2009;
  • the nonprofit’s bylaws; and
  • an administrative agreement between the Sixteen Thirty Fund and Arabella Advisors, authorizing the latter to provide paid management services to the former.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund received recognition of its tax exempt status from the IRS on August 31, 2009; the letter is available here.

References

  1. “Sixteen Thirty Fund.” Sixteen Thirty Fund. Accessed April 18, 2017. http://sixteenthirtyfund.org/. ^
  2. Form 1024 Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(a). Sixteen Thirty Fund. Archived here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/11/Sixteen-Thirty-Fund-Form-1024-Applicaton-for-Recognition-of-Exemption-Under-501a.pdf ^
  3. Markay, Lachan. “Over 100 Left-Wing Groups Sourced to DC Dark Money Outfit.” Washington Free Beacon. October 22, 2015. Accessed February 18, 2017. http://freebeacon.com/issues/over-100-left-wing-groups-sourced-to-d-c-dark-money-outfit/ ^
  4. Bland, Scott. “Liberal Secret-money Network Hammers House GOP.” Politico. July 29, 2018. Accessed January 08, 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/29/democrats-dark-money-midterms-house-745145. ^
  5. Scott Bland and Maggie Severns. “Documents reveal massive ‘dark-money’ group boosted Democrats in 2018.” Politico. November 19, 2019. Accessed November 21, 2019. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/19/dark-money-democrats-midterm-071725 ^
  6. See page 113 out of 146 of https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/11/New-Venture-Fund-2018-Form-990.pdf ^
  7. See page 59 out of 62 of https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/11/Sixteen-Thirty-Fund-2018-Form-990.pdf ^
  8. Daniel Pozen. “The Tax-Code Shift That’s Changing Liberal Activism.” The Atlantic. November 27, 2018. Accessed May 28, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/501c3-501c4-activists-and-tax-code/576364/ ^
  9. Sixteen Thirty Fund, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2015, Schedule I Part II ^
  10. Form 1024 Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(a). Sixteen Thirty Fund. Archived here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/11/Sixteen-Thirty-Fund-Form-1024-Applicaton-for-Recognition-of-Exemption-Under-501a.pdf ^
  11. Fenton, Jacob. “Liberal dark money group eyeing Iowa TV ads.” Sunlight Foundation. April 14, 2015. Accessed January 10, 2017. https://sunlightfoundation.com/2015/04/14/liberal-dark-money-group-eyeing-iowa-tv-ads/ ^
  12. See the AFL-CIO and AFSCME Department of Labor Annual Reports (Forms LM-2) from FY 2015. ^
  13. Hiram Lee. “Activist group ACORN collapses following witch-hunt.” World Socialist Web Site. March 25, 2010. Accessed November 26, 2019. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/03/acor-m25.html ^
  14. Pollack, Harold. “The Group that Got Health Care Reform Passed is Declaring Victory and Going Home.” The Washington Post. January 5, 2014. Accessed June 20, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/01/05/the-group-that-got-health-reform-passed-is-declaring-victory-and-going-home/?utm_term=.51d24ddda249. ^
  15. Hayden Ludwig. “Out of Darkness, Cash: Sixteen Thirty in Action.” Capital Research Center. April 17, 2019. Accessed November 26, 2019. https://capitalresearch.org/article/out-of-darkness-cash-part-3/ ^
  16. Eidelson, Josh. “On the Road With Working America.” The Nation. October 10, 2012. Accessed April 27, 2017. https://www.thenation.com/article/road-working-america/ ^
  17. Roper, Peter. “Outside money helps Giron.” Pueblo Chieftain. June 10, 2013. Accessed April 18, 2017. http://www.chieftain.com/news/local/outside-money-helps-giron/article_f4f2d9ce-ccd2-11e2-82a3-001a4bcf887a.html#user-comment-area. ^
  18. Bunch, Joey. “Angela Giron ousted in Colorado recall election, thanks supporters in Pueblo.” The Denver Post. April 28, 2016. Accessed April 18, 2017. http://www.denverpost.com/2013/09/10/angela-giron-ousted-in-colorado-recall-election-thanks-supporters-in-pueblo/. ^
  19. Gardner, Aaron . “Sen. Morse Claims to Fight Outside Interest Groups While Outside Interest Groups Fund Pro Morse Campaign.” Media Trackers. June 17, 2013. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://mediatrackers.org/colorado/2013/06/05/sen-morse-claims-to-fight-outside-interest-groups-while-outside-interest-groups-fund-pro-morse-campaign. ^
  20. Lee, Kurtis . “Sen. John Morse ousted in historic vote, vows to “continue to fight”.” The Denver Post. April 28, 2016. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.denverpost.com/2013/09/10/sen-john-morse-ousted-in-historic-vote-vows-to-continue-to-fight/. ^
  21. Markay, Lachlan . “Left-Wing Front Groups Make Anti-Trump Money Untraceable.” Washington Free Beacon. February 22, 2017. Accessed April 20, 2017. http://freebeacon.com/issues/left-wing-front-groups-make-anti-trump-money-untraceable/ . ^
  22. Gattoni-Celli, Luca. “National Tax March Planners Lean Left as April 15 Events Near.” Tax Analysts. April 11, 2017. Accessed April 19, 2017. http://www.taxanalysts.org/content/national-tax-march-planners-lean-left-april-15-events-near. ^
  23. Scott Bland and Maggie Severns. “Documents reveal massive ‘dark-money’ group boosted Democrats in 2018.” Politico. November 19, 2019. Accessed November 21, 2019. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/19/dark-money-democrats-midterm-071725 ^
  24. Hancock, Jason. “Dark Money Group Drops $3 Million into Missouri Minimum Wage Campaign.” Kansascity. September 4, 2018. Accessed September 06, 2018. https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article217783975.html. ^
  25. “Sixteen Thirty Fund Outside Spending Summary 2018.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed March 22, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/detail.php?cycle=2018&cmte=Sixteen%20Thirty%20Fund ^
  26. Meyer, Theodoric. “KGL Investment Adds Another Lobbying Firm.” POLITICO, November 20, 2019. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-influence/2019/11/20/kgl-investment-adds-another-lobbying-firm-782790. ^
  27. Sarbanes, and John P. “Text – H.R.1 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): For the People Act of 2019.” Congress.gov, March 14, 2019. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1/text. ^
  28. “Documents Reveal Massive ‘Dark-Money’ Group Boosted Democrats in 2018.” POLITICO. Accessed December 6, 2019. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/19/dark-money-democrats-midterm-071725. ^
  29. Board, Editorial. “Opinion | Big Campaign Donors Have Exploited a Loophole. Congress Must Change the Law.” The Washington Post. WP Company, November 22, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/big-campaign-donors-have-exploited-a-loophole-congress-must-change-the-law/2019/11/21/ab31cf3a-0bd6-11ea-bd9d-c628fd48b3a0_story.html. ^
  30. “Our People.” Arabella Advisors. Accessed April 20, 2017. https://www.arabellaadvisors.com/company/our-people/ ^
  31. “Board of Directors.” New Venture Fund. Accessed April 20, 2017. http://www.newventurefund.org/about-nvf/board-of-directors/. ^
  32. Markay, Lachlan. “Over 100 Left-Wing Groups Sourced to DC Dark Money Outfit.” Washington Free Beacon. October 22, 2015. Accessed April 20, 2017. http://freebeacon.com/issues/over-100-left-wing-groups-sourced-to-d-c-dark-money-outfit/. ^
  33. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990) (multiple). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2016, 2017, 2018. Part VII, Section A. ^
  34. See page 59 out of 62 of https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/11/Sixteen-Thirty-Fund-2018-Form-990.pdf ^
  35. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund.2017-2018. Part I, Line 12. ^
  36. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2016-2017. Part I, Line 12. ^
  37. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2015-2016. Part I, Line 12. ^
  38. Markay, Lachlan. “Left-Wing Front Groups Make Anti-Trump Money Untraceable.” Washington Free Beacon. February 22, 2017. Accessed April 20, 2017. http://freebeacon.com/issues/left-wing-front-groups-make-anti-trump-money-untraceable/ ^
  39. Maghami, Neil. “A Donor Can Stand Up: Battling over donor intent at the Atlantic Philanthropies.” Capital Research Center. April 13, 2015. Accessed April 20, 2017. https://capitalresearch.org/article/a-donor-can-stand-up-battling-over-donor-intent-at-the-atlantic-philanthropies/ ^
  40. Tides Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2014, Schedule I ^
  41. Scott Bland and Maggie Severns. “Documents reveal massive ‘dark-money’ group boosted Democrats in 2018.” Politico. November 19, 2019. Accessed November 21, 2019. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/19/dark-money-democrats-midterm-071725 ^
  42. See page 113 out of 146 of https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/11/New-Venture-Fund-2018-Form-990.pdf ^
  43. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2018. Schedule I, Part II (Grants) ^
  44. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2017. Schedule I, Part II (Grants) ^
  45. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2016. Schedule I, Part II (Grants) ^
  46. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2015. Schedule I, Part II (Grants) ^
  47. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund (2009 – 2018). Part VII, Section B (Independent Contractors). ^
  48. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2018. Schedule A, Part 1, Lines 12, 18, 22. ^
  49. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2017. Schedule A, Part 1, Lines 12, 18, 22. ^
  50. Sixteen Thirty Fund, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, 2016, Schedule B, Part VII, Section B. ^
  51. Sixteen Thirty Fund, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, 2016, Schedule B, Part VII, Section B. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Wilbur Priester
    Chief Financial Officer and Board Member
  2. Andrew Schulz
    General Counsel and Board Member
  3. Molly McUsic
    Former Treasurer
  4. Eric Kessler
    President and Board Member
  5. Cristobal Alex
    Former Board Member
  6. Michael Madnik
    Former Board Member
  7. Lee Bodner
    Former Project Manager (Arabella Advisors)
  8. Nick Hanauer
    Key Donor

Child Organizations

  1. All Above All Action Fund (AAAAF) (Non-profit)
  2. Allied Progress Action (Non-profit)
  3. Americans for Affordable Birth Control Action Fund (Non-profit)
  4. Arizonans United for Health Care (Non-profit)
  5. Black Civic Engagement Action Fund (Democracy Alliance) (Non-profit)
  6. Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform (Non-profit)
  7. Civic Action Fund (Non-profit)
  8. Colorado United for Families (Non-profit)
  9. Constitutional Responsibility Project (Non-profit)
  10. Defend American Democracy (Non-profit)
  11. Demand Justice (Non-profit)
  12. Climate Action Fund (Democracy Alliance) (Non-profit)
  13. Democracy Action Fund (Democracy Alliance) (Non-profit)
  14. Equity Forward Action (Equity Fwd Action) (Non-profit)
  15. Floridians for a Fair Shake (Non-profit)
  16. For Our Families (Non-profit)
  17. Health Care Facts (Non-profit)
  18. Health Care FAQs (Non-profit)
  19. Health Care Voter (Non-profit)
  20. Health Care Voters of Nevada (Non-profit)
  21. Health Care for America Now (HCAN) (Non-profit)
  22. Inclusive Economy Action Fund (Democracy Alliance) (Non-profit)
  23. Justice March (Non-profit)
  24. Kansans for Secure Elections (Non-profit)
  25. Keep Iowa Healthy (Non-profit)
  26. Abortion Access Force (Lady Parts Justice) (Non-profit)
  27. Latino Engagement Action Fund (Democracy Alliance) (Non-profit)
  28. Mainers Against Health Care Cuts (Non-profit)
  29. Make It Work Action (Non-profit)
  30. March for America (Non-profit)
  31. Media Democracy Action Fund (Non-profit)
  32. Michigan Families for Economic Prosperity (Non-profit)
  33. Michigan Families for Opportunity (Non-profit)
  34. Navigator Research (Non-profit)
  35. New American Majority Action Fund (Democracy Alliance) (Non-profit)
  36. New Jersey for a Better Future (Non-profit)
  37. North Carolinians for a Fair Economy (Non-profit)
  38. Not One Penny (Non-profit)
  39. Ohio Committee for Safe and Secure Elections (Non-profit)
  40. Ohioans for Economic Opportunity (Non-profit)
  41. Our Lives on the Line (Non-profit)
  42. PA Progress (Non-profit)
  43. Protect Our Care (Non-profit)
  44. Protect PA Voters (Non-profit)
  45. Protect The Investigation (Non-profit)
  46. Respect Workers, Respect Voters (Non-profit)
  47. Restore Trust Action (Non-profit)
  48. Secure Michigan Elections (Non-profit)
  49. SoCal Healthcare Coalition (Non-profit)
  50. Speak Out Central New York (Non-profit)
  51. State Engagement Initiative (Democracy Alliance) (Non-profit)
  52. Stop Payday Predators (Non-profit)
  53. Survey America Project (Non-profit)
  54. Tax March (Non-profit)
  55. Tax Plan Answers (Non-profit)
  56. The Love Vote (Non-profit)
  57. Western Values Project Action (Non-profit)
  58. Youth Engagement Action Fund (Democracy Alliance) (Non-profit)
  59. Youth Engagement Fund (Democracy Alliance) (Non-profit)

Donation Recipients

  1. 350 Action (Non-profit)
  2. A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) (Non-profit)
  3. Action NC (Non-profit)
  4. Advance Carolina (Non-profit)
  5. Advancement Project (Non-profit)
  6. Alaska Center (Non-profit)
  7. America Votes (Non-profit)
  8. American Wind Energy Association (Non-profit)
  9. Americans for Tax Fairness (Non-profit)
  10. Americans United for Change (AUFC) (Non-profit)
  11. Black Progressive Action Coalition (BPAC) (Political Party/527)
  12. Blueprint NC (Non-profit)
  13. Bread for the World (Non-profit)
  14. Bus Federation Civic Fund (Non-profit)
  15. Bus Project (Non-profit)
  16. California Calls (Non-profit)
  17. Center for American Progress (CAP) (Non-profit)
  18. Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP Action) (Non-profit)
  19. Center for Community Change (CCC) (Non-profit)
  20. Center for Community Change (CCC) Action (Non-profit)
  21. Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) (Non-profit)
  22. Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) Action Fund (Non-profit)
  23. Center for Rights in Action (Other Group)
  24. Church World Service (Non-profit)
  25. Citizen Action of Wisconsin (Non-profit)
  26. Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund (Non-profit)
  27. Civic Participation Action Fund (CPAF) (Non-profit)
  28. Color of Change (Non-profit)
  29. Colorofchange.org Education Fund (Non-profit)
  30. Demand Progress Action (DPA) (Non-profit)
  31. Democratic Governors Association (DGA) (Political Party/527)
  32. Earth Day Network (Non-profit)
  33. Environment America (Non-profit)
  34. Environment America Action Fund (Political Party/527)
  35. Environmental Defense Action Fund (Non-profit)
  36. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) (Non-profit)
  37. Every Voice (Non-profit)
  38. Every Voice Action (Non-profit)
  39. Fair Share (Non-profit)
  40. Fight for the Future (Non-profit)
  41. Fight for the Future Education Fund (Non-profit)
  42. Florida For All (Political Party/527)
  43. For Our Future Action Fund (Political Party/527)
  44. Free Press Action Fund (Non-profit)
  45. Freedom for All Americans (Non-profit)
  46. Greater Wisconsin Committee (Political Party/527)
  47. Higher Heights (Non-profit)
  48. Hopewell Fund (Non-profit)
  49. House Majority PAC (Political Party/527)
  50. Iowa Citizen Action Network (Non-profit)
  51. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Non-profit)
  52. Latino Victory Project (Non-profit)
  53. Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Non-profit)
  54. League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund (Political Party/527)
  55. Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR) (Non-profit)
  56. League of Conservation Voters (LCV) (Non-profit)
  57. Majority Forward (Non-profit)
  58. Media Matters Action Network (Non-profit)
  59. Mi Familia Vota (Non-profit)
  60. Mijente (Non-profit)
  61. MomsRising (Non-profit)
  62. MoveOn Civic Action (MoveOn.org) (Non-profit)
  63. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (Non-profit)
  64. National Action Network (NAN) (Non-profit)
  65. New Florida Majority (Non-profit)
  66. New Florida Majority Education Fund (Non-profit)
  67. New Futures Fund (Non-profit)
  68. New Venture Fund (NVF) (Non-profit)
  69. New Virginia Majority (Non-profit)
  70. NILC Immigrant Justice Fund (Non-profit)
  71. Ohio Organizing Collaborative (Non-profit)
  72. Organize Now Inc (Non-profit)
  73. Organizing for Action (OFA) (Non-profit)
  74. Our Revolution (Non-profit)
  75. Partnership Project (Non-profit)
  76. Partnership Project Action Fund (Non-profit)
  77. Patriot Majority USA (Non-profit)
  78. People for the American Way (PFAW) (Non-profit)
  79. PowerPAC (Non-profit)
  80. Presente.org (Presente ACTION) (Non-profit)
  81. Progressive Agenda Committee (Non-profit)
  82. ProgressNow (Non-profit)
  83. Represent.Us (Non-profit)
  84. Sierra Club (Non-profit)
  85. State Engagement Fund (Non-profit)
  86. State Voices (Non-profit)
  87. SumofUs (Non-profit)
  88. TakeAction Minnesota (Non-profit)
  89. Funders Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP) (Non-profit)
  90. U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US-PIRG) (Non-profit)
  91. UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza) Action Fund (Non-profit)
  92. Voters Not Politicians (VNP) (Non-profit)
  93. Wisconsin Voices (Non-profit)
  94. Women’s Foundation of California (Non-profit)
  95. Working Families Organization (WFO) (Non-profit)
  96. Working Families Party (WFP) (Political Party/527)
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 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
    2016 Dec Form 990 $21,258,592 $19,660,860 $7,840,711 $635,342 N $21,155,860 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Dec Form 990 $5,617,209 $8,660,897 $6,667,545 $1,059,908 N $5,577,209 $40,000 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $16,523,735 $10,880,643 $9,157,873 $506,548 N $16,523,735 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $5,269,965 $2,721,133 $3,158,689 $150,456 N $5,269,965 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $812,500 $353,098 $485,907 $26,506 N $812,500 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $93,600 $93,600 $0 $0 N $93,600 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Sixteen Thirty Fund

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    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-2656