Non-profit

The Carter Center

Website:

www.cartercenter.org/

Location:

Atlanta, GA

Tax ID:

58-1454716

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $127,990,176
Expenses: $117,825,297
Assets: $850,445,027

Type:

Election Watchdog

Founded:

1982

Executive Director:

Paige Alexander

The Carter Center, founded by former U.S. President James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, promotes democratic institutions, global development, and serves as an election observer around the world. It has worked as a watchdog for 113 elections in 39 countries through its “Democracy Program,” and announced in August 2020 that it would work to “try to improve elections” in the United States, claiming that elections are suffering from issues including “lack of confidence in elections” and “persistent racial injustice.” [1] [2]

The Carter Center receives grants from left-leaning private grantmaking foundations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. [3] [4] [5] [6]

Background

The Carter Center is a left-of-center non-profit organization founded in 1982 by Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, and his wife Rosalynn in partnership with Emory University. The organization focuses on providing left-of-center solutions to various issues in countries across the world. [7]

The Carter Center has worked as a watchdog for 113 elections in 39 countries through its “Democracy Program.” It has monitored elections in Africa, Latin America, and Asia since 1989. The organization also worked with the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division and the National Democratic Institute in helping to draft the Declaration of Principles for International Observation, which created guidelines for election observation. [8]

The organization announced in August 2020 that it would work to “try to improve elections” in the United States, claiming that elections integrity is suffering from “lack of confidence in elections” and “persistent racial injustice.” [9]

Finances

The Carter Center receives contributions and grants from private grantmaking foundations and a substantial amount of money from government grants.

The organization’s total revenue in 2018 was just over $130 million. Of that amount, approximately $98.5 million came in the form of contributions and grants, just under $30 million in the form of government grants, and around $66 million from other contributions. The organization also made around $31 million from investment income. Its total expenses amounted to $120 million, of which just under $39 million was used to pay for salaries, wages, and other employee benefits. Only $7 million was used to pay for outgoing grants. [10]

The Carter Center’s total revenue in 2019 was just over $127 million, $33 million of which came from investment income and just over $94 million from contributions and grants. Of the contributions and grants, the Carter Center received around $31 million in government grants and just under $60 million in other contributions. The Carter Center’s total expenses for 2019 amounted to slightly less than $118 million, $41 million of which was used to pay for salaries, wages, and other employee benefits. The organization spent just under $13 million on grants. [11]

The organization had a total revenue amount of $130 million in 2020, $95.5 million of which came in the form of grants and contributions, and $34 million from investment income. Of the grants and contributions, just under $29 million was from the government and $65 million from other contributions. Its total expenses amounted to just under $110 million, around $45.5 million of which was spent on salaries, wages, and employee benefits. The organization’s total spending on grantmaking amounted to just over $9 million. [12]

The Carter Center, as of 2020, had assets that were worth a total of $945.6 million. [13]

Funders

The majority of The Carter Center’s revenue comes from grants made by left-of-center private foundations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Gates Foundation

The Gates Foundation has provided the Carter Center with approximately $260 million via 15 grants between August 2000 and March 2022. Nearly all the grants were labeled under the grant division “global health,” and for the grant topic “neglected tropical diseases.” The largest grant was for just over $74 million. The most recent grant made by the foundation was for $45 million in March 2022. [14]

MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (also known as the MacArthur Foundation) granted a total of $7,580,000 between 1987 and 2017 to the Carter Center. Grants made by the foundation include $900,000 in 1993 for the operation of a “mental health task force,” $900,000 in 1997 to “support human rights activities,” and $475,000 in 2000 to support “conflict resolution activities in Sudan and Ecuador.” [15]

The MacArthur Foundation also made a grant of $250,000 in 2015 to “strengthen American democracy” by supporting the Carter Center in creating a “project to develop a system for election observation in the U.S. in partnership with other organizations, including the National Conference of State Legislatures.” [16]

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is the philanthropic foundation associated with Conrad Hilton, the late founder of Hilton Hotels. It was one of the original donors to fund the creation of the California Black Freedom Fund (CBFF) at the end of 2020. [17] The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has granted the Carter Center a total of $18,990,000 in the form of five separate grants from 2017. The grants to the organization were all related to health, specifically to support the Carter Center’s Guinea Worm Eradication Program and the “elimination of trachoma” in Mali and Niger. [18]

Funding Partners

The Open Society Foundations (OSF; formally Open Society Institute) is a left-of-center private grant making foundation created and funded by billionaire financier and liberal philanthropist George Soros. The Open Society Foundations grant database lists one grant of $100,000 to the Carter Center and the Center named OSF a “featured partner” in 2006. According to the Carter Center, OSF funded the “Promoting the Inter-American Democratic Charter and Mapping the Media in Latin America” projects of the organization. It also stated that OSF “has been a generous supporter of the Carter Center since 1998.” [19] [20]

The Skoll Foundation is a left-of-center grant making foundation founded by billionaire philanthropist Jeffrey Skoll. Skoll, who is also the founder of the film company Participant, was noted by The Guardian, a left-leaning British newspaper, to produce “blockbusters that feature political or social messages,” and that his overall mission in philanthropy and films was investing in “progressive causes” and “galvanizing world opinion” through this work. [21] The Carter Center listed the Skoll Foundation as a “featured partner” in 2007, noting that the foundation had awarded it $3 million over three years to support the Carter Center’s Peace and Health programs. [22]

The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is also listed as a “featured partner” by the Carter Center. The organization noted in 2009 that DFID was an “ongoing partner” that contributed more than $7.5 million towards “peace initiatives since 1997.” The Carter Center also noted that DFID was “one of the most generous donors to our elections work for several years.” [23]

Other partners for the Carter Center’s Health and Peace Program include the CDC Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coca-Cola Company, European Union, Ford Foundation, Pfizer Inc., World Bank, World Health Organization, and a variety of United Nations organizations. [24]

References

  1. “Democratic Elections and Standards, Monitoring Elections.” Carter Center. April 15, 2022. Accessed May 2, 2022. www.cartercenter.org/peace/democracy/index.html. ^
  2. Thomas, Ashley. “Carter Center, pushing for fair elections, turns focus to US.” AP News. April 20, 2021. Accessed May 2, 2022. apnews.com/article/election-2020-ap-top-news-ga-state-wire-politics-3d5618cb1dbf93b4f5c398d14e7809f0. ^
  3. “The Carter Center – Grants.” Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Accessed May 2, 2022. https://www.gatesfoundation.org/about/committed-grants?q=the%20carter%20center#committed_grants. ^
  4. “The Carter Center – Grants.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed May 2, 2022. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/carter-center-5061/. ^
  5. “The Carter Center – Grants.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed May 2, 2022. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/past?filter_keyword=the+carter+center&grant_id=OR2019-65065. ^
  6. “The Carter Center – Grants.” Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Accessed May 2, 2022. https://www.hiltonfoundation.org/grants?search=the%20carter%20center. ^
  7. “Carter Center Accomplishments.” The Carter Center. Accessed May 2, 2022. www.cartercenter.org/about/accomplishments.html. ^
  8. “Democratic Elections and Standards, Monitoring Elections.” The Carter Center. April 15, 2022. Accessed May 2, 2022. www.cartercenter.org/peace/democracy/index.html. ^
  9. Thomas, Ashley. “Carter Center, pushing for fair elections, turns focus to US.” AP News. April 20, 2021. Accessed May 2, 2022. apnews.com/article/election-2020-ap-top-news-ga-state-wire-politics-3d5618cb1dbf93b4f5c398d14e7809f0. ^
  10. Schwencke, Ken. “THE CARTER CENTER INC – Form Form 990 for period ending Aug 2018 – ProPublica.” Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed May 2, 2022. projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/581454716/09_2019_prefixes_54-59/581454716_201808_990_2019091316650608. ^
  11. The Carter Center. Return of an Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2018. projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/581454716/01_2021_prefixes_54-58/581454716_201908_990_2021012817668612. ^
  12. The Carter Center. Return of an Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2019. projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/581454716/202121959349301982/full. ^
  13. The Carter Center. Return of an Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2019. projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/581454716/202121959349301982/full. ^
  14. “The Carter Center – Grants.” Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Accessed May 2, 2022. https://www.gatesfoundation.org/about/committed-grants?q=the%20carter%20center#committed_grants. ^
  15. [1] “The Carter Center – Grants.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed May 2, 2022. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/carter-center-5061/. ^
  16. “The Carter Center – Grants.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed May 2, 2022. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/carter-center-5061/. ^
  17. California Black Freedom Fund. November 2, 2021. Accessed May 2, 2022. cablackfreedomfund.org/. ^
  18. “The Carter Center – Grants.” Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Accessed May 2, 2022. https://www.hiltonfoundation.org/grants?search=the%20carter%20center. ^
  19. “The Carter Center – Grants.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed May 2, 2022. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/past?filter_keyword=the+carter+center&grant_id=OR2019-65065. ^
  20. “Carter Center Charitable Donations.” Support Our Work. Accessed May 2, 2022. www.cartercenter.org/donate/corporate-government-foundation-partners/archives/open_society_institute.html. ^
  21. Braw, Elisabeth. “Ex-eBay president and activist Jeff Skoll on making movies with a message.” The Guardian. November 29, 2013. Accessed May 2, 2022. www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/ebay-jeff-skoll-movies-message-sustainability. ^
  22. “Carter Center Charitable Donations.” Peace and Health Partners. Accessed May 2, 2022. www.cartercenter.org/donate/corporate-government-foundation-partners/archives/skoll.html ^
  23. “Carter Center Peace Partner: UK Department for International Development.” Accessed May 2, 2022. www.cartercenter.org/donate/corporate-government-foundation-partners/archives/uk_dfid.html. ^
  24. “Corporate, Government, and Foundation Giving.” Accessed May 2, 2022. www.cartercenter.org/donate/corporate-government-foundation-partners/index.html. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: August - July
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 1982

  • 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 Aug Form 990 $127,990,176 $117,825,297 $850,445,027 $15,011,599 Y $94,351,390 $0 $33,284,111 $2,193,328 PDF
    2018 Aug Form 990 $130,284,843 $120,109,206 $820,169,815 $14,767,880 Y $98,666,603 $0 $31,236,881 $2,125,684 PDF
    2017 Aug Form 990 $117,795,094 $102,877,024 $790,430,367 $22,571,567 Y $87,606,279 $0 $29,726,897 $1,826,881 PDF
    2016 Aug Form 990 $129,348,544 $92,819,305 $733,654,755 $20,440,321 Y $102,019,239 $0 $26,890,176 $1,505,189
    2015 Aug Form 990 $152,171,860 $85,928,566 $705,391,619 $13,708,849 Y $127,667,846 $0 $24,139,566 $1,367,571 PDF
    2014 Aug Form 990 $101,707,709 $78,854,762 $672,737,759 $16,296,845 Y $79,361,033 $0 $21,979,045 $1,545,982 PDF
    2013 Aug Form 990 $109,098,852 $78,898,319 $583,945,118 $22,336,352 Y $88,324,519 $0 $20,410,801 $1,479,301 PDF
    2012 Aug Form 990 $111,573,904 $73,423,789 $527,652,555 $14,491,944 Y $92,318,517 $0 $18,828,566 $1,418,360 PDF
    2011 Aug Form 990 $84,290,551 $73,679,427 $473,093,418 $9,943,822 Y $66,351,602 $0 $17,590,144 $1,356,295 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    The Carter Center

    453 John Lewis Freedom Parkway
    Atlanta, GA