Non-profit

USAction Education Fund

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-2214307

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $328,291
Expenses: $494,258
Assets: $35,816

Formation:

1999

Type:

Community Organizing Nonprofit

Status:

Merged to form People’s Action Institute

Executive Director:

Fred Azcarate

Note: USAction Education Fund merged to form People’s Action Institute in 2016

USAction Education Fund was the 501(c)(3) fundraising arm of USAction, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy umbrella for 22 state community organizing affiliates. In 2016, the two groups merged with allied center-left organizations to form People’s Action and People’s Action Institute, respectively.

While it was active, USAction had national-level partnerships with numerous labor unions, including the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Communication Workers of America (CWA), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The group merged into the People’s Action Institute in 2016 alongside Alliance for a Just Society, National People’s Action, and Institute for America’s Future. [1]

USAction Education Fund worked to increase local and state-level political engagement through issues-based education campaigns and by maximizing voter participation mostly among Democratic-leaning demographic groups. [2] Its Internal Revenue Service tax-exempt charitable designation prohibited the endorsement of specific legislation or candidates for public office; however, its closely connected advocacy arm, USAction, organized support for Democratic Party candidates and left-wing causes. [3]

USAction Education Fund listed jobs, healthcare, and elections as some of its major agenda items. In 2009, it led a public education campaign called “Rebuild and Renew America Now” which was funded by the Open Society Foundations, one of the foundations funded by liberal billionaire George Soros. The project was designed to help President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress raise support for tax increases and greater federal spending on housing, healthcare, education, the environment, “and virtually every other major forthcoming domestic reform effort requiring appropriations.” [4]

People’s Action and People’s Action Institute, the successor groups to USAction and USAction Education Fund, have continued the groups’ opposition to conservative policies. In April 2017, People’s Action led a coalition of groups before the White House to protest President Donald Trump’s first proposed budget . About 200 demonstrators later rallied against the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Washington, D.C. headquarters in an attempt to temporarily shut down the think tank for its role in shaping aspects of the proposed Trump administration budget. [5]

Background

While it was active, the USAction Education Fund partnered with 20 state nonprofit education, research, and public interest organizations that serve as the 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliates to USAction’s 501(c)(4) advocacy group network. In 2004, USAEF partners registered over half a million new voters in more than 20 states and recruited organizers across the country to help increase voter-turnout. [6] The group regularly conducted such public awareness campaigns favoring left-wing policies and advanced voter mobilization efforts in partnership with its national and state-level affiliates.

Fred Azcarate was executive director of USAction and USAction Education Fund. Prior to joining USAction, Azcarate was a career labor activist with the AFL-CIO. Azcarate has asserted that the merger of large labor unions and social justice groups is critical to achieving shared political goals in light of the collapse of private sector union membership. [7]

William McNary was USAction Education Fund’s co-director and the former president of USAction. McNary also works as the co-director of the Chicago-based Citizen Action/Illinois. In 2008, he served as a surrogate speaker for President Barack Obama during his presidential campaign, and acted as Illinois’s state delegate whip during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. [8]

Funding

USAction Education Fund reported $9 million in revenues in 2004, $5.7 million in 2008, and $2.2 million in 2012. [9]

The Open Society Foundations, one of the foundations funded by billionaire George Soros, consistently funded USAction Education Fund. In 2009, it gave a $500,000 grant to the nonprofit to promote a range of tax increases and liberal budgetary items. [10] In 2010, OSF gave $300,000 to USAction Education Fund to continue its issue awareness campaigns and voter turnout efforts. [11] In 2012, it gave another $300,000 to the group. [12]

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Colombe Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Tides Foundation were also financial contributors to USAEF. [13] [14] [15] [16]

Partner Organizations

References

  1. “Forward Together: Campaign for America’s Future and People’s Action.” Campaign For America’s Future. Accessed June 27, 2017. https://ourfuture.org/forward-together-campaign-for-americas-future-and-peoples-action
  2. “About Us.” USAction Education Fund. Accessed June 22, 2017. http://www.usactioneducationfund.org/aboutus/.
  3. “Exemption Requirements – 501(c)(3) Organizations.” Internal Revenue Service. Accessed June 24, 2017.https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/exemption-requirements-section-501-c-3-organizations.
  4. “USAction Education Fund/Rebuild and Renew America Now.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed June 24, 2017. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/programs/us-programs/grantees/usaction-education-fund-rebuild-and-renew-america-now.
  5. Quinn, Melissa. “Demonstrators Descend on Heritage Foundation to Protest Trump Budget.” The Daily Signal. April 25, 2017. Accessed June 25, 2017. http://dailysignal.com/2017/04/25/demonstrators-descend-on-heritage-foundation-to-protest-trump-budget/.
  6. “About Us.” USAction Education Fund. Accessed June 22, 2017. http://www.usactioneducationfund.org/aboutus/.
  7. Jamieson, Dave. “Fred Azcarate Leaves AFL-CIO to Head Community Organizing Network USAction.” Huffington Post. May 16, 2013. Accessed June 19, 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/16/fred-azcarate-afl-cio-us-action_n_3282811.html.
  8. “About Us.” Citizen Action/Illinois. Accessed June 25, 2017. http://www.citizenaction-il.org/about/staff.
  9. “USAction Education Fund.” Nonprofit Explorer. ProPublica 2017. Accessed June 24, 2017. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/522214307.
  10. “USAction Education Fund/Rebuild and Renew America Now.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed June 24, 2017. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/programs/us-programs/grantees/usaction-education-fund-rebuild-and-renew-america-now.
  11. “USAction Education Fund.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed June 26, 2017. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/programs/us-programs/grantees/usaction-education-fund.
  12. “USAction Education Fund.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed June 26, 2017. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/programs/us-programs/grantees/usaction-education-fund-0.
  13. “USAction Education Fund.” Rockefellers Brother Fund. Accessed June 26, 2017. http://www.rbf.org/grantees/usaction-education-fund.
  14. “Tides Foundation Grantees of 2011.” The Tides Foundation. Accessed June 26, 2017. https://www.tides.org/fileadmin/user/pdf/Tides_List_of_2011_Grantees.pdf.
  15. “Links to Grantees.” The Nathan Cummings Foundation. Accessed June 26, 2017. http://www.nathancummings.org/grant-programs/collaborative-initiatives/links-to-grantees.
  16. “Budget Priorities.” Colombe Foundation. Accessed June 26, 2017. http://www.proteusfund.org/colombe/grantees/2013.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Khalid Pitts
    Former President
  2. William McNary
    Former Co-Director
  3. Fred Azcarate
    Former Executive Director
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 2000

  • 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 $328,291 $494,258 $35,816 $0 N $328,291 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,107,914 $1,234,536 $236,248 $34,465 N $1,096,305 $11,593 $16 $140,545 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,781,107 $1,790,846 $373,633 $45,228 N $1,768,196 $12,833 $78 $73,393 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,697,434 $2,400,903 $498,680 $160,536 N $1,695,246 $1,750 $438 $107,456 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $2,232,245 $2,972,116 $1,161,229 $119,616 N $2,211,579 $10,000 $479 $107,433 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $2,761,868 $2,592,201 $1,800,572 $19,088 N $2,719,994 $30,000 $2,041 $128,238 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    USAction Education Fund

    1101 17TH ST NW STE 1220
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-4721