Non-profit

USAction Education Fund

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-2214307

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $1,107,914
Expenses: $1,234,536
Assets: $236,248

Type:

Community Organizing Charity

USAction Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt sister organization to USAction, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy umbrella for 22 state community organizing affiliates. USAction has 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 works 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 prohibits the endorsement of specific legislation or candidates for public office, however its closely connected advocacy arm, USAction, organizes support for decidedly left-leaning candidates and causes.[3]

USAEF lists jobs, health care, and elections as some of its major agenda items. In 2009, it led a public education campaign called “Rebuild and Renew America Now,” that was funded by the Open Society Foundations, founded and funded by liberal billionaire  George Soros. The project was designed to help President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress raise awareness about the need 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]

In April 2017, People’s Action, the 501(c)(4) arm of the People’s Action Institute into which USAEF merged, led a coalition of groups to protest President Donald Trump’s first proposed budget in front of the White House. About 200 demonstrators later rallied at the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Capitol Hill 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

The USAction Education Fund partners with 20 state tax-exempt education, research, and public interest organizations that serve as 501(c)(3) affiliates to USAction’s network of state community advocacy groups. 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 has conducted public awareness campaigns for progressive policies, and advanced voter mobilization efforts in partnership with its national and state-level affiliates ever since.

Fred Azcarate is USAEF’s executive director, and the executive director of the USAction advocacy network. Azcarate was a career labor activist with the AFL-CIO before leading both community organizing federations. Azcarate asserts 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 is USAEF’s co-director. McNary also serves as the co-director of the Chicago-based Citizen Action/Illinois, and is the former president of USAction. 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

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

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

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

Partner Organizations

Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation

Florida Consumer Action Network Foundation

Georgia Rural Urban Summit

United Vision for Idaho

Public Action Foundation

Iowa Citizen Action Network Education Foundation

Maine People’s Resource Center

Progressive Maryland Education Fund

Michigan Citizen Education Fund

New Hampshire Citizens Alliance

New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund

Public Policy and Education Fund of New York

Progress Ohio Education

Fair Share Research and Education Fund

Keystone Progress Education Fund

Tennessee Citizen Action Alliance

Virginia Organizing

Washington Community Action Network Education and Research Fund

WV Citizen Action Education Fund

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund

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. “Budget Priorities.” Colombe Foundation. Accessed June 26, 2017. http://www.proteusfund.org/colombe/grantees/2013.
  15. “Links to Grantees.” The Nathan Cummings Foundation. Accessed June 26, 2017. http://www.nathancummings.org/grant-programs/collaborative-initiatives/links-to-grantees.
  16. “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.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Khalid Pitts
    Former President
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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
    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