Local Politics

Action North Carolina

Posted February 28, 2013
Updated January 12, 2015

As they describe themselves: Action NC is a grassroots community organization that empowers low to moderate-income communities to take action and win victories on issues of concern to our communities. Our priorities include: better housing conditions for tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, affordable health care, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, comprehensive immigration reform, and better public schools. We achieve these goals by building community organizations that have the power to win changes – through community direct action, negotiation, legislation, and voter participation. More here.

On the web: www.actionnc.org

Affiliates and brands: Like many other nonprofit advocacy organizations, Action NC is divided into two separate nonprofits: The Action Institute NC and Action NC. While they are separately incorporated, the two nonprofits share a mission, some programmatic work, and a staff. Action Institute NC is a non-profit, tax-exempt and tax-deductible 501(c)(3) organization. Action NC is a non-profit 501(c)(4) that can engage in advocacy and electioneering work.

Acorn: To many outside observers, Action NC looks like a revamped version of Acorn, the controversial advocacy group that went bankrupt in 2010. The two groups have the same mission and are lead by the same executive director. However, Kevin Rogers, a spokesman for Action NC, says that's not the case. 

"Action NC has been working in North Carolina for almost three years now, doing grassroots organizing and citizen action work in low and moderate income communities, and among constituency groups in those communities. Our issues have included health care access, affordable housing and tenant rights, neighborhood quality of life, immigrant rights, livable wages, and civic engagement and voter participation," Rogers wrote. "While Action NC works for a similar constituency as ACORN did, the similarities stop there. There are many anti-poverty and community action groups throughout North Carolina who do, and have done, similar work. Action NC's staff is comprised both of former North Carolina ACORN staff, and staff who had no prior connection. While it might be convenient for some to brand Action NC as a reincarnated ACORN, it is simply false."

Network*: Z. Smith Reynolds

Funding: The Action Institute NC reported raising $388,474 in 2011. Of that, Z. Smith Reynolds reports donating $50,000. 

Neither Guidestar, a clearinghouse for nonprofit tax forms, nor the Secretary of State's charitable solicitation page, has IRS 990 forms for Action NC.  

IRS 990: Action Institute North Carolina 2013 IRS 990  

State Information: Click here for information the Action Institute disclosed to the Secretary of State's office. There is no similar listing for Action NC, the 501(c)(4) nonprofit. According to the Secretary of State's office, some nonprofits are exempt from filing information if they are below certain fundraising thresholds. Those exceptions are outlined in this document.

Lobbyist: Rogers is registered as a lobbyist for Action NC. 

Media Profile: Action NC is most often cited when it holds press events or involves itself in policy discussions. The group is firmly on the liberal end of the political spectrum. 

* Many of the public policy think tanks and advocacy groups active in North Carolina fall into one of two camps: A liberal circuit with ties to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and a conservative circuit with ties to the John William Pope Foundation. For more, click here.






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