Campaign records maintained by the Leon County Supervisor of Elections show that the Our Kids First political committee, which is supporting the November 3rd Children’s Service Council initiative, received $35,000 in contributions from a Washington D.C based 501(c)4 group.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a 501(c)4 is a social welfare group and can engage in advocacy and lobbying. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling allows businesses and unions to donate unlimited money to 501(c)4 groups. Donations to 501(c)4 groups are not tax-deductible, and donors are often not disclosed.
According to records, the Our Kids First political committee has raised approximately $135,000 through 189 donations.
Attorney Jon Moyle, an advocate for the CSC initiative, told TR that the Washington D.C. based group – Children’s Funding Project – “is a national nonpartisan organization supporting the democratic process in pursuit of local public funding for children and youth.”
Further research indicates that the Children’s Funding Project recently started a 501(c)4 group to provide financial support dedicated to children’s funds across the country. The fundraising group is called the “Children’s Funding Accelerator.”
Campaign records show that the Children’s Funding Accelerator donated $25,000 to Our Kids First on August 4th and $10,000 on October 13th.
Elizabeth Gaines, the Executive Director of the Children’s Funding Accelerator, told TR via email that “we were excited to learn about the work that Leon County residents have been doing over the last decade to plan, prepare and mount this campaign for a Children’s Services Council. We are a small new nonprofit, nonpartisan c4 that has formed to try and bring some support to such communities.”
When asked by TR, the group did not provide information about their donors.