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May 24, 2017

2

Where does Money to Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, Inc. Go?

by Anne Paddock

Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Gun violence touches every town in America. For too long, change has been thwarted by the Washington gun lobby and by leaders who refuse to take common-sense steps that will save lives.

But something is changing. More than 3 million mayors, moms, cops, teachers, survivors, gun owners, and everyday Americans have come together to make their own communities safer. Together, we are fighting for the changes that we know will save lives.

Everytown for Guns Safety Action Fund, Inc. (Everytown) was formed in 2014 when two non-profits – Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – combined to form one united non-profit to work together to reduce gun violence. How do they do this? By advocating for  universal background checks on firearms purchases – including those at gun shows and over the internet, by supporting laws to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, supporting gun safety technology, and supporting legislation for stronger penalties for gun trafficking.

Everytown was established as a  501 (c)(4) which differs from a 501 (c)(3) in four ways: they can engage in unlimited lobbying as long as the lobbying pertains to their mission, they can engage in political activity, they can endorse or oppose political candidates, and they can donate money and/or time to political organizations. Contributions made to a 501 (c)(4) are not tax-deductible which means Everytown relies primarily on other sources for income: contributions, gifts, and grants.

The NRA – also a 501 (c) (4) and its four affiliate organizations (501 (c) (3)’s and a PAC) raise more than $400 million annually whereas Everytown and its affiliate organization – Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, Inc., a 501 (c) (3)  – raise about $45 million annually and yet Everytown is the NRA’s strongest adversary. Both are 501 (c) (4)’s. Although the two groups share a respect for the Second Amendment, their differences lie in the interpretation of the Second Amendment in the 21st century and the impracticality of allowing potentially dangerous people to purchase guns, assault weapons, rifles, and high-capacity magazines.

When the Second Amendment was passed as a part of the Bill of Rights in 1791, the US had a population of about 4 million compared to an estimated 320 million today. The amendment was a sign of the times when the US had just 14 states and had recently established its independence from the United Kingdom. Determined to stay independent, the writers of the Constitution recognized the need to have the militia (which were the people back then) armed. But what made sense in 1791 does not make sense in 2017. So, Everytown focuses on educating policy makers, the public, and the media about gun violence and promoting efforts to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. They are a labor intensive organization focused on the legislative and political aspects of gun control, just as the NRA is.

Based in New York City, Everytown reported having 130 employees and more than 1 million volunteers in 2014. There are two voting members of the governing board and seven executives listed:

  • $316,999:  Megan Lewis, Executive Vice President
  • $179,270:  Mark Glaze, Outgoing Executive Director
  • $261,726:  Brina Milikowsky, Chief Strategic Initiatives
  • $252,746:  John McCarthy, Special Advisor
  • $190,038:  Erika Soto Lamb, Chief of Communications
  • $213,194:  Christopher Kocher, Director, Survivor Network
  • $196,186:  Elizabeth Avore, Legal Director

There is no first class or charter travel or travel for companions; nor are there paid memberships to health or social clubs.

REVENUE AND EXPENSE SUMMARY

In 2014, the organization raised $40.8 million which primarily came from contributions, gifts, and grants. Expenses totaled $37.1 million (not including depreciation) and can be looked at two ways:  by activity meaning program, fundraising, and management or by the type of expense. Both views are helpful in understanding how Everytown operates.

$32.6 million (80% of revenue) was spent on program costs while $4.2 million (10% of revenue) was spent on management expenses and nearly $300 thousand (1% of revenue) on fundraising. The remaining funds – $3.7 million – went to the net fund balance which had $5.6 million at year-end.

The $37.1 million in expenses fall into eight general categories:

  • Compensation and Benefits:  $7.2 million (18% of revenue) which equates to about $55,384 per employee (based on a count of 130).
  • Political and Elections (including polling, ballot initiative, e-mail):  $8.4 million (20% of revenue)
  • Services (legal, accounting, lobbying, fundraising): $5.6 million (14% of revenue)
  • Office: $1.7 million (4% of revenue)
  • Advertising:  $3.6 million (9% of revenue)
  • Travel:  $2 million (5% of revenue)
  • Grants:  $2.9 million (7% of revenue)
  • Other (described as program services):  $5.6 million (14% of revenue)

In summation, Everytown advocates for common-sense laws that will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, the organization is primarily engaged in political activities that shape the laws governing gun control. Hence, expenses are primarily allocated to people working with the political aspects of gun control including elections, ballots, initiatives, advertising, and grants.

To read more about Everytown, go to the organization’s website:  www.everytown.org.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2014), click here.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. DAN III
    Jun 11 2017

    What part of “….shall not be infringed” do you traitors not understand ?

  2. Jun 11 2017

    Dan: Calling people names does nothing to further your argument and will only make you look like a bully who is unable to formulate an educated argument or discussion.

    Maybe if you read the entire second amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed – you will understand why there is disagreement.

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