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Locating Info on Newly-Formed (Ed Reform) Nonprofits

January 9, 2019

One of the marks of market-based ed reform is the issue of mushrooming nonprofits. Want an instant platform for advancing school choice? Non-career, instant teachers? Test-driven classrooms? Drumming up grass-roots-styled support for an outside, billionaire-funded, corporate ed project?

Start a nonprofit, and create a vague-yet-stylish website to promote it.

Discovering details behind newly-created nonprofits is difficult because of their newness. One might even wonder if the self-proclaimed nonprofit is actually a nonprofit in its own right.

For example: A colleague wrote to me about his search for information on two new organizations: Wayfinder Foundation and Memphis Lift. One question concerned whether these two orgs were nonprofits in their own right or simply programs operated by other nonprofits (namely, ed reform nonprofits) that were choosing to hide in the shadows.

In order to discover if these two orgs were orgs in their own right, my first though was to see if the orgs had their own EINs (employer identification numbers), which are assigned by the IRS.

So, I used the IRS’s tax exempt organization search engine to conduct a search on both Wayfinder Foundation and Memphis Lift.

The IRS search engine results indicate that the IRS has assigned both orgs EINs:

  • Memphis Lift EIN: 82-2560581
  • Wayfinder Foundation EIN:  82-1573252

The IRS search also included the statement that both orgs are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.

Another means of discovering information about new nonprofits is the Charity Navigator search engine. In this case, I could have searched by either org name or EIN and discovered that both Wayfinder Foundation and Memphis Lift are indeed recently-established nonprofits. Below are the Charity Navigator search results for both orgs. (Note that there are no latest tax forms to view because the organizations are too new. Also, many of the category designations are live links that one can click on to read information about the meaning of a given category.)

EIN 82-1573252
Name in IRS Master File WAYFINDER FOUNDATION
Street Address 110 2ND STREET SOUTH
City, State, Zip WAITE PARK, MN 56387-1662
NTEE Code R99
NTEE Classification Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy N.E.C.
NTEE Type Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy
Classification Educational Organization
Subsection 501(c)(3)  (View the list of codes)
Activities
Foundation Status Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
Deductibility Contributions are deductible
Affiliation Independent – the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations).
Group Name [Not Applicable]
Ruling Date February, 2018
Asset Amount $0
Income Amount $0
Form 990 Revenue Amount $0
Latest Form 990 Return
Filing Requirement 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Fiscal Year End December
EIN 82-2560581
Name in IRS Master File MEMPHIS LIFT PARENT INSTITUTE
Street Address 1637 BRITTON ST
City, State, Zip MEMPHIS, TN 38108-1309
NTEE Code B01
NTEE Classification Alliance/Advocacy Organizations
NTEE Type Educational Institutions and Related Activities
Classification Charitable Organization
Subsection 501(c)(3)  (View the list of codes)
Activities
Foundation Status Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
Deductibility Contributions are deductible
Affiliation Independent – the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations).
Group Name [Not Applicable]
Ruling Date May, 2018
Asset Amount $0
Income Amount $0
Form 990 Revenue Amount $0
Latest Form 990 Return
Filing Requirement 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Fiscal Year End December

Both Wayfinder Foundation and Memphis Lift are shiny, new nonprofits bearing the marks of ed reform. For example, Wayfinder Foundation’s board of directors (no bio links available) includes reps from a charter school, businesses, ed reform nonprofit, Data Quality Campaign, and another ed-reform-promoting nonprofit, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) (for the Walton Foundation-UNCF connection, see this post)– which is promoting Memphis Lift along with other ed reform orgs (Stand for Children, Education Trust) in this “grasstops” ed-talking-points resource document.

For tax filings on fledgling nonprofits Wayfinder Foundation and Memphis Lift, we’ll have to wait. In the meantime, we can know that, yes, both Wayfinder Foundation and Memphis Lift are indeed newly-formed nonprofits in their own right, thus confirming one more piece in an ongoing, ed-reform-exposure effort.

money voting

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school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

 

9 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on Crazy Normal – the Classroom Exposé and commented:
    How to Identify a Corporate Reformer Organization with an agenda built on Greed that wants to eat your public schools and make a profit doing it.

  2. Laura H.Chapman permalink

    Both are excellent resources. The Lil Sis tool is also a wonderful way to visualize interlocking relationships. I wish more people had the time and energy to use it.

  3. Brehan King permalink

    Hello Dr. Schneider,

    Thank you for all of your work! Quick question, once you’ve identified the address of a new nonprofit, is there an easy way to look up whether that address is shared with any additional nonprofits/organizations?

    Thank you again,
    Brehan King

    • Hi, Brehan. I have identified multiple orgs sharing the same address simply by googling the address.

      • Brehan King permalink

        Oh, well that’s certainly easy enough! Thank you for your reply. And for all your detective work on Florida and Arizona. Incredible!

  4. Linda permalink

    Promotion of social impact bonds has links to Lift to Rise. (Stanford Social Innovation Review has an article promoting social impact bonds written by Gary Painter who is a Director of a Social Innovation Center at USC. The Center lists Lift to Rise as a featured partner. Is Memphis Lift connected to Lift to Rise?

  5. Is Memphis lift connected with Memphis School Guide? They certainly link to their website at

    https://memphislift.org/choice-counseling/

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  1. Mercedes Schneider: How to Identify a Reformer Organization | Diane Ravitch's blog

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