Open the Books Report: Charity Run by Jennifer Newsom Continues to Solicit Donations Despite Being Out of Compliance

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s wife Jennifer runs the non-profit The Representation Project.

According to their website, “The mission of The Representation Project is to fight sexism through films, education, research, and activism to build a world where everyone can achieve their full potential.”

While nonprofits are exempt from paying federal taxes, they must comply with state and federal reporting requirements to protect taxpayers’ interest.

In a report from Open the Books, it appears Newsom’s nonprofit seems to have failed to do this, yet continues to collect donations “from individuals and large corporations that have supported her husband and conducted business with the state of California.”

Open the Books reports:

According to tax records, The Representation Project (TRP) generates most of its funds by collecting charitable contributions and by selling licenses to screen its films. Since 2011, The Representation Project has generated $17,489,680 in revenue.

Yet the nonprofit is currently delinquent with its charitable solicitation registration in California. The annual RRF-1 form necessary to renew the organization’s status as a nonprofit was rejected early in 2022; The Representation Project should have filed a new form and paid a $200 fee in order to regain compliance with state regulations for last year.

According to California law, nonprofits cannot solicit funds while delinquent. Nevertheless, TRP solicited and accepted donations throughout the entirety of 2022.

The Representation Project Solicits Major Newsom Supporters Doing Business in California

The Representation Project has come under fire in recent years for publicly disclosed donors that also happen to be prominent Newsom campaign contributors and California state vendors. They’re either paid by the state as run by Governor Newsom, or have supported his campaigns, or both.

The nonprofit’s primary fundraising gala each year is called “Flip the Script.” In 2021, the Sacramento Bee reported on Flip the Script donors, and further reporting shows how much donor organizations received in public funds from the state of California.

Except for 2020, there has been a gala every year from 2016 to 2022. According to tax data, from 2016-2019, the galas generated $1,241,989 in gross receipts. Given the nonprofit’s delinquent status in 2022, it’s not clear whether that year’s event violates prohibitions on donor solicitations while not in good standing with the state.

Read the full, troubling report here.


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