NEXT Chapel HIll-Carrboro + Action Fund Financial Overview
PACs are in the news. Since our NEXT Action Fund (a 501c4) does spend money on candidates we support, we wanted to join the conversation with some transparency. During the last municipal election cycle in 2021, we spent $378.78 on the printing of canvassing postcards with our endorsements. In this upcoming 2023 election cycle, we expect to spend about $4,000 to print and mail postcards of our endorsements.* We’ve often questioned ourselves about the need to spend this money, but the reality is that wealthy interests don’t hesitate to provide their candidates and causes with deep resources, and we want to do everything we can to make Orange County as equitable and inclusive as possible. Still, we’re alarmed about the recent total contributions we’re hearing about – the reported $120,000 is more than 20 times higher than we’re considering spending this year, which itself would be a record amount for us.
As for donors, so far in 2023 our NEXT Action Fund has had 60 unique donors. Our average donation is $30.00. There has been a question about a previous donor to our NEXT Action Fund. In 2019, when former Chapel Hill Town Council Member Donna Bell ended her service and closed her campaign account, she split the remaining funds between NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro (our 501c3, NOT our Action Fund) and The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Branch of the NAACP.
Note: We cannot use our 501c3 funds on political action activities like supporting candidates. We can only use those funds for activities like public education. You can read about our public education activities here and here.
You can view the last three years of our tax records here.
- Our 501c4 is called the NEXT Action Fund.
- Our tax reports for our 501c3 are also posted. Chapel Hill Together is the officialname of our 501c3.As noted above, the political action expenses we will incur, using NEXT Action Fund monies, are to print and mail our endorsement postcards.We use the rest of our funds on the following types of expenses: paying a very part-time coordinator/treasurer a living wage, printing/copying of educational materials, refreshments, meeting room rental, and supporting the stipend of an intern for the Orange County Affordable Housing Coalition, of which we are a member.If you are interested in the similarities and differences between 501c3s, 501c4s and PACs check out this resource.
If you aren’t familiar with us, NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro is a local organization that works to promote a sustainable, connected and equitable community through community building and education, service and, via our Action Fund, political action. Our community building and educational activities include monthly guided walks along our greenways, First Thursday Happy Hours, presentations by local and national experts, and social bike rides in partnership with groups like Back Alley Bikes, Triangle Bike Works, Bike Carrboro and the Bicycle Coalition of Chapel Hill. We serve our community by supporting and participating in events like Carrboro Open Streets, Carrboro in Motion, Chapel Hill’s Thanks + Giving event, and the Good Neighbor Initiative back-to-school canvassing. Political action, through our 501c4 Action Fund, includes advocating for better bike/ped/bus infrastructure and affordable housing, tracking the votes of our local elected officials on these issues and endorsing candidates who reflect our values.
*The exact amount we spent with NEXT Action Fund funds to print and mail our endorsement postcards for 2023 was $2709.53 with A Better Image Printing.
2023 Independent Expenditure Report
We are complying with a new state campaign finance law, which requires independent expenditures to support candidates running for election over $100 to be reported along with information on anyone who contributed $100 or more to cover the expense.