ATLANTA — It’s been a tough few months for the New Georgia Project.
The nonprofit founded by Stacey Abrams and once headed by Sen. Raphael Warnock (D., Ga.) fired most of its leaders over the summer. A former executive told the Free Washington Beacon that the group’s top accountant was fired after saying he couldn’t do his job without breaking the law. Now the group has missed a crucial IRS filing deadline, a mistake that puts it on the wrong side of federal law.
Such chaos is now commonplace at the New Georgia Project, which Abrams founded in 2013 to register nonwhite voters in Peach State. The group and its affiliate New Georgia Project Action Fund appear to have fallen into dire financial straits since the June dismissal of chief financial officer Randall Frazier. Although the groups raised a total of $37 million in 2020, their human resources director claimed in a video call in October terminating three top employees that the New Georgia project could no longer afford to pay. their salaries.
The New Georgia Project’s Form 990 financial disclosure, which was due to the IRS on Tuesday, would shed light on what the two groups did with their millions in 2021. The forms offer a detailed picture of a company’s finances. non-profit organization, including the amount paid to senior officials and contractors. But the New Georgia Project’s director of legal affairs, Tangi Bush, told the Free tag Wednesday that the group’s “financial department” was still preparing the disclosures. Nonprofits and charities must provide their 990s to the public within 24 hours of an in-person request.
The former leader who addressed the Free tag says the New Georgia Project’s understaffing and culture of secrecy are to blame for the groups’ failed IRS filing. Bush couldn’t even say who worked in NGP’s finance department when asked. Free tagciting a “personnel problem”.
According to National Legal and Policy Center attorney Paul Kamenar, the groups’ failure to complete Form 990 on time suggests “serious financial irregularities that should be verified.” With no known leadership in its accounting division, the New Georgia Project appears unable to comply with federal laws governing nonprofits and faces potential fines or other penalties.
The New Georgia Project could also face penalties from state authorities for failing to disclose its finances. The Black Lives Matter group was temporarily banned from raising charity funds in California and Washington in February after failing to report its 2020 finances on time.
Abrams and Warnock are no longer affiliated with the New Georgia Project and the New Georgia Project Action Fund, although they both maintain ties to the groups’ leaders, including board chairman Francys Johnson. Warnock, who led the group from 2017 to 2019, nominated Johnson to its “Federal Advisory Nominating Board” in March 2021. In September, he co-hosted a rally for Abrams.
The New Georgia Project worked to get Abrams and Warnock elected this cycle, with mixed results. Abrams lost his second gubernatorial bid by nearly eight points. Warnock will face Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a December runoff after failing to secure 50% of the vote on Election Day.