Well the Food Was Really Good

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, a nonprofit research group that runs programs in education, healthcare, and economic development affecting African Americans, has several prestigious internships and scholarship programs. The scholarships may be esteemed, but they’re also a very small portion of the foundation’s operation. According to an investigation by Ric Lipton and Eric Lichtblau at the New York Times:

From 2004 to 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus’s political and charitable wings took in at least $55 million in corporate and union contributions, according to an analysis by the New York Times, an impressive amount even by the standards of a Washington awash in cash. Only $1 million of that went to the caucus’s political action committee; the rest poured into the largely unregulated nonprofit network.

In 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation spent more on the caterer for its signature legislative dinner and conference… than it gave out in scholarships, federal tax records show.

In 2008, in fact, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gave out about $600,000 in scholarships. That year the foundation spent nearly $700,000 on catering for a single event. The foundation spent $372,000 on 2008 internships.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer