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FIRST ON FOX: A Georgia-based voter registration nonprofit founded by Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams received nearly $500,000 in COVID-19 bailout cash during a year its donations swelled by tens of millions of dollars, according to tax forms.
The New Georgia Project, which Abrams founded in 2014, applied for and received a $482,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in May 2020 as part of the first round of bailouts intended to help financially-strapped small businesses retain employees during the pandemic. The loan says it went towards 95 jobs.
But a Fox News Digital review of the New Georgia Project’s tax documents shows that the left-wing voter registration group was far from struggling and finished that year in its best financial shape since its inception six years prior.
According to the New Georgia Project’s 2020 tax forms, which weren’t publicly available at the time of the loan, the nonprofit received the COVID-19 cash amid gathering $24.5 million in contributions and grants. Its 2020 donations were nearly $23 million more than the $1.6 million the group received in 2019, the tax forms show.
The New Georgia Project, a Stacey Abrams-founded group, received nearly $500,000 in COVID relief while pulling in record funds. (Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
And as the New Georgia Project’s financials swelled, so did the amount it poured into salaries.
In 2020, the group dropped $1.9 million into wages, compensation and employee benefits – nearly $600,000 more than the year before. Nsé Ufot, New Georgia Project’s executive director, also pocketed $187,577 in compensation in 2020, a pay raise of $69,345 from 2019.
The group finished the year with almost $18 million in net assets.
The New Georgia Project did not respond to a Tuesday Fox News Digital inquiry into its PPP loan – which is marked as “forgiven” in a ProPublica database – during a record-breaking personal year for the group.
Stacey Abrams founded the New Georgia Project in 2014 to register minority voters and get them to the polls. (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Abrams formed the New Georgia Project during her time as a state representative to register minority voters, and Democratic Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock chaired the group between 2017 and early 2020.
The New Georgia Project’s donors remain in the dark, but another Abrams-tied nonprofit, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, reported two grants totaling $100,000 as part of a multi-million voting rights funding effort in 2020, according to its tax forms.
Abrams joined the Marguerite Casey Foundation’s board the following year and immediately backed a campaign to increase anti-police funding from the foundation, Fox News Digital reported. The Marguerite Casey Foundation and its president, Carmen Rojas, have repeatedly called for defunding and abolishing the police.
The New Georgia Project has come under the microscope by Republicans in the state. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)
The New Georgia Project’s operations have also come under a microscope by Republicans in the Peach State.
In early August, the state ethics commission ruled that the nonprofit and its affiliated action fund likely sidestepped financial disclosure laws by not reporting millions in election-related spending, including advocating for Abrams during her failed 2018 gubernatorial run, according to the Georgia Recorder.
The case will move to the Office of State Administrative, where a judge will release a final decision.
Joe Schoffstall is a Fox News reporter