Think New Mexico releases donor names, not dollar amounts

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A “results-oriented think tank” that has led the charge on issues including full-day kindergarten and repealing the food tax in New Mexico discloses the identities of almost all its donors.

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Think New Mexico releases the names of the vast majority of its donors but doesn’t reveal donation amounts. (Photo cc info)

Think New Mexico is more transparent than most nonprofits, Associate Director Kristina Fisher pointed out on Facebook.

“We believe that our tax-exempt status is a privilege and that we have a responsibility to the public to be transparent about our finances and our supporters,” Fisher wrote.

She said Think New Mexico has always disclosed almost all its donors. She said only 18 of 1,051 this year requested anonymity “so they will not be solicited by other groups.”

I called last week for nonprofits that work to influence public policy and politics in New Mexico to voluntarily release donor lists. Common Cause New Mexico has already done it.

As for Think New Mexico, Fisher sent links to the organization’s webpage on transparency, which includes annual reports that lists donors for each year, and to a 2002 editorial in which the Rio Grande Sun praised the nonprofit’s transparency.

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“The politicians in Santa Fe spending your money should step lightly around these Think New Mexico folks,” that editorial states. “They’re organized, serious, relentless and worst of all — above board.”

NMPolitics.net, a small business, discloses the names of all donors and their donation amounts. Fisher explained why Think New Mexico doesn’t disclose donation amounts.

“For some of Think New Mexico’s supporters, sending a $25 check is a serious sacrifice, and we don’t want them to feel that their support is any less valued than that of someone who can easily write a $250 check,” she said.

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