NIAC claims to be the “largest grassroots organization in the US to advance the interests of the Iranian-American community.” This assertion, like many others by NIAC, is a sham.
In a board meeting on October 26, 2007, Parsi discussed the organization’s memberships. According to the minutes of the board meeting:
“Trita reviewed the membership trends: 1,034 (2005) increased to 1,307 in 2006 and 1,680  as of today – citing these figures as absolutely unacceptable”
NIAC’s membership totals were clarified in the minutes of a subsequent board meeting on February 22, 2008:
“NIAC’s membership has (sic) risen to approximately 2,000 members; Current members – 1,068 (902 expired).” 
The above statement revealed that NIAC’s membership totals are a combination of current paid members (1,068) plus former members who declined to renew their membership (908). Parsi confirmed this artifice in a deposition in 2011.
NIAC’s publicly announced membership totals are thus bogus and include both current and past members.
In 2008, the number of current and past members totaled 1,976 (1,068 + 908). This means 46% of the members (908) had not renewed their memberships.
Assuming 46% of NIAC’s membership totals in previous years were expired, the organization’s actual number of memberships would have been:
|Year||Current & Past Memberships||Actual Memberships|
NIAC’s manipulate membership totals are revealing in other ways. The organization in February 2008 had 1,976 current and past members. This means only 1,976 people in total had joined NIAC since its establishment in 2002 (1,068 paid members plus 908 previous members who declined to renew their membership.)
The NIAC membership totals additionally reveal that about half of all the people who at one join NIAC later decide to discontinue their membership!
In applications for grants, NIAC also falsely inflated the number of its memberships and misrepresented its total active supporters.
In a September 2010 grant application to the Parsa Community Foundation, NIAC claimed it had “nearly 4,000 paid members and 35,000 active supporters nationwide.” How the organization quadrupled its paid memberships (1,068 in 2008 to nearly 4,000 in 2010) in just two years is anybody’s guess.
NIAC’s claim that it had tens of thousands of “active supporters” is pure fabrication. According to Parsi, NIAC’s “active supporter” list is one and the same as its mailing list. Thus, when NIAC distributes information to someone who may be interested to learn about its activities or to individuals it seeks to inform or influence (reporters, officials, think tanks, etc.), they automatically become an “active supporter” of NIAC.
Why it would not be “deceitful” to inflate NIAC’s membership by 25 times the actual number is unknown.In 2007, a NIAC board member suggested the organization publicly state it had 25,000 members when, in fact, it had only 1,068 members. Alex Patico, a co-founder of NIAC, said at the meeting, “it would not be deceitful to mention NIAC as being comprised of 25,000+ members when dealing with the media and other inquiries.”
In the grant application to the Parsa Foundation, NIAC claimed its “grassroots network” provided 70 percent of its annual budget. This number too is phony.
Grassroots is commonly defined as people at a local level. But for NIAC, its “grassroots network” conveniently includes large Iranian-American organizations, such as the Parsa Foundation, which donated a half million dollars to the organization in 2011.
In 2010, NIAC reported on its tax return that it generated $77,981from membership dues and $817,526 from grants, gifts, etc. No monies were listed from any other fundraising events. Thus, in 2010, NIAC generated only 8.7% of its funds from its “grassroots network,” not 70% as it dishonestly claimed.
Parsi’s misstating of NIAC’s membership numbers and supporters appears to be habitual. On his 2005 resume, he declared he had “increased membership [at NIAC] to 10,000 in less than a year.” How Parsi achieved this feat, when the organization only had about 500 paid members, remains a mystery, as well as the 9,500 phantom members.
The number of Iranian-Americans living in the US is estimated to be as high as 2 million. Given NIAC’s miniscule membership totals, it can hardly claim to speak for the Iranian-American community and is certainly not the largest grassroots Iranian-American organization in the US.
Read more about NIAC:
Bogus Memberships & Supporters
Iranians for International Cooperation
Trita Parsi Biography
Parsi/Namazi Lobbying Plan
Parsi Links to Namazi & Iranian Regime
Namazi, NIAC Ringleader
Collaborating with Iran’s Ambassador