Americans for Prosperity Foundation

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Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP) is a section 501(c)(3) organization which operates as the counterpart of Americans for Prosperity, a section 501(c)(4) organization. On its website, Americans for Prosperity states that the two organisations are "committed to educating citizens about economic policy and a return of the federal government to its Constitutional limits."[1]

The Americans for Prosperity Foundation is an "associate" member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country.[2]

Founded by the Kochs

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

According to its literature, AFP aims to promote economic policy that supports business, and restrains regulation by government.

An August 2010 article in The New Yorker by Jane Mayer tied New York philanthropist and Koch Industries co-owner, David Koch, to the creation and funding of the AFP.[3] Ira Stoll of FutureOfCapitalism.com criticized the article, as implying that, "left-wing think tanks are nonpartisan watchdogs, but the free-market ones are part of some covert stealth nefarious plot", and referred to the open data already available about Koch-connected think tanks.[4][5] Matt Welch of Reason magazine labeled the New Yorker article a "hit-piece".[4]

Kate Zernike, in The New York Times, attributed the founding of the AFP to the Koch Brothers. [6]

Activities and programs

Most of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation's activities are carried out by its 501(c)(4) organization, Americans for Prosperity.

Bridge to Wellbeing

Launched in 2015, Americans for Prosperity Foundation describes the Bridge to Wellbeing program as "expert coaching on topics like practical financial habits, personal health, pursuing new opportunities, and community engagement and wellbeing, all with the aim of providing individuals with the tools and knowledge to improve their quality of life and strengthen their communities."[7]

The Bridge to Wellbeing program also helps Americans for Prosperity Foundation to maintain its Internal Revenue Service status,

"Sometimes, we have not been as good at explaining the virtues of economic freedom and individual liberty to people who are struggling," said Americans for Prosperity's president Tim Phillips. He also conceded that AFP Foundation's Bridge to Wellbeing initiative helps satisfy an Internal Revenue Service requirement that the group focus its spending on educational or charitable purposes, not political or policy advocacy. "Part of it is we are a social welfare organization. And, so, yes, we do try to help folks live more prosperous lives. That's not related to direct policy."[8]

John Marshall, editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo, describes Bridge to Wellbeing as,

"The Kochs’ ‘war on poverty’ includes classes teaching poor people – or at least people willing to show up for a free hot meal – how to prepare “dinner on a dime” and lessons on “couponing”, along with the free hot meals, Turkey giveaways and guides for “learning about freedom. In other words, a good bit of the outreach is not only laissez-faire propaganda but actually tips on how to be poor more effectively, making the most of coupons, cooking more economical meals and other tips which certainly may be helpful at some level but seem like ones poor people might be in a better position to teach GOP operatives rather than vice versa." [9]

Funding

The Americans for Prosperity Foundation does not disclose its donors, but some of its funding sources are known through other tax filings. AFPF's known funders include:

Core Financials

2014[10]

  • Total Revenue: $23,284,137
  • Total Expenses: $21,006,809
  • Net Assets: $8,516,526

Grants Distributed

2013[11]

  • Total Revenue: $13,310,464
  • Total Expenses: $17,700,992
  • Net Assets: $6,239,198

Grants Distributed

2012[12]

  • Total Revenue: $24,029,062
  • Total Expenses: $26,587,053
  • Net Assets: $10,629,726

Grants Distributed

Personnel

Staff

As of January 2017:[13]

  • Luke Hilgemann, Chief Executive Officer
  • Chris Fink, President
  • Slade O'Brien, Vice President, Grassroots Leadership Academy
  • Victor Bernson, VP of Legal and General Counsel
  • Lindsay Matlock, Director of Operations

Board of Directors

As of January 2017:[14]

Former Board Members

Contact Information

Americans for Prosperity Foundation
1310 N. Courthouse Rd., Ste. 700
Arlington, VA 22201
Website: https://americansforprosperityfoundation.org/
Phone: 703-224-3200
Email: info@afphq.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/afpfoundation
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AFPFoundation/

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Mission, Americans for Prosperity website, accessed August 21, 2007
  2. State Policy Network, Directory, State Policy Network, 2016.
  3. Mayer, Jane (2009-01-07). The billionaire Koch brothers’ war against Obama. The New Yorker. Retrieved on 2010-10-21.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Matt Welch (August 24, 2010). In Which "left-wing think tanks are nonpartisan watchdogs, but the free-market ones are part of some covert stealth nefarious plot". Reason: Hit and Run. Retrieved on August 25, 2010.
  5. Stoll, Ira (August 23, 2010). The New Yorker on David and Charles Koch. FutureOfCapitalism.com. Retrieved on August 25, 2010.
  6. Zernike, Kate (October 19, 2010). "Secretive Republican Donors Are Planning Ahead". New York Times. 
  7. Americans for Prosperity Foundation, “Bridge to Wellbeing” Programs Inspire Individuals By Promoting Personal, Financial and Community Health, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, July 6, 2015.
  8. Charles Pierce, The Billionaire Koch Brothers Teach the Poor How to Be Poor, Esquire, December 14, 2015.
  9. John Marshall, Scrooge Counter-Programming, Talking Points Memo, December 14, 2015.
  10. Americans for Prosperity Foundation, IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 11, 2015.
  11. Americans for Prosperity Foundation, 2013 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 15, 2014.
  12. Americans for Prosperity Foundation, 2012 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 15, 2013.
  13. Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Leadership Team, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, 2017.
  14. Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Board of Directors, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, 2017.
  15. About AFP, Americans for Prosperity website, February 13, 2008. (Now available only in the Internet Archive).

External resources

External articles