Philanthropy Roundtable

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The Philanthropy Roundtable was established by the Bradley Foundation in 1987 as a 501(c)(3) organization to help facilitate conservative grant-making. The organization describes itself as "America’s leading network of charitable donors working to strengthen our free society, uphold donor intent, and protect the freedom to give." [1] The foundation has connections to many well-known right-wing organizations.[2] In 2010, Philanthropy Roundtable recorded an annual revenue of $6,224,554, with $5,735,588 in grants received while issuing $250,000 in grants.[3]

About the Roundtable

From the Philanthropy Roundtable website:

"The Philanthropy Roundtable is a national association of more than 600 conservative individual donors, corporate giving representatives, foundation staff and trustees, and trust and estate officers. Its Associates include donors who are involved in philanthropy on a professional basis, as well as individual donors for whom giving is a serious avocation.
"The Roundtable is founded on the principle that voluntary private action offers the best means of addressing many of society's needs, and that a vibrant private sector is critical to generating the wealth that makes philanthropy possible. Its work is motivated by the belief that philanthropy is most likely to succeed when it focuses not on grand social designs, but on individual achievement, and where it rewards not dependence, but personal initiative, self-reliance, and private enterprise - in other words, they have very explicit ties to groups like The American Enterprise Institute (board member Kimberly Dennis) and the Council on Foreign Relations (Vice Chairman Heather Richardson Higgins). They even have a board member who co-authored a book with William J. Bennett, the former Education Secretary under Reagan and Bush.
"The Roundtable attracts independent-minded donors who understand that philanthropy is difficult to do well. In addition to offering expert advice and counsel, the Roundtable puts donors in touch with conservatives who share similar concerns and interests. Roundtable Associates thereby gain access to the full range of ideas and approaches to giving and information on what works and what doesn't.
"The Roundtable is strongly committed to donor intent, and to helping conservatives ensure that their intentions will be adhered to in the long-term administration of their foundations and trusts. As an organization dedicated to serving donors' needs, the Roundtable represents a unique resource for those who want to make the most of their giving."

According to Media Matters:

The Philanthropy Roundtable "is a bastion of the conservative philanthropy world. While open to all, the group is largely composed of and funded by conservative philanthropies and groups, mainly for its belief that philanthropy is most likely to succeed when it focuses not on grand social designs, but on individual achievement, and where it rewards not dependence, but personal initiative, self-reliance, and private enterprise.""

It also is outspoken in its opposition to transparency. "The Philanthropy Foundation fights what it considers the increasingly growing public view that foundations should be accountable to the public. The group is opposed to more efforts at transparency, believing that "foundations are private organizations that should be free to make their own governance and grantmaking decisions so long as they operate with integrity and use their assets for genuinely charitable purposes."" [4]

History

According to the Institute for Policy Studies, "The Philanthropy Roundtable arose as part of a strategy to build a rightwing funding base to contest the power of the "liberal establishment." The organization was initially financed by the Institute for Education Affairs, founded in 1978 by Irving Kristol and former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Olin Foundation president William Simon, two key figures in shaping the strategies of corporate and rightwing philanthropy. Under their direction, the IEA aimed to funnel millions of dollars into the "war of ideas" with what they called the "adversary culture"—meaning liberals, progressives, and secularists. [5]

Each year the Roundtable convenes an annual conference drawing together presenters from conservative advocates, media commentators - such as David Brooks from the New York Times - and mainstream non-government organizations. Its November 2004 annual conference at Palm Beach, Florida, USA included a special pre conference environmental meeting. The after dinner speaker was Danish climate change denier Bjorn Lomborg while other feature sessions were on oceans and aquaculture policy, the fate of the Amazon forests, environmental education and water policy in Florida.

A feature session of the main conference agenda was a discussion on what to do about teachers unions. [3].

In an interview with the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the President of the Philanthropy Roundatble, Adam Meyerson, indicated that education 'reform' was one of the key priorities for the organisation during George W. Bush's second term, "President Bush has the potential to be the most important president in the history of American education -- the president who finally solves our crisis in the education of low-income children. But he cannot achieve this breakthrough simply through the federal No Child Left Behind law, the focus of his first term. Reform of education is going to come primarily from the ground up -- from state and local government, and from philanthropists and social entrepreneurs," he said.[4]

O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that lobbying disclosure forms indicated that on February 2005 the Philanthropy Roundtable hired Venn Strategies, LLC "regarding proposed charitable taxation legislation that would affect private foundations' powers and duties, tax exempt status and possible existence". [5]

Links to Neoconservatives

According to the Institute for Policy Studies, the Roundtable has well-established links to prominent neoconservatives:

"Philanthropy Roundtable directors have included Leslie Lenkwosky and John Waters, both of whom served in the George W. Bush administration, as well as Kim Dennis, now executive director of the Searle Freedom Trust. Adam Meyerson, a former vice president of the Heritage Foundation, has been the director since 2001. Meyerson is co-editor of the Wall Street Journal on Management, former editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal, former managing editor of the American Spectator, and the spouse of Nina Shea, the director of the Center for Religious Freedom at Hudson Institute and a long-standing neoconservative activist." [6]

Board of Directors

Funding

2011 Finances and Donations

In 2011, Philanthropy Roundtable funded the following right-wing organizations that comprise the State Policy Network (SPN):[3]:

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation: $10000
The Roe Foundation: $2500
Donors Capital Fund:$455,165
DonorsTrust: $11100

Other major right-wing organizations that received grants from the Philanthropy Roundtable in 2011 include:

Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation: $260000
Challenge Foundation: $25000
Scaife Family Foundation: $20000
Joyce and Donald Rumsfeld Foundation: $1000
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation: $25000
Castle Rock Foundation: $75000
Searle Freedom Trust: $100,000
Allegheny Foundation: $15000
Lillian S. Wells Foundation: $50000
Deramus Foundation: $5000
Randolph Foundation: $15000
George Edward Durell Foundation: $5000
Jaquelin Hume Foundation: $40000
Philip M. McKenna Foundation: $500
Diana Davis Spencer Foundation: $15000
Colcom Foundation: $5000
Weiler Foundation: $5000

2010 Finances and Donations

In 2010, Philanthropy Roundtable funded the following right-wing organizations that comprise the State Policy Network (SPN):[3]:

DonorsTrust: $23100
Roe Foundation: $2500
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation: $10000
Donors Capital Fund: $248,400

Other major right-wing organizations that received grants from the Philanthropy Roundtable in 2011 include:

Diana Davis Spencer Foundation: $10000
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation: $260,000
Scaife Family Foundation: $20000
Gilder Foundation: $10000
Earhart Foundation: $10000
William E. Simon Foundation: $55500
Challenge Foundation: $50000
Earhart Foundation: $15000
Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation: $5000
William E. Simon Foundation: $360,000
JM Foundation: $25000
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation; $25000
Joyce and Donald Rumsfeld Foundation: $1000
Jaquelin Hume Foundation: $25000
Deramus Foundation: $5000
Castle Rock Foundation: $60000
Allegheny Foundation: $15000
Lillian S. Wells Foundation: $50000
Philip M. McKenna Foundation: $500
Vernon K. Krieble Foundation: $2500
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation : $10000
Walton Family Foundation: $150,000:Colcom Foundation: $5000
Searle Freedom Trust: $100,000


Between 1993 and 2010, the Roundtable received donations from all of the following organizations:

Connection to Koch

In October 2011 the Roundtable awarded Charles G. Koch the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership. The award gives $250,000 to a charity of the prize recipient's choice, and is intended to "honor living philanthropists who have shown exemplary leadership through their own charitable giving, either directly or through foundations they have created." In its explanation for why Koch was the recipient, the Roundtable claimed that "For more than 40 years, he has been at the forefront of strategic investment in ideas, think tanks, and academic research." [9] Not surprisingly, Koch has maintained a longstanding financial relationship with the foundation. Between 1993 and 2005, the Philanthropy Roundtable received $94,500 in donations from Koch's own philanthropic organization, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. [10] Koch contributed $125,000 more to the Roundtable between 2006-2009, bringing his total contributions since 1993 to $219,500. [11]

Koch has a long history of involvement at the Roundtable's annual meetings. A 1997 report by the National Committee on Response Philanthropy documented the participation of the Koch Brothers in the 1995 conference:

"In a presentation at the Philanthropy Roundtable's 1995 annual conference, Richard Fink, president of the Charles G. Koch and Claude R. Lambe charitable foundations, made good use of market metaphors to outline how foundations can exert the greatest impact on public policy. Adapting laissez-faire economist Friedreich Hayek's model of the production process to social change grant-making, Fink argued that the translation of ideas into action requires the development of intellectual raw materials, their conversion into specific policy products, and the marketing and distribution of these products to citizen-consumers.

Grantmakers, Fink argued, would do well to invest in change along the entire production continuum, funding scholars and university programs where the intellectual framework for social transformation is developed, think tanks where scholarly ideas get translated into specific policy proposals, and implementation groups to bring these proposals into the political marketplace and eventually to consumers." [12]

Charles Koch will be a presenter at the 2011 annual Philanthropy Roundtable conference.[13]

Contact

1150 17th Street, NW
Suite 503
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone: (202) 822-8333
Fax:(202) 822-8325
Web: http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/

Projects

SourceWatch Resources

External links

=References

  1. The Philanthropy Roundtable, "About Us", "Philanthropy website", accessed June 10, 2013.
  2. DailyKos, "What is Philanthropy Roundtable", March 2005
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 , Bridge Project,Philanthropy Roundtable Financials, "Bridge Project", accessed June 10, 2013.
  4. Media Matters Action Network: Conservative Transparency, accessed 10/20/2011
  5. Institute For Policy Studies Philanthropy Roundtable Profile, accessed 10/20/2011
  6. Institute For Policy Studies Philanthropy Roundtable Profile, accessed 10/20/2011
  7. Daniel Bice, Bill Glauber, Ben Poston. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. November 28, 2011.
  8. Media Matters Action Network: Conservative Transparency, accessed October 20,2011
  9. The Philanthropy Roundtable announces Charles G. Koch as the 2011 recipient of the William E. Simon Prize., accessed 10/20/2011
  10. Media Transparency: Grants to Philanthropy Roundtable from Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, accessed 10/20/2011
  11. Media Matters Action Network: Conservative Transparency, accessed 10/20/2011
  12. [1] accessed October 20, 2011
  13. [2] accessed October 20, 2011