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Roe Foundation

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The Roe Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation started by Thomas A. Roe (1927-2000), founding chairman of the State Policy Network (SPN) and founder of the South Carolina Policy Council. It "continues to provide financial support to free-market policy groups across the country," according to SPN.[1] Roe was also an early funder of the Heritage Foundation, joining Joseph Coors, Samuel Roberts Noble, and Richard Mellon Scaife. He led Heritage's finance committee.[2] This article is a breakout of the State Policy Network article. Please see State Policy Network for more.

In 2011, the organization reported $1,599,873 in total revenue, $1,769,891 in total expenses, and $29,545,157 in total assets (fair market value).[3]

No "Collectivist World" or Organized Musicians: Strict Instructions for Endowment at Roe Foundation

The main characters in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead also take a stand against a "collectivist world."

According to the conservative "opposition research" think tank Capital Research Center (CRC), Roe believed in maintaining "donor intent," so the foundation his personal wealth endowed, the Roe Foundation, has explicit by-laws and requires grantees to "sign a document promising to uphold" the following principles:[2]

"First, 'the maximum potential of a free people is achieved when they are free to control their own destiny'; second, 'the greatest threat to these freedoms is intrusive government'; and third, 'the Judeo-Christian tradition represents the underpinnings of a just society.' Furthermore, recipients of the foundation’s support must recognize 'the importance of state and local organizations functioning alongside national organizations in the pursuit of a free society.' Finally, they must 'educate the public at large and all public policy makers to a better understanding of these fundamental values and practical ways to achieve the goals of expanding human freedom.'"[2]

A few grants can go to "nonprofit organizations in the metropolitan area of Greenville until such time as there are no descendents [sic] of Tom or Shirley Roe living there, but one such grant, to the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, "stipulates that its musicians cannot unionize. 'Tom didn’t like unions,' says [his widow] Shirley Roe."[2]

Roe gave Mont Pelerin Society and the Philadelphia Society "standing to sue" the Roe Foundation if, after his death, the Roe Foundation makes a grant to an organization “whose activities or public statements reflect a belief in a collectivist world or any view inconsistent” with the foundation’s announced principles (emphasis added), according to Chicago lawyer Paul Rhoads, who has written for the Philanthropy Roundtable.[2]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

The Roe Foundation has granted $28,500 to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) between 2000 and 2011, according to a review of the foundation's IRS filings by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD).[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Groups Funded

Funding SPN and SPN State Think Tanks

TOTAL to SPN and SPN State Think Tanks 1998-2012: $10,678,000, broken down as follows:[15]

Forms 990

  • Roe Foundation, 2012 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 6, 2013.
  • Roe Foundation, 2011 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 9, 2012.
  • Roe Foundation, 2010 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 9, 2011.
  • Roe Foundation, 2009 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, April 13, 2010.
  • Roe Foundation, 2008 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 12, 2009.
  • Roe Foundation, 2007 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 8, 2008.
  • Roe Foundation, 2006 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, April 24, 2007.
  • Roe Foundation, 2005 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 8, 2006.
  • Roe Foundation, 2004 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 11, 2005.
  • Roe Foundation, 2003 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, April 22, 2004.
  • Roe Foundation, 2002 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, April 1, 2003.
  • Roe Foundation, 2001 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 9, 2002.
  • Roe Foundation, 2000 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 14, 2001.
  • Roe Foundation, 1999 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 10, 2000.
  • Roe Foundation, 1998 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 12, 1999.

Key Personnel

Board of Directors

The Roe Foundation's board of directors, as of its 2011 tax filing, consists of:[3]

Contact Information

301 N Main St Ste 1735
Greenville , SC 29601
Phone: (864) 242-5007[16]

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources

External Articles

References

  1. State Policy Network, Leadership Team, organizational website, accessed April 19, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 John J. Miller, Safeguarding a Conservative Donor’s Intent: The Roe Foundation at 39, Foundation Watch, Capital Research Center publication, May 2007, accessed September 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2011, p. (S) 10.
  4. Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2010.
  5. Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS filing, 2009.
  6. Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2008.
  7. Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2007.
  8. Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2006.
  9. Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2005.
  10. Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2004.
  11. Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2003.
  12. Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2002.
  13. Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2001.
  14. Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2000.
  15. Center for Media and Democracy, Review of Roe Foundation Forms 990, 1998-2012, SourceWatch.org, June 2014.
  16. Guidestar.org, Roe Foundation, online organization report, accessed September 2012