The Scaife Foundations consist of a trio of philanthropic foundations directed by billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, whose wealth was inherited from the Mellon industrial, oil, aluminum and banking fortune.
- Sarah Scaife Foundation
- Carthage Foundation
- Allegheny Foundation
In addition, two other foundations are also associated with Richard Scaife and controlled by members of his family:
- Scaife Family Foundation — previously controlled by Richard Scaife and now under the direction of his children since the early 2000s.
- Colcom Foundation — established and previously managed by Richard Scaife's late sister, Cordelia Scaife May.
All of these foundations have been heavily involved in financing various conservative causes.
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- 1 The Scaife foundations
- 2 Scaife affiliated foundations
- 3 Bankrolling Anti-Immigration Groups
- 4 Funding Islamophobia in the United States
- 5 Financial summary and list of grant recipients
- 6 Contact information
- 7 Articles and resources
- 8 Related SourceWatch articles
The Scaife foundations
The Scaife family’s foundations, set up by Richard Scaife’s mother, Sarah, were relatively apolitical until her death in 1965, "when Richard assumed greater control of the family fortune and was able to direct his wealth toward the growth of a conservative infrastructure." By 1976, over half of the Scaife foundations’ grant money went to conservative organizations and causes.
According to its website, the foundation "concentrates its giving in the Western Pennsylvania area and confines most of its grant awards to programs for historic preservation, civic development and education."  As a philanthropic organization, Allegheny is officially dedicated to supporting nonpolitical causes. However, the foundation has heavily supported some of the most prominent right-wing institutions, including the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (nearly $2.7 million between 1992 and 2004), the Heritage Foundation (including a $1.25 million donation in 2010), the David Horowitz Freedom Center ($1.2 million since 2000), and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) (more than $1.7 million since 1985).
As of 2011 the foundation was worth $52 million (fair market value).
According to its website, the Carthage Foundation's "grant program is primarily directed toward public policy programs that address major domestic and international issues...[with] no geographical restrictions."
Carthage directs its funding to smaller conservative groups, such as $2.4 million since 1985 to the the Baltimore-based Maldon Institute and $2.2 million since 1995 to the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy. The foundation also gives to larger conservative organizations, such as: the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation (over $5 million since 1985), Judicial Watch ($4.6 million since 1997), the Heritage Foundation ($2.6 million since 1985), and the Washington Legal Foundation ($1.78 million since 1985). It has also given over $1.5 million since 1995 to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which has been designated as an anti-immigrant hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
As of 2011, the foundation was worth over $29 million (fair market value).
On the Founding of the Carthage Foundation
Jane Mayer, in her book Dark Money, describes how Scaife wrote a memoir before his death that has not been published,
- "In 2009, however, five years before he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer, Scaife penned a previously private, still-unpublished memoir, "A Richly Conservative Life," that serves as a secret tell-all about the building of the modern conservative movement. In his memoir, Scaife describes how he and a handful of other influential conservatives who shared the view that American civilization faced an existential threat from progressivism began meeting during the Cold War years, at first informally, to plot against the country's liberal drift....Out of this discussion was born the League to Save Carthage, an informal network of influential, die-hard American conservatives..." This network would become the Carthage Foundation."
Sarah Scaife Foundation
With over $255 million in assets as of 2010, the Sarah Scaife Foundation is the largest of the foundations currently under Scaife’s control, giving away over $14 million in 2010 According to its website, its funding is “primarily directed toward public policy programs that address major domestic and international issues.” In practice, the programs that benefit from the foundation’s grants usually seek to shift public policy to the right. "The foundation’s biggest recipient over the last several decades has been the Heritage Foundation, which got over $23 million between 1985 and 2010 and probably much more in years prior to available records." More big recipients are the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Hoover Institution, all prominent right-wing think tanks. Others include the American Enterprise Institute (which has received nearly $9 million), and the Media Research Center (which has received over $4 million) as well as millions to organizations like FreedomWorks, the Cato Institute, and the Center for Immigration Studies.
As of 2011, the foundation was worth over $263 million (fair market value).
Scaife became chairman, commenced right wing funding
During the 1960s, Richard Mellon Scaife inherited an estimated $200 million from his mother, Sarah. The Foundation commenced funding "New Right" causes in 1973 when Richard became the foundation's chairman. His net personal worth was estimated at $800 million by Forbes magazine, which made Richard the 38th richest person in the United States.
Grants from 1985-2001
Between 1985 and 2001, the Sarah Scaife Foundation donated $15,860,000 to the Heritage Foundation; $7,333,000 to the Institute for Policy Analysis; $6,995,500 to the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; $6,693,000 to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); $4,411,000 to the American Enterprise Institute; $2,575,000 to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; $1,855,000 to the George C. Marshall Institute; $1,808,000 to the Hudson Institute; and $1,697,000 to the Cato Institute.
Scaife affiliated foundations
Scaife Family Foundation
According to its website, the Scaife Family Foundation's grants are dedicated to organizations that "support and develop programs that strengthen families, address issues surrounding the health and welfare of women and children, promote animal welfare, and that demonstrate the beneficial interaction between humans and animals."
As of 2011, the foundation was worth more than $71 million (fair market value).
Transition to daughter's control shifted focus
The Scaife Family Foundation broke away from the other three Scaife Foundations in the early 2000s and came under the control of Scaife's daughter, Jennie, who has since changed its focus. According to the Palm Beach Post, Scaife’s daughter, Jennie, moved the foundation’s offices to Palm Beach, Florida, after differences arose concerning the foundation’s support for Planned Parenthood. Jennie claimed the Scaife Family Foundation became more independent from her family in 2000. As of 2003, the Scaife Family Foundation began giving a higher percentage of money to drug-treatment programs, disease-fighting groups, and colleges than it grants to think tanks, although it still funds measures to restrict immigration and abolish affirmative action.
Grants from 1985 to 2001
For the years 1985-2001, the Scaife Family Foundation donated $702,640 to the Heritage Foundation; $590,000 to the American Enterprise Institute; $275,000 to the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University; $200,000 to the CSIS; and $175,000 to the New Citizenship Project, Inc., alone.
The Colcom Foundation was directed by Richard Scaife's sister, Cordelia May, until her death in 2005. May was a dedicated conservationist concerned with population growth and a close friend of John Tanton, another conservationist turned an anti-immigration activist, responsible for the creation of a network of anti-immigrant groups, such as Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Colcom has given tens of millions of dollars to Tanton's groups, including FAIR, CIS, and NumbersUSA since 2001. From 2008-2010 alone, Colcom gave over 25 million dollars to these and other anti-immigrant organizations.
Bankrolling Anti-Immigration Groups
Cordelia Scaife May, founder and director the Colcom Foundation until her death in 2005, was an environmentalist committed to population control and believed limiting immigration was a way to succeed in this endeavor. Since 2001, Colcom has been the primary funder for many groups in the anti-immigrant John Tanton Network, giving over $17 million to NumbersUSA, almost $15 million to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and more than $6 million to the Center for Immigration Studies.
Richard Scaife, through his management of the Carthage Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation, and together with the Scaife Family Foundation (controlled by Richard Scaife’s children since 2001) has donated more than $4 million to FAIR and more than $3 million to CIS since the early 1990s. Additionally, since 2001, the foundations have given ProEnglish $285,000 and NumbersUSA $987,500. The Scaife Family Foundation is also the sole funder of ProEnglish.
Funding Islamophobia in the United States
Research from the Center for American Progress (CAP) indicates that a Scaife foundation has funded various organizations and individuals contributing to anti-Islamic sentiment in the United States. The organization contributed $7,875,000 to Islamophobic groups between 2001 and 2009. Some of the main recipients included the Center for Security Policy, the Counterterrorism & Security Education and Research Foundation, and the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Financial summary and list of grant recipients
In 1999, the Washington Post reported that Scaife's foundations had given $340 million to conservative causes and institutions.
Grant recipients have included:
- American Civil Rights Union
- American Enterprise Institute
- American Legislative Exchange Council
- Americans for Tax Reform
- Atlas Economic Research Foundation
- Capital Research Center
- Cato Institute
- Center for Media and Public Affairs
- Center for the Study of Popular Culture
- Citizens for a Sound Economy
- Collegiate Network
- Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
- Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Evergreen Freedom Foundation
- Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies
- Free Congress Research and Education Foundation
- George C. Marshall Institute
- Heritage Foundation
- Hudson Institute
- Independent Women's Forum
- Intercollegiate Studies Institute
- Judicial Watch
- Landmark Legal Foundation
- Media Research Center
- National Legal and Policy Center
- Philanthropy Roundtable
- Reason Foundation
- University of Chicago
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Articles and resources
- Michael Joseph Gross, "A Vast Right-Wing Hypocrisy", Vanity Fair, February 2008
- Bridge Project profile on: "Allegheny Foundation", organizational website, accessed May 2013
- Right Web profile on: "Scaife Foundations", organizational website, accessed May 2013
- Colcom Foundation, "History", organizational website, accessed May 2013
- Bridge Project profile on: "Sarah Scaife Foundation", organizational website, accessed May 2013
- Scaife Foundations, "Allegheny Foundation: Application Guidelines", organizational website, accessed 2013
- Economic Research Institute, Nonprofit Organization Information for: "Allegheny Foundation", organizational website, accessed May 2013
- Allegheny Foundation. Media Matters Action Network. Retrieved on 2011-04-25.
- Scaife Foundations, "The Carthage Foundation: Application Guidelines", organizational website, accessed 2013
- Bridge Project profile on: "The Carthage Foundation", organizational website, accessed May 2013
- Economic Research Institute, Nonprofit Organization Information for:"Carthage Foundation", organizational website, accessed May 2013
- Jane Mayer, [Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right], 2016.
- Scaife Foundations, "Sarah Scaife Foundation: Application Guidelines", organizational website, accessed 2013
- Economic Research Institute, Nonprofit Organization Information for: "Sarah Scaife Foundation Inc", Nonprofit Organization Information
- Sarah Scaife Foundation grant recipients (1985-2005). Media Transparency (old site). Retrieved on 2011-10-21. “Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Inc. - 9,698,000 (1985-2005)”
- Scaife Family Foundation, "Scaife Family Foundation", organizational website, accessed May 2013
- Economic Research Institute, Nonprofit Organization Information for:"Sarah Scaife Foundation Inc", organizational website, accessed May 2013
- Katie Lorenze, "Scaife-Funded Network Works Hard to Kill Immigration Reform", PRWatch, May 31, 2013
- Stephen Piggott, "Quiz Time: Which Single Foundation Almost Solely Bankroll’s the Entirety of the John Tanton Network?", Imagine 2050, September 1, 2011
- Bridge Project profile on: "Colcom Foundation", organizational website, accessed May 2013
- Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir, Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, CAB, August 2011.
- Washington Post, special series on Clinton featuring Richard Scaife, May 1999
- Sarah Scaife Foundation, "2002 Annual Report"
- Allegheny Foundation, "2002 Annual Report"
- Carthage Foundation, "2002 Annual Report"
Related SourceWatch articles
- Conservative foundations
- Foundations and Funders
- Cato Institute
- Oil industry
- Richard Mellon Scaife
- Scaife Family Foundation
- Gulf Oil
- Media Transparency: Scaife Foundations (grants and other info, 2006&earlier)
- MediaMatters (grants and other info, 1985-2009, albeit incomplete - e.g. doesn't include Sarah Scaife Foundation grants to National Association of Scholars (as of 2011-08-13))
- Scaife Foundations on Right Web
- 1998 Salon article on Scaife.
- Scaife Probing Death of Activist Who Criticized Government, Vatican Involvement, American Atheists' Flashline, web posted March 8, 1999.
- "Scaife - Funding Father of the Right," Washington Post special report, May 2-3, 1999.
- Robert G. Kaiser, Money, Family Name Shaped Scaife, The Washington Post, May 3, 1999.
- Jamie Doward, "US millionaire bankrolls crusade against gay Anglican priests," The Observer (UK), October 12, 2003, mentions the role of Scaife as well as Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr..
- Political Friendster; Links to Scaife family members and allows network connections to be selected and displayed.
- Brendan DeMelle Heartland Denial-a-Palooza Sponsors Have Received $67 Million From ExxonMobil, Koch and Scaife Foundations DeSmogBlog 22/05/2012