Dunn Foundation

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The Dunn Foundation, formerly Dunn's Foundation for Right Thinking, is the private foundation founded in 1993 by Florida multimillionaire William A. Dunn, president of Dunn Capital Management. According to the trust agreement, the Foundation aims to "advance the understanding and practice of classical liberalism, market capitalism, free enterprise, individual political and economic liberty and to reduce the impact of the use of threat of force by coercive organizations (both public and private) against the people of America and the world, principally through education and persuasion."[1] The Dunn Foundation is a major funder of national and state right-wing nonprofits.

Ties to the Koch Network

The Dunn Foundation has provided funding (see below) to Koch organizations including the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and Stand Together Trust.

Koch Wiki

Charles Koch is the right-wing billionaire owner of Koch Industries. As one of the richest people in the world, he is a key funder of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on Charles Koch and his late brother David include: Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Stand Together, Koch Family Foundations, Koch Universities, and I360.

Ties to the State Policy Network

Dunn Foundation is a major funder of the State Policy Network (See below). SPN is a web of right-wing “think tanks” and tax-exempt organizations in 50 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and the United Kingdom. As of January 2022, SPN's membership totals 166. Today's SPN is the tip of the spear of far-right, nationally funded policy agenda in the states that undergirds extremists in the Republican Party. SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told the Wall Street Journal in 2017 that the revenue of the combined groups was some $80 million, but a 2019 analysis of SPN's main members IRS filings by the Center for Media and Democracy shows that the combined revenue is over $120 million.[2] Although SPN's member organizations claim to be nonpartisan and independent, the Center for Media and Democracy's in-depth investigation, "EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government," reveals that SPN and its member think tanks are major drivers of the right-wing, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-backed corporate agenda in state houses nationwide, with deep ties to the Koch brothers and the national right-wing network of funders.[3]

In response to CMD's report, SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told national and statehouse reporters that SPN affiliates are "fiercely independent." Later the same week, however, The New Yorker's Jane Mayer caught Sharp in a contradiction. In her article, "Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?," the Pulitzer-nominated reporter revealed that, in a recent meeting behind closed doors with the heads of SPN affiliates around the country, Sharp "compared the organization’s model to that of the giant global chain IKEA." She reportedly said that SPN "would provide 'the raw materials,' along with the 'services' needed to assemble the products. Rather than acting like passive customers who buy finished products, she wanted each state group to show the enterprise and creativity needed to assemble the parts in their home states. 'Pick what you need,' she said, 'and customize it for what works best for you.'" Not only that, but Sharp "also acknowledged privately to the members that the organization's often anonymous donors frequently shape the agenda. 'The grants are driven by donor intent,' she told the gathered think-tank heads. She added that, often, 'the donors have a very specific idea of what they want to happen.'"[4]

A set of coordinated fundraising proposals obtained and released by The Guardian in early December 2013 confirm many of these SPN members' intent to change state laws and policies, referring to "advancing model legislation" and "candidate briefings." These activities "arguably cross the line into lobbying," The Guardian notes.[5]

Grants Distributed

2020[6]

2019[7]

2018[8]

2017[9]

2016[10]

Core Financials

2020[6]

  • Total Revenue: $1,112,459
  • Total Expenses: $5,022,142
  • Net Assets: $28,134,334

2019[7]

  • Total Revenue: $11,332,081
  • Total Expenses: $6,315,367
  • Net Assets: $98,022,943

2018[8]

  • Total Revenue: $1,457,386
  • Total Expenses: $5,050,892
  • Net Assets: $87,955,839

2017[9]

  • Total Revenue: $4,401,490
  • Total Expenses: $4,367,546
  • Net Assets: $103,115,845

2016[10]

  • Total Revenue: $287,474
  • Total Expenses: $4,432,397
  • Net Assets: $108,194,803

Personnel

Board of Directors

As of December 2020:[6]

  • Tom Beach
  • David Dreyer
  • Rebecca Walter Dunn
  • William A Dunn

Contact Information

Dunn Foundation
Foundation Source 501 Silverside Road
Wilmington, DE 198091377
Phone: 800-839-1754

EIN: 65-0415977

Articles and Resources

IRS Form 990 Filings

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

Articles

References

  1. Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking, "Conservative Transparency," amended and restated trust agreement, March 9, 2011, accessed July 1, 2014.
  2. David Armiak, Revenue for State Policy Network and State Affiliates Tops $120 Million, ExposedbyCMD, November 13, 2019.
  3. Rebekah Wilce, Center for Media and Democracy, EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
  4. Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
  5. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Dunn Foundation, 2020 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, May 28, 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Dunn Foundation, 2019 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, July 1, 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dunn Foundation, 2018 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, May 19, 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Dunn Foundation, 2017 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 7, 2018.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dunn Foundation, 2016 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 9, 2017.