the MONEY behind the media

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation
Assets: $644 million ('00)
Annual giving: $45 million ('00)

Scaife Foundations

Assets: $478 million ('01)
Annual giving: $25.9 million ('01)

Smith Richardson Foundation

Assets: $540 million ('00)
Annual Giving: $19.7 million ('00)

John M. Olin Foundation

Assets: $71 million ('01)
Annual Giving: $21 million ('01)

Earhart Foundation

Assets: $84 million ('01)
Annual Giving: $5.5 million ('01)

Koch Foundations

Charles G. Koch, Claude R. Lambe, and David H. Koch Foundations
Assets: $96 million ('01)
Annual Giving: $9 million ('01)

"Take a tour of our nation's cultural landscape as the century turns, and you find that ideas once considered ideologically revanchist are in full bloom, funded by right-wing donors ... Media Transparency is the essential tool for researching this movement."

    - Eric Alterman, The Nation magazine

The Conservative Movement

Over the past 30 years a small group of wealthy conservative philanthropies have quietly funded a movement to change the social, legal, educational, media and political landscape of the United States. Using tax-exempt funds these philanthropies have coordinated their giving to create a suppy-side machinery for implementing their mostly Republican agenda.

Various organizations have reported on this phenomenon. In 1996 People for The American Way wrote the first in depth examination in a report titled "Buying a Movement: Right Wing Foundations and American Politics" The chief insight of Buying a Movement was its observation of

...the willingness of the foundations to promote a highly politicized agenda by funding a broad range of organizations.

Clearly there was nothing even remotely resembling this on the left, perhaps justifiably so, since these philanthropies were achieving political goals with tax-exempt monies -- which is theoretically against the law, since "there is no social interest in the underwriting of one or another of the political parties"

The second major report on this movement was provided by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), an umbrella group of liberal-oriented philanthropies. It's 1997 report, "Moving A Public Policy Agenda: The Strategic Philanthropy of Conservative Foundations" for the first time examined the grantmaking activities of the 12 top conservative philanthropies, complete with a three-year analysis of their grants, and, more importantly, a structure for understanding both the philosophical underpinings of the movement, and its action plan.

The NCRP report goes a long way to providing a theoretical structure for studying the sponsored conservative movement, but it falls short of providing a useful research tool for journalists and the general public to "follow the money" of the philanthropies' overall impact.

Media Transparency is the most complete resource available for providing research data and information about the money behind the conservative movement. Only Media Transparency provides an online searchable database of the grants made by the 12 leading conservative philanthropies over the past 15 years. Currently our free database contains 21,000 plus grants to more than 2,000 recipients -- an amount in excess of $1.25 billion.

To give the numbers context, Media Transparency also supplies a structure for the movement and information about both the recipient organizations and people. Additionally, we tap the resources of other writers and researchers around the world, republishing and/or linking to their data, information and research tools.

Next: The Money Behind the Media.

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