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You Get What You Pay For

James Piereson

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Conservative philanthropists invested in ideas, and the payoff was huge.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

The Capital Research Center recently reported that in 2002 Teresa Heinz Kerry presided over the disbursement of more than $65 million in grants through various Heinz family philanthropies. A large proportion of these grants went to liberal advocacy groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters, which promote further regulation of business and higher taxes on the American people. Thus do the Heinz philanthropies join George Soros, Ted Turner, the Ford Foundation and scores of other donors in funding left-leaning causes.

This report is simply the latest sign that organized philanthropy, like the academic world, remains firmly in the grip of orthodox liberalism. Among the largest foundations in the United States, liberal foundations have been well represented by such stalwarts as the Ford, Rockefeller and MacArthur foundations, the Carnegie Corporation and the Pew Charitable Trusts--which list combined assets of some $25 billion and annual expenditures of more than $1.2 billion. By contrast, there is not now, nor has there been in the recent past, a conservatively oriented foundation with sufficient assets to make this list. These liberal foundations alone outspend the main conservative foundations by a factor of at least 10 to 1. When smaller foundations--like the Heinz Foundations--are added to the list, the disparity is more like 20 to 1.

Yet this imbalance in resources is one that conservative donors have always faced, and have succeeded in overcoming to a surprising degree. In the immediate future, however, conservative philanthropy will face a challenge that may prove far more daunting.

Read the entire article on the Wall Street Opinion Journal website.

Posted: 8/19/04



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