MOVING A PUBLIC POLICY AGENDA

The Strategic Philanthropy of Conservative Foundations

Moving A Public Policy Agenda

READ THE REPORT

Written by: Sally Covington

Date: July 23, 1997

How did conservative foundations manage to build an effective infrastructure for developing and promoting conservative public policies with limited resources? Sally Covington answered this question in Moving a Public Policy Agenda.

This report paved the way for the establishment of progressive think tanks such as Center for American Progress, and contributed to the formation of the Democracy Alliance.

“Sally Covington focuses on the conservative movement, but implicit in her account of conservative philanthropy is a critique of how mainstream and liberal foundations have failed to respond. She describes how conservative foundations have created and concentrated general operating support on a distinct set of think tanks and linking organizations; she tells how they have helped conservative scholars and other professionals advance their careers through fellowships, research support and endowed academic posts; she explains how they have constructed networks for communicating policy proposals and ideas to various conservative constituencies, while keeping opponents on the defensive. Above all she reminds us of the techniques for marketing ideas and of how conservatives have adapted over the past thirty years to the new ways in which public policy discourse has been conducted, whether through op-ed pieces, public broadcasting and cable television or fax machines and web-sites.”

– James A. Smith
Author of “The Idea Broker: Think Tanks and the Rise of the New Policy Elite”

AXIS OF IDEOLOGY: CONSERVATIVE FOUNDATIONS AND PUBLIC POLICY

Read about the effective philanthropic strategies of notable conservative foundations that supported right-wing think tanks.

Learn More
13