NCRP’s seminal series of reports on the role of foundations in politics was a critical point in the history of the progressive movement.
How did conservative foundations manage to build an effective infrastructure for developing and promoting conservative public policies with such limited resources?
This question was answered by Sally Covington in Moving a Public Policy Agenda: The Strategic Philanthropy of Conservative Foundations in 1997. It paved the way for the establishment of progressive think tanks such as the Center for American Progress, and contributed to the formation of the Democracy Alliance.
The follow up report Axis of Ideology: Conservative Foundations and Public Policy in 2004 has been used by dozens of groups to grow a base of political and charitable donors in support of progressive causes.
These and other reports such as David Callahan’s $1 Billion for Ideas: Conservative Think Tanks in the 1990s continue to shape how foundations think about their grantmaking strategies and the change they’re working to see in the world.
Photo by David Maiolo