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Funding the Culture Wars
A new report is released on where the religious right gets its money.
NEW NCRP REPORT EXPLORES FUNDING FOR THE EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT AND ITS INCREASING POLITICAL INFLUENCE
Funding the Culture Wars: Philanthropy, Church and State examines conservative grantmaking to increasingly political evangelical organizations and leaders
WASHINGTON—The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) has issued a new report on the connections between conservative foundation grantmaking and the politically influential evangelical movement. Funding the Culture Wars: Philanthropy, Church and State clearly shows how strategic grantmaking is being used to promote “traditional family values” and stances on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, stem cell research, school prayer, and public displays of the Ten Commandments.
”The report’s findings raise important questions related to the public accountability of religious nonprofit organizations—especially those that engage in electioneering or the policymaking process,” says Jeff Krehely, deputy director of NCRP. “Questioning their activities is a great taboo within the nonprofit sector, but as these organizations grow in financial strength and become more politically active, they merit serious and careful examination and discussion.”
Funding the Culture Wars analyzes nearly 3,200 grants valued at $168 million that 37 foundations made to 700 evangelical grantees from 1999 to 2002. Grants were studied within four categories: domestic missions, international missions, social services, and policy and advocacy. Major findings of Funding the Culture Wars include the following:
• Organizations that fight against gay marriage rights, including Focus on the Family the Family Research Council, and Exodus International, received approximately 10 percent of the total grant monies studied in Funding the Culture Wars.
• Forty one percent of grants studied were given as general operating support, an effective strategy employed by right-wing foundations to build the advocacy capacity of their grantees.
• Of the grant dollars devoted to international mission work, $24.6 million were used to proselytize, while only $13.3 million were used for humanitarian assistance and aid.
• The organization receiving the most in grant dollars in the study, the Campus Crusade for Christ International, is also one of the nation’s largest charities, with total annual revenues of approximately $400 million. As a religious organization, however, it is not required to file an annual tax return with the IRS, despite receiving significant tax breaks as a nonprofit organization.
Funding the Culture Wars: Philanthropy, Church and State is one of a series of follow-up reports to NCRP’s Axis of Ideology report, which investigated 79 conservative foundations and their grantmaking to 350 public policy-oriented conservative organizations. Print editions of NCRP’s new report, Funding the Culture Wars: Philanthropy, Church and State, and previous conservative grantmaking research reports (Axis of Ideology and 1997’s Moving a Public Policy Agenda) can now be ordered online at www.ncrp.org">http://www.ncrp.org or via telephone at (202) 387-9177, ext. 20 at the cost of $25 per copy ($12.50 for NCRP members, and free for journalists).
Subscriptions to Responsive Philanthropy are a free benefit of NCRP membership, and are also available to non-members for $25 annually for four issues.
Founded in 1976, NCRP is an independent organization committed to promoting greater philanthropic openness and accountability, and responsiveness to politically, economically, or socially disadvantaged individuals. While deeply dedicated to its mission, NCRP nevertheless encourages diversity of opinions and welcomes in its publications a variety of perspectives to which we many not necessarily conform.
NCRP is a national watchdog, research and advocacy organization that promotes public accountability and accessibility among foundations, corporate grantmakers, individual donors and workplace giving programs. For more information on NCRP or to join, please visit www.ncrp.org or call (202) 387-9177.
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