Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Annoying Habits of Think Tank Donors

The Wall Street Journal has a new piece entitled "Annoying Habits of Charitable Donors," and Think Tank Watch is aware of many think tank donors who give money to think tanks but make the policy shop's life a complete nightmare.

So, listen up donors, and try to avoid these mistakes:
  • Giving unwanted gifts: No, Brookings does not need your taxidermy collection from 1953.
  • Giving the wrong gifts: No, Heritage does not need your paper mache donkey.
  • Asking for a lot for a little: No, Council on Foreign Relations will not let you have access to all of its scholars for your donation of $19.99.
  • Micromanaging: No, American Enterprise Institute does not want to receive your call every hour insisting on updates about who is attending your sponsored event.
  • Expecting personal favors: No, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will not write a foreign policy paper for your kid if you start to donate.
  • Making false promises: No, the Center for Strategic and International Studies will not be  happy if you pledge $25 million for a new building and renege on that promise.
  • Restricting gifts: No, Center for American Progress does not like it when you give a huge donation but it should only be used to study the Democrats of northern Borneo.
  • Being a know-it-all: No, Cato Institute does not want to hear you rant about libertarian ideals.

More details about each of these situations can be found here.

Of course, think tank donors are not always at fault.  Think tanks also need to be on their best behavior...