Thursday, August 4, 2016

New Tool to Track Think Tank "Dark Money"

The Center for Public Integrity released a new tool this week that allows searches of  "dark money" grants between nonprofit groups, including think tanks.

Using the new tool, Think Tank Watch has searched a number of the largest, most powerful think tanks to help track down often undisclosed sources of money.  Following are some of our findings so far:

  • The Brookings Institution has received millions of dollars over the past five years from other nonprofits, including a number of universities such as University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University.  Brookings has also received money from the Financial Services Forum, Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Unite Here, Jewish Communal Fund, and Carter Center.  Most interestingly, the think tank has also received funds from Good Ventures for support of research projects and events on marijuana policy. 
  • The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative think tank, has received large amounts from the Jewish Communal Fund, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA).  It has also received grants from American Petroleum Institute (API), American Insurance Association, and the Charles Koch Institute, among others.  Interestingly, AEI has received a $74,000 grant from the liberal think tank Center for American Progress (CAP).
  • The Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think tank, has received more than $10 million from the Sandler Foundation over the past five years.  It has also received money from the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), United Steelworkers, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), AFL-CIO, Oxfam-America, National Association of Letter Carriers, and the Aspen Institute.

Stay tuned for more...