July 17, 2013


Foundation of Liberty: Capital Research Center

By: Michael LaCroix

The Capital Research Center was founded in 1984 to promote a better understanding of charity and philanthropy, especially in the context of supporting a free society. They understand that the principles of individual liberty, a free market economy, and limited constitutional government are the cornerstones of American society and the foundation of private enterprise, economic growth, and wealth creation. These principles also open the door wide for generous donors to support organizations that fight for and support these same principles.

Unfortunately many donors reject these principles and many of the organizations these donors support are calling for an expansion of the welfare state, further regulation and restriction on the economy, and even greater restraint on individual freedoms. They continue to argue that this expanded government is responsible for everything from the environment and education to healthcare and the elderly. This disconnect between the principles of a free society and the donors behind these antithetical organizations is exactly where the CRC comes in.

The CRC focus specifically on “the politics of nonprofits.” They consider the goals and activities of liberal left-leaning special interest groups and critically analyze the impact they have on politics and society by researching their sources of funding and profiling major donors. They take seriously their mission to inform donors of their rights, alert them to bad examples of nonprofit activism and advocacy, and defend donors who understand the principles at the foundation of a free and flourishing society and strive to defend it through their generous gifts. Scott Walter, the executive vice-president of CRC had this to say about CRC’s vision beyond the classic talking points of the liberty movement.

“CRC’s niche is focusing on the nonprofit sector, like labor unions, where very little attention is paid. Labor unions are hugely influential and have massive budgets. The NEA, for example, has a budget specifically for political activists that is bigger than the RNC and DNC combined. They hold incredibly influential power and yet almost no one knows about it.”

CRC releases a number of publications each month that address different aspects of politics and social life including: Green Watch, Organizational Trends, Foundation Watch, and Labor Watch. In this month’s edition of Organizational Trends James Simpson draws out a massive yet fairly undetected strategy that the left is currently deploying through organizations such as Organizing for Action and the Lone Star Project in order to turn deep red states like Texas to blue in an attempt to essentially monopolize future presidential elections.

Though Governor Perry has called such goals “pipe dreams,” Senator Ted Cruz has much graver warnings for the GOP if it doesn’t wake up to these very real threats. “In not too many years, Texas could switch from being Republican to all Democrat…If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House…If Texas is bright blue, you can’t get to 270 electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist.” The CRC strives to educate people and especially donors to the dangers that these organizations pose to our founding principles, the principles and foundations of a free society.

Looking forward with the hope that many young professionals today will be capable of giving generously in the future I asked Scott for one final bit of wisdom. Seeing as many of our readers are young professionals in the liberty movement, Scott has this offered this bit, “Develop the habit of giving early. Arthur Brooks has written about this several times. Developing the habit of unselfishness giving early on lays a foundation for smarter giving later on in life.” This ‘smarter giving’ is what can really make a difference in individual lives in the long run.

Michael LaCroix is an intern at America’s Future Foundation and a rising senior at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.