Industry Funded Non-Profit Lobbying

In Culture of Corruption, Laws & Regulation, Netroots, US Politics on July 17, 2006 at 10:42 am

Rick Cohen, Director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, has a quick and interesting piece about, “Nonprofits Carrying Out the Lobbying Agendas of Their Corporate Sponsors.” The info isn’t anything new, but it’s a great primer on the topic. It’s posted on the DMI Blog. Excerpt:


“The fact that some corporations are doing what Jack Abramoff did, to hide behind the nonprofit corporate form to conduct undisclosed lobbying for special interests, shouldn’t be a surprise. There are unfortunately lots of examples of corporations funding ostensibly independent nonprofits that actually serve as front groups for their corporate benefactors… The problem? Corporations are required to disclose their contributions to nonprofits if they are made through corporate foundations, but increasingly less corporate philanthropy flows through their foundations and more gets distributed through marketing departments, executive offices, and other corporate departments immune from philanthropic disclosure requirements. While corporate grantmaking is apparently rising, corporate grantmaking through their foundations–that is, the portion required by law to be disclosed to the public–is decreasing. So, perhaps as much as half of corporate contributions to nonprofits is not disclosed to the public.”


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