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June 26, 2002

Why Liberal Foundations Suck

Robert Kuttner spoke at a meeting of rightwing foundations and their clients and has this report. For those who don't recognize it, one key difference between the modern Right and the Left, is that the rightwing funders are consciously building a movement, while liberal funders support many nice organizations but actually tend to fracture them along mulitiple issues and competition for funds.
...As one liberal funder sitting in at the conference told Kuttner, such liberal foundations would never speak a language of movement building. "We promote policies piecemeal," he said, "but we don't think of it as building a progressive movement."
...Kuttner notes there are a few signs of change on the liberal funding side, but not much. The reality is that change will have to come from the bottom-up, from the small dollar contributions and membership demanding greater cooperation between organizations they support. Maybe the funders will follow, or maybe the more cynical view that liberal foundations exist to domesticate dissent is accurate.

Posted by Nathan at June 26, 2002 11:15 AM


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