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Scaife Foundations

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The Scaife Foundations consist of the:

  • Sarah Scaife Foundation ( $244 million (fair market value) in 2009) [1]
  • Carthage Foundation ( $24 million (fair market value)in 2009) [2]
  • Allegheny Foundation ( $47 million (fair market value) in 2009) [3]
  • Scaife Family Foundation ( $70 million (fair market value) in 2009) [4]

All four have been heavily involved in financing various conservative and Islamophobic causes under the direction of reclusive billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, whose wealth was inherited from the Mellon industrial, oil, aluminum and banking fortune.


The foundations

Allegheny Foundation

In 2009, with $28,045,655 in assets (book value), it gave out grants worth over $4 million, including $1.7 million to the American Legislative Exchange Council.[5]

Carthage Foundation


Sarah Scaife Foundation

The Sarah Scaife Foundation is also known as the Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation.

1973, Scaife became chairman, commenced right wing funding

The Foundation commenced funding "New Right" causes in 1973 when Richard Mellon Scaife became the foundation's chairman. During the 1960s, Richard inherited an estimated $200 million from his mother, Sarah. His net personal worth was estimated at $800 million by Forbes magazine, which would make Richard the 38th richest person in the United States. Richard controls the Scaife, Carthage, and Alleghany foundations.

Some years agoTemplate:Date, the Sarah Scaife Foundation was estimated to be worth $200 million.

Grants from 1985-2001

Between 1985 and 2001, the Sarah Scaife Foundation donated $15,860,000 to the Heritage Foundation; $7,333,000 to the Institute for Policy Analysis (likely the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis[6]); $6,995,500 to the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; $6,693,000 to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); $4,411,000 to the American Enterprise Institute; $2,575,000 to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; $1,855,000 to the George C. Marshall Institute; $1,808,000 to the Hudson Institute; and $1,697,000 to the Cato Institute.[citation needed]

Scaife Family Foundation

SF fndn grants from 1985-2001

For the years 1985-2001, the Scaife Family Foundation donated $702,640 to the Heritage Foundation; $590,000 to the American Enterprise Institute; $275,000 to the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University; $200,000 to the CSIS; and $175,000 to the New Citizenship Project, Inc., alone.

Transition to daughter's control shifted focus

RecentlyTemplate:Date, however, the Scaife Family Foundation came under the control of Scaife's daughter Jennie and has changed focus. It continues to give some money to conservative causes, but most of its funding now goes to nonpolitical projects such as medical programs, treatment for substance abuse (a problem for several family members) and animal welfare. Jennie Scaife said that her father doesn't support her spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on Planned Parenthood, which supports abortion rights. However, the Charlotte Observer reported in July 2003 that Scaife donated money to Children Requiring A Caring Community, which pays poor women, especially those addicted to drugs, either to be sterilized or to undergo long-term birth control. [5]

RM Scaife prefers privacy

(this section should be moved to RMS's page) Although Scaife has dedicated vast sums of money to influencing the way the public thinks, he prefers to operate behind the scenes, granting few interviews. When former Wall Street Journal reporter Karen Rothmyer attempted to interview him in 1981, he responded by calling her a "fucking Communist cunt" and telling her to "get out of here."

Funding Islamophobia in the United States

Research from the Center for American Progress (CAP) indicates that a Scaife foundation has funded various organizations and individuals contributing to an anti-Islamic hysteria in the United States. The organization contributed $7,875,000 to Islamophobic groups between 2001 and 2009. Some of the main recipients included the Center for Security Policy, the Counterterrorism & Security Education and Research Foundation, and the David Horowitz Freedom Center.[7]

Financial summary

In 1993 alone, the Scaife and Carthage foundations donated more than $17.6 million to conservative think tanks.

Scaife's foundations' grants by 1999

By 1999, the Washington Post reported that Scaife's foundations had given $340 million to conservative causes and institutions.[6] By 2002, they held more than $320 million in assets, and in that year alone they gave away more than $22 million.[7][8][9] Grant recipients included:

Contact information

Scaife Foundations
One Oxford Center
301 Grant Street, Suite 3900
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-6401
Phone: (412) 392-2900

Articles and resources


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. Allegheny Foundation. Media Matters Action Network. Retrieved on 2011-04-25.
  6. Sarah Scaife Foundation grant recipients (1985-2005). Media Transparency (old site). Retrieved on 2011-10-21. “Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Inc. - 9,698,000 (1985-2005)”
  7. Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir, Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, CAB, August 2011.

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

  • Media Transparency: Scaife Foundations (grants and other info, 2006&earlier)
  • MediaMatters (grants and other info, 1985-2009, albeit incomplete - e.g. doesn't include Sarah Scaife Foundation grants to National Association of Scholars (as of 2011-08-13))
  • Scaife Foundations on Right Web

External articles

  • 1998 Salon article on Scaife.
  • Scaife Probing Death of Activist Who Criticized Government, Vatican Involvement, American Atheists' Flashline, web posted March 8, 1999.
  • "Scaife - Funding Father of the Right," Washington Post special report, May 2-3, 1999.
  • Robert G. Kaiser, Money, Family Name Shaped Scaife, The Washington Post, May 3, 1999.
  • Jamie Doward, "US millionaire bankrolls crusade against gay Anglican priests," The Observer (UK), October 12, 2003, mentions the role of Scaife as well as Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr..
  • Political Friendster; Links to Scaife family members and allows network connections to be selected and displayed.
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