Searle Freedom Trust
|Founder(s)||Daniel C. Searle|
|Mission||"To support work that will lead to a more just, free, and prosperous society."|
|President||Kimberly O. Dennis|
|Endowment||$150 million (2014)|
The Searle Freedom Trust is a charitable foundation located in the United States. Its stated mission is "to support work that will lead to a more just, free, and prosperous society." It was established by business executive Daniel C. Searle in 1998. As of 2014, the trust had an endowment of $150 million. The trust will be depleted and closed by 2025 "to ensure that the Foundation will always remain in the hands of people who understand my [Searle's] intentions and are committed to carrying out the Foundation’s mission".
Searle hired Kimberly O. Dennis to write the mission statement of the Trust. The Trust was originally called the D & D Foundation. Dennis is the president and chief executive officer of the Trust. Searle's son Gideon succeeded his father as chairman of the Trust. The Trust donates over $14 million each year.
Grantees of the Trust have included conservative and libertarian public policy organizations. Searle was one of the largest donors to the American Enterprise Institute and the largest in his last two decades. The trust has also donated to the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, the Pacific Research Institute, the Reason Foundation, the State Policy Network, the Federalist Society, Donors Trust, Philanthropy Roundtable, the Institute for Humane Studies, the Collegiate Network, and the Political Theory Project at Brown University.
In 2013, the member organizations in the State Policy Network sought funding from the Trust. In December 2013, The Guardian, in collaboration with The Texas Observer and the Portland Press Herald, obtained, published and analyzed 40 of the grant proposals. According to The Guardian, the proposals documented a coordinated strategy across 34 states, "a blueprint for the conservative agenda in 2014." The reports described the grant proposals in six states as proposing campaigns to cut pay to state government employees; oppose public sector collective bargaining; reduce public sector services in education and healthcare; promote school vouchers; oppose efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions; reduce or eliminate income and sales taxes; and study a proposed block grant reform to Medicare.
The Trust granted, via Donors Trust, $597,500 between 2005 and 2010, $650,000 in 2013, and $500,000 in 2015, to fund the Project on Fair Representation, a Washington, D.C.-based legal defense fund that recruited plaintiffs in lawsuits to challenge affirmative action in college admissions policies, including the United States Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas and at Harvard University.
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- Official website
- "Searle Freedom Trust Internal Revenue Service filings". ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer.