Scaife Family Foundations

Scaife Family Foundations


The Scaife family foundations are made up of the Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation, the Carthage Foundation, the Allegheny Foundation, and the Scaife Family Foundation. Originally, the foundations were managed by Sarah Mellon Scaife. Effective January 1, 2015, The Carthage Foundation merged with and into the Sarah Scaife Foundation Incorporated and no longer provides donations.

The foundations are financed by the Mellon industrial, oil, and banking fortune. In 1869, the Mellon family created T. Mellon & Sons Bank. Later, the bank would be renamed Mellon Bank and become the largest bank in the state of Pennsylvania. The fortune of the Mellon family was also increased through significant investments in the Gulf Oil Corporation and the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA).

In 1957, when Fortune created its first list of the wealthiest Americans it estimated that Sarah Mellon Scaife, her brother, and two of her cousins, were all amongst the eight richest people in the United States—each with a fortune valued between $400-$700 million.

Richard Mellon Scaife, the son of Sarah Mellon Scaife, runs the Scaife Foundations. According to Forbes magazine, in 2008 Richard Mellon Scaife was worth $1.3 billion. Richard took charge of the Foundations in 1973. Currently, Richard runs the Sarah Mellon Scaife, Carthage, and Allegheny Foundations. His daughter and son control the Scaife Family Foundation.1The 400 Richest Americans: #355 Richard Scaife,”, September 17, 2008. Archived September 10, 2015. WebCite URL:

The National Journal has stated that the growth of the conservative movement was possible because a “handful of deep-pocketed, committed, and unusually patient wealthy benefactors such as Richard Scaife were willing to underwrite the broad ideological movement.”2 Julie Kosterlitz. “As Times Change, Key Think Tanks Trade Places,” National Journal, February 14, 2009. Available at EBSCO Host.

ThinkProgress reported on how Richard Scaife was also a major funder of the “Islamophobia Network,” and by “serving as the vice chairman of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank (Heritage president Edwin Feulner serves as a trustee for the Sarah Scaife Foundation), Scaife has positioned himself as a central figure in conservative politics.3 Eli Clifton. “Meet An Islamophobia Network Funder: Richard Scaife,” ThinkProgress, August 29, 2011. Archived September 10, 2015. WebCite URL:

The Scaife Family Foundation started to provide major funding to conservative organizations when Richard Scaife took control in 1973. According to Media Transparency, the Sarah Scaife Foundation is considered to be one of the top four conservative foundations.4The Scaife Foundations,” Media Transparency ( Archived October 29, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

The Washington Post estimates that Scaife gave about $200 million to conservative causes and organizations from 1974 to 1992.5 Robert G. Kaiser and Ira Chinoy. “Scaife: Funding Father of the Right,” Washington Post, May 2, 1999. WebCite URL:

One of Scaife’s beneficiaries is the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, which received $18,237,000 in funding from 1986 to 2012 according to data from the Conservative Transparency project.6Free Congress Research and Education Foundation,” Accessed September 10, 2015. The Free Congress Research and Education Foundation’s mission is to apply “conservative solutions to the challenges facing all Americans regardless of race, age or gender.”

According to SourceWatch, their original mission statement read that the “Free Congress Foundation is politically conservative, but it is more than that: it is also culturally conservative. Most think tanks talk about tax rates or the environment or welfare policy and occasionally we do also. But our main focus is on the Culture War. Will America return to the culture that made it great, our traditional, Judeo-Christian, Western culture? Or will we continue the long slide into the cultural and moral decay of political correctness? If we do, America, once the greatest nation on earth, will become no less than a third world country.”7Free Congress Foundation,” SourceWatch.

Stance on Climate Change

Scaife Foundations finance several organizations that actively dispute the scientific evidence produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These organizations include the Heartland Institute, the Hoover Institution, the Heritage Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

Heartland Institute Conferences on Climate Change

Sponsors behind the Heartland Institute’s International Conferences on Climate Change have themselves received significant funding from Scaife Foundations over the years. Examples below:

  • Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2): DeSmog found that collectively Scaife foundations gave $36,868,640 in funding to the sponsors of the Heartland Institute‘s 2009 International Conference on Climate Change.
  • Fourth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC4): Sponsors had collectively received $16,352,000 between 1985 and 2008 from Scaife foundations.
  • Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC6): $28,557,000
  • Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7): $45,337,640

Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation (EIN 25-1113452)

According to the Scaife Foundations website, the Sarah Scaife Foundation’s grant program is primarily directed toward public policy programs that address major domestic and international issues. There are no geographical restrictions. The Foundation does not make grants to individuals for any purpose or to nationally-organized fundraising groups.8Application Guidelines,” Scaife Foundations. Archived September 11, 2015. WebCite URL:

990 Forms

Annual Reports

Carthage Foundation (EIN 25-6067979)

Effective January 1, 2015, The Carthage Foundation merged with and into the Sarah Scaife Foundation Incorporated. Hence, The Carthage Foundation is no longer accepting grant inquiries/applications for funding.9The Carthage Foundation: Application Guidelines,” Scaife Foundations. Archived September 11, 2015. WebCite URL:

990 Forms

Annual Reports

Allegheny Foundation (EIN 25-6012303)

According to the Foundation’s website, The Allegheny Foundation concentrates its giving in the Western Pennsylvania area and confines most of its grant awards to programs for historic preservation, civic development and education. The Foundation does not make grants to individuals.10Allegheny Foundation: Application Guidelines,” Scaife Foundations. Archived September 11, 2015. WebCite URL:

990 Forms

Annual Reports

Scaife Family Foundation (EIN 25-1427015)

According to their website, “Scaife Family Foundation grant awards will support and develop programs that strengthen families, address issues surrounding the health and welfare of women and children, promote animal welfare, and that demonstrate the beneficial interaction between humans and animals. The Foundation will consider grants directed toward early intervention and prevention efforts in the area of drug and alcohol addiction. Consideration may be given to organizations that encourage private conservation. The Foundation will remain flexible in order to offer support in areas of importance as determined by the Trustees. The Foundation will not consider grants to individuals. Proposals for the following are usually declined: event sponsorships, endowments, capital campaigns, renovations or government agencies.”11Scaife Family Foundation,” Scaife Family Foundation. WebCite URL:

990 Forms

Annual Reports

Colcom Foundation (EIN 31-1479839)

990 Forms

Scaife Foundation Funding Highlights

The following includes archived funding data via the Conservative Transparency (CT) project combined with values from publicly available 990 tax forms. Note that this does not include all funding recipients, and not all CT values have been verified by DeSmog.

For a more complete list of donees, see the attached spreadsheet for Scaife Foundation funding by year (.xlsx).

RecipientAllegheny FoundationColcom FoundationSarah Scaife FoundationScaife Family FoundationThe Carthage FoundationGrand Total
NumbersUSA $38,936,336$445,000$1,000,000$37,500$40,418,836
Federation for American Immigration Reform $33,354,236$2,525,000$210,000$2,554,500$38,643,736
The Heritage Foundation$1,350,000 $27,535,000$702,640$2,544,000$32,131,640
Institute For Foreign Policy Analysis$75,000 $17,458,000 $1,345,000$18,878,000
Center for Immigration Studies $14,193,000$2,115,000$1,388,500$607,500$18,304,000
Free Congress Research and Education Foundation$144,000 $6,283,000$400,000$11,450,000$18,277,000
Center for Strategic and International Studies$900,000 $13,663,000$200,000$145,000$14,908,000
Hoover Institution on War Revolution and Peace $13,704,500 $898,400$14,602,900
Intercollegiate Studies Institute$2,943,500 $9,675,000$50,000$436,300$13,104,800
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research $11,611,000$590,000$900,000$13,101,000
The Social Contract Press $10,649,200 $10,649,200
David Horowitz Freedom Center$1,800,000 $6,875,000$1,225,000$625,000$10,525,000
Judicial Watch$67,000 $5,765,000 $4,675,000$10,507,000
Landmark Legal Foundation$40,000 $6,775,000$1,095,000$2,000,000$9,910,000
Allegheny Institute for Public Policy$2,090,000 $2,897,500$285,000$2,478,500$7,751,000
The Claremont Institute $6,500,000$50,000$775,000$7,325,000
National Association of Scholars $7,231,000 $7,231,000
Brandywine Conservancy$2,642,000 $3,000,000 $1,500,000$7,142,000
Center for Security Policy $5,951,000 $1,000,000$6,951,000
Maldon Institute$115,000 $2,393,000 $4,289,000$6,797,000
Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies $6,480,000 $275,000$6,755,000
Immigration Reform Law Institute $6,742,500 $6,742,500
Capital Research Center $6,150,000$255,000$225,000$6,630,000
Hudson Institute $5,363,000$221,000$875,000$6,459,000
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research $5,765,000$25,000$543,000$6,333,000
George Mason University $5,071,000 $1,015,000$6,086,000
Collegiate Network $4,695,000$600,000$680,000$5,975,000
Competitive Enterprise Institute $5,440,000$350,000$60,000$5,850,000
Counterterrorism & Security Education and Research Foundation$1,150,000 $1,350,000 $3,150,000$5,650,000
Pacific Legal Foundation $4,280,000 $875,000$5,155,000
Media Research Center$50,000 $4,942,000 $10,000$5,002,000
George C. Marshall Institute$50,000 $4,290,000 $582,500$4,922,500
Atlas Economic Research Foundation $3,185,000 $1,515,000$4,700,000
Ethics and Public Policy Center $4,605,000 $80,000$4,685,000
National Institute for Public Policy $4,180,000 $380,000$4,560,000
Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy $4,472,000 $4,472,000
Carnegie Institute$47,500$4,220,000$116,000 $4,383,500
Accuracy in Media $2,640,000$15,000$1,720,000$4,375,000
American Spectator Foundation $2,175,000 $1,869,000$4,044,000
Washington Legal Foundation$200,000 $920,000 $2,910,000$4,030,000
Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives$40,000 $3,517,000$225,000$10,000$3,792,000
Reason Foundation $3,241,000$191,500$316,000$3,748,500
Institute on Religion and Democracy $1,725,000$150,000$1,735,000$3,610,000
Center for Individual Rights $2,130,000$189,000$1,150,000$3,469,000
Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment $1,530,000 $1,860,000$3,390,000
Jamestown Foundation $2,875,000 $485,000$3,360,000
America’s Survival$1,000,000 $1,185,000 $1,035,000$3,220,000
American Foreign Policy Council $2,250,000 $930,000$3,180,000
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow $1,495,000 $1,565,000$3,060,000
Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation $2,380,000 $650,000$3,030,000
National Center for Policy Analysis $2,385,000$100,000$470,000$2,955,000
Missouri State University $2,734,000 $100,000$2,834,000
American Civil Rights Institute $2,730,000 $40,000$2,770,000
Cato Institute $2,457,500 $225,000$2,682,500
Independent Women’s Forum $2,050,000$200,000$400,000$2,650,000
Institute for Health Freedom $1,725,000$175,000$750,000$2,650,000
Institute on Religion and Public Life $2,100,000 $535,000$2,635,000
Atlantic Legal Foundation $2,530,000 $2,530,000
Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies $1,985,000$275,000$237,000$2,497,000
Tax Foundation $2,285,000 $205,000$2,490,000
Property and Environment Research Center $2,217,000 $250,000$2,467,000
Southeastern Legal Foundation $1,975,000 $475,000$2,450,000
National Strategy Information Center $2,323,000 $125,000$2,448,000
Institute for Justice $2,390,000$35,000 $2,425,000
George Mason University Foundation $2,420,000 $2,420,000
National Legal and Policy Center $1,290,000$140,000$972,000$2,402,000
Center for Neighborhood Enterprise$225,000 $200,000$1,905,000$71,000$2,401,000
Progressives for Immigration Reform $2,375,000 $2,375,000
George Mason University School of Law $2,205,000 $2,205,000
Center for Media and Public Affairs $1,620,000 $512,000$2,132,000
American Legislative Exchange Council$2,080,000 $50,000 $2,130,000
Pepperdine University $1,925,000 $190,000$2,115,000
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education $2,005,000 $100,000$2,105,000
FreedomWorks Foundation $2,090,000 $2,090,000
Institute for Humane Studies $1,550,000 $480,000$2,030,000
Tufts University $2,015,000 $2,015,000
National Taxpayers Union Foundation $1,705,000 $275,000$1,980,000
Freedom House $1,360,000 $490,000$1,850,000
Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship $1,675,000 $1,675,000
Center for Equal Opportunity$100,000 $1,360,000$175,000 $1,635,000
Foreign Policy Research Institute $1,410,000 $195,000$1,605,000
High Frontier $750,000 $785,000$1,535,000
Institute for Contemporary Studies $1,255,000 $200,500$1,455,500
National Center for Public Policy Research $540,000 $880,000$1,420,000
New England Legal Foundation $1,355,000 $60,000$1,415,000
American Immigration Control Foundation $1,369,332 $1,369,332
Defenders of Property Rights $475,000$5,000$885,000$1,365,000
Foundation for American Communications $1,240,000 $75,000$1,315,000
Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty$100,000 $710,000$465,000 $1,275,000
Mercatus Center $1,230,000 $1,230,000
Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research$1,225,000 $1,225,000
Statistical Assessment Service $1,050,000 $100,000$1,150,000
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom $1,050,000 $1,050,000
Defense Forum Foundation $450,000 $580,000$1,030,000
Philanthropy Roundtable$380,000$58,000$280,000$295,000 $1,013,000
Media Institute $820,000 $175,000$995,000
Human Rights Foundation $975,000 $975,000
Young America’s Foundation$900,000 $900,000
Johns Hopkins University$20,000 $718,000$139,000$4,000$881,000
Witherspoon Institute $850,000 $850,000
Rockford Institute $675,000$100,000 $775,000
American Civil Rights Union $300,000 $450,000$750,000
Environmental Literacy Council $750,000 $750,000
Galen Institute $750,000 $750,000
New Citizenship Project $452,400$175,000$105,000$732,400
National Defense University $100,000 $626,000$726,000
America’s Future Foundation $722,500 $722,500
Americans for Tax Reform Foundation $375,000 $325,000$700,000
American Defense Institute $50,000 $560,000$610,000
Americans Back In Charge $50,000 $550,000$600,000
Institute for American Values $580,000 $580,000
Institute of the North $365,000 $200,000$565,000
National Bureau of Economic Research $557,000 $557,000
Negative Population Growth $540,000 $540,000
American Council of Trustees and Alumni $480,000 $50,000$530,000
The Freedom Foundation $410,000 $100,000$510,000
American Family Foundation $510,000 $510,000
Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies $500,000 $500,000
Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty $275,000 $210,000$485,000
Institute for Policy Innovation $225,000 $245,000$470,000
ProEnglish $500 $450,000 $450,500
International Freedom Educational Foundation $450,000 $450,000
Conservative Caucus Research Analysis and Education Foundation $450,000 $450,000
Mountain States Legal Foundation $150,000 $275,000$425,000
Madison Center for Educational Affairs $420,000 $420,000
The Fund for American Studies $400,000 $400,000
Nonproliferation Policy Education Center $235,000 $145,000$380,000
Free to Choose Network $350,000 $350,000
Friedman Foundation For Educational Choice $350,000 $350,000
Heartland Institute $325,000 $10,000$335,000
VDARE Foundation $325,000 $325,000
Pennsylvania Right To Work Defense & Education Foundation$325,000 $325,000
Bill of Rights Institute$310,000 $310,000
Committee on the Present Danger $210,000 $100,000$310,000
Citizens Coal Council $303,000 $303,000
Foundation for the Defense of Democracies $300,000 $300,000
Moving Picture Institute $300,000 $300,000
Center for Coalfield Justice $300,000 $300,000
American Council on Science and Health $280,000 $280,000
International Policy Network US $275,000 $275,000
Fraser Institute $225,000 $50,000$275,000
American Media Institute $250,000 $250,000
Foundation for Government $250,000 $250,000
The Daily Caller News Foundation $250,000 $250,000
Mineral Information Institute $250,000 $250,000
Foundation for Economic Education $196,500 $35,000$231,500
Center for Education Reform $198,600$25,000$223,600
Philadelphia Society $175,000 $40,000$215,000
Donors Trust $210,000 $210,000
United States Global Strategy Council $210,000$210,000
Committee for the Free World $135,000 $70,000$205,000
Ashland University $200,000 $200,000
State Policy Network $200,000 $200,000 $200,000 $200,000
Commentary $65,000 $120,000$185,000
Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute $85,000 $95,000$180,000
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments $150,000 $150,000
Legatum Institute Foundation $150,000 $150,000
Council for Basic Education $120,000 $30,000$150,000
Frontiers of Freedom Institute $100,000 $35,000$135,000
Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee $135,000 $135,000
Mont Pelerin Society $100,000 $35,000$135,000
CO2 Coalition $132,000 $132,000
Americans for Prosperity Foundation $125,000 $125,000
Center for Individual Freedom $125,000$125,000
The Fairness Center $125,000 $125,000
American Council for Capital Formation $125,000 $125,000
Freedom Alliance $125,000 $125,000
Global Strategy Council $120,000 $120,000
Intellectual Takeout $120,000 $120,000
American Transparency $120,000 $120,000
Better Government Association $43,500 $68,500$112,000
National Legal Center for the Public Interest $80,000$30,000 $110,000
Ashland University (Ashbrook Center)$100,000 $100,000
Network of Enlightened Women $100,000 $100,000
National Right to Work Legal Defense & Education Foundation $50,000 $50,000$100,000
Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change $100,000 $100,000
The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions $100,000 $100,000
Mackinac Center for Public Policy $100,000 $100,000
George C. Marshall Foundation $100,000 $100,000
Parents Television Council $75,000 $75,000
Center for Sustainable Shale Development$75,000 $75,000
Institute for Energy Research $75,000 $75,000
Corporation for Maintaining Editorial Diversity in America $70,000 $70,000
Institute for Educational Affairs $70,000$70,000
American Legal Foundation $66,500$66,500
Middle East Media and Research Institute $50,000 $50,000
Archbridge Institute $50,000 $50,000
Capital Legal Foundation $50,000$50,000
Thomas More Law Center $50,000 $50,000
Lincoln Network $50,000 $50,000
Just Facts $50,000 $50,000
Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation $45,000 $45,000
American Security Council Foundation $40,000$40,000
Discovery Institute $40,000$40,000
National Endowment for Democracy $40,000 $40,000
Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity $35,000 $35,000
Bastiat Society $35,000 $35,000
California Association of Scholars $30,000$30,000
American Foundation for Resistance International $30,000$30,000
Citizens for Common Sense $30,000 $30,000
The Lucy Burns Institute $25,000 $25,000
International Institute for Economic Research $25,000 $25,000
American Tort Reform Foundation $25,000$25,000
Alliance for School Choice$20,000 $20,000
Alexis de Tocqueville Institution $15,000$15,000
Campus Crusade for Christ $10,000 $10,000
Grand Total$20,564,000$113,921,104$336,257,400$17,280,240$80,908,700$568,931,444

Key People

Sarah Scaife Foundation

According to the Sarah Scaife Foundation’s 2013 Annual Report:

  • Richard M. Scaife — Chairman
  • Michael W. Gleba — President and Treasurer
  • Barbara L. Slaney — Vice President *
  • R. Daniel McMichael — Senior Fellow and Assistant Secretary **
  • Yvonne Marie Bly — Secretary and Assistant Treasurer

* through 8/31/13

** through 9/23/13

Carthage Foundation

According to the Carthage Foundation’s 2013 Annual Report:

  • Richard M. Scaife — Chairman
  • Michael W. Gleba — President and Treasurer
  • R. Daniel McMichael — Senior Fellow and Assistant Secretary*
  • Yvonne Marie Bly — Secretary and Assistant Treasurer
  • Roger W. Robinson, Jr. — Assistant Treasurer

* through 9/23/13

Allegheny Foundation

According to the Allegheny Foundation’s 2013 Annual Report:

Scaife Family Foundation

According to the Sarah Family Foundation’s 2012 Annual Report:

  • Jennie K. Scaife — Chairman
  • David A Zywiec — President
  • Elizabeth H. Genter — Vice President
  • Mary T. Walton — Vice President
  • David A. Zywiec — Secretary/Treasurer

The Heritage Foundation

The Heritage Foundation was formed in 1974 and Richard Scaife was fundamental in providing the necessary seed money for its establishment and growth.

Richard Scaife has served as the vice-chairman of the Heritage Foundation and still serves on the board of trustees. From 1985 to 2006, the Heritage Foundation was the number one recipient of funding from the Scaife Family Foundations, receiving a total of $23,096,640.

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