Pope Foundation responds to more Moyers misleading

January 10, 2014

In response to misleading remarks made by Bill Moyers to The Charlotte Observer, Dave Riggs, Executive Vice President of the Pope Foundation, wrote the following letter: Mr. Moyers: In your comments to The Charlotte Observer, you stated, “The documentary is about the unique power that one man wields in one state, and Riggs is virtually silent about that. If he knows of any other single individual in the United States who has spent so many millions of dollars … I’d be glad to do another documentary.” Allow me to help you fulfill that pledge by pointing to individuals such as Michael Bloomberg, who spend far more directly on political campaigns than Art Pope ever has. Bloomberg spent over $150 million on his first two races for Mayor of New York. Bloomberg didn’t spend this money on a state; he spent it on a city. His personal SuperPac, Independence USA, spent millions in 2013 alone in Virginia, New Jersey, and other states in support of Democrats and a progressive...

Moyers’ falsehoods get national attention

January 8, 2014

Two national articles have brought attention to the falsehoods in Bill Moyers' PBS documentary attacking the John William Pope Foundation. In the first, Paul Chesser writes in The American Spectator that Moyers failed to give a complete picture of foundation giving in North Carolina: ... while [Art] Pope’s giving has been significant, the notion that he has “bought” a state that was “for sale” is absurd. Had Moyers or Jane Mayer [author of a hit piece on Pope in 2011 in The New Yorker) ...  sought to paint an accurate picture of North Carolina’s political scene, they would have reported that left-of-center foundations and donors fund their policy groups and candidates to a much greater extent than has Pope. Instead they excluded that information — intentionally. When Mayer pieced together her New Yorker report in 2011, she contacted John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation (and my employer until 2007). As Hood explained, Democrat legislative...

The truth about ‘dark money’

January 7, 2014

In a recent column posted on their website, Adam Meyerson, President of the Philanthropy Roundtable, dispelled a few myths surrounding so-called "dark money." Rather than seeing donor confidentiality as a means to evade transparency, Meyerson emphasizes the importance of privacy in charitable giving and its long-standing tradition in the United States: Donor-advised funds, America’s most rapidly growing charitable vehicle, receive donations from individuals and then make grants to other public charities on the recommendations of the original donors. Like foundations, the sponsors of donor-advised funds (which include regional community foundations; Christian and Jewish funds; and for-profits such as Fidelity and Schwab) are required to disclose the grants they make to other charities; this helps ensure that the grants are going to charities and not to for-profit or partisan political operations. But consistent with America’s historic confidentiality protection for individual...

Daily Dispatch: As local nonprofits take a hit, Pope Foundation steps up

October 24, 2013

The Daily Dispatch, based out of Henderson, N.C., yesterday reported on the Pope Foundation's $35,000 in grants to food pantries in Vance County. The grants were part of a larger $185,000 given by the Pope Foundation in October to humanitarian charities.  LifeLine Outreach Inc., a nonprofit based in Vance County that alleviates homelessness and assists women and children in crisis. (Photo credit: Daily Dispatch) The Dispatch reported: Local non-profits and faith-based organizations took a hit when the federal government closed for 16 days. The John William Pope Foundation made its yearly donations to Vance County charities a few months early this year to help offset the impact of the shutdown. “We heard on the ground that the federal government shutdown was having an effect on these charities doing this humanitarian work and what we decided to do was to expedite our end of the year funding to cover the shortfall caused by the shutdown,” said David Riggs of the Pope...

A triumph for donor intent in Colorado

October 23, 2013

An unfortunate legacy of modern philanthropy is the forsaking of donor intent. Foundations that exist in perpetuity often abandon the principles of the original wealth creators — and frequently, staff and boards steer the foundations in a left-wing direction. There are examples of donor intent triumphing, however. One of those is the Daniels Fund, based in Denver, Colorado. Martin Morse Wooster writes about that success here: In November 2003, the Daniels Fund, a three-year old Denver-based charity, announced a dramatic downsizing, closing regional offices in three states and sacking 21 employees—a third of its staff. “We have to operate more efficiently,” foundation president Hank Brown said at the time.1 Three months later the liberal establishment fired back. The New York Timesreported on the turmoil. “Had his ashes—combined at his request with those of his beloved cat, Sydney—not been scattered over the Pacific three years ago, Bill Daniels would probably be...

Pope Foundation Makes $185,000 in Humanitarian Grants to Counter Effects of Government Shutdown

October 21, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. OCT. 21, 2013 — To mitigate the effects of the federal government shutdown that spanned the first half of October, the John William Pope Foundation has announced $185,000 in grants to humanitarian charities in central, eastern, and western North Carolina. “The Pope Foundation is always honored to help these vital humanitarian nonprofits with financial support, support that is leveraged by their great volunteers and staff,” said Art Pope, President and Chairman of the Pope Foundation. “With the added uncertainty and potential increase in need due to a partial federal government shutdown, the Pope Foundation decided to give earlier and more to help these private and volunteer charitable institutions fill the gap and offer a hand up to those most in need," Pope said. ___________________________________ ___________________________________ Thirteen organizations will benefit from the accelerated grants. These organizations meet the immediate needs of...

Want to be happy? Participating in a vibrant civil society is key

October 9, 2013

Who doesn't want to be happy? But often, the pursuits and pleasures we assume will bring happiness never do in the end. Writing in Philanthropy Daily, middle-school teacher Abigail Clevenger suggests that participating in a vibrant civil society — family, church, and local community — is a key ingredient for achieving personal and national happiness. She launches her argument off a recent speech by the American Enterprise Institute's Arthur Brooks on "the secret of happiness": The problem is that we try to measure happiness, both personally and nationally, with what is easily measured: money and material goods. So we quickly become a nation primed for consumption and the never-ending quest to satiate unlimited desires. The government ends up encouraging materialism and the assumption that money (or entitlements) can buy happiness. Alas, time and again, the stats clearly demonstrate that money just doesn’t buy elusive happiness. Again, for an individual or society to be...