Lincoln’s funding and commitment to independence

Lincoln Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 2014 with a mission to help bridge the gap between Silicon Valley and DC from a pro-market, pro-innovation perspective.  While we sometimes published research in our early years, we only formalized our policy team in July 2018, with the hiring of our first head of policy. This was followed by the addition of two more policy staff in March 2019. 

With this expanded capacity we now believe it is important to discuss what we’re doing to make sure we stay a forcefully independent voice. We do not allow the interests of donors to inappropriately influence our work or set our policy positions. With this in mind, we are extremely thoughtful about the donations we accept. Typically, we will begin working on a project area before we seek dedicated program support for it. This is where the vast majority of our non-general support policy funding has come from.

We are very careful not to allow donors to predetermine or unduly influence our work. This ethos is reflected in our funding mix, which deliberately focuses on foundations and individuals rather than corporations. In 2018, Lincoln’s funding was 75% from foundations, 16% from individuals, and 9% from corporations. Additionally, in 2018, no single funder accounted for more than 10% of our annual budget of $2.4 million. We project a similar mix for 2019.

We’ve previously accepted minor support, largely through event sponsorships, from big tech platforms including Google and Facebook (who are now becoming more controversial in the wake of the techlash). This was around 1% of our funding in 2018 and is projected to be less than 1% in 2019. As we are engaging more in discussions around anti-conservative bias and the backlash against big tech, we believe it’s important to avoid a perceived conflict of interest and remain a trusted broker for the honest discussion of these ideas.

Our current major supporters include the Charles Koch Foundation, Searle Freedom Trust, the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

If you’d like to help support Lincoln’s work and independence, please consider donating.


Lincoln Network Funding Mix for 2018 Gifts

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Dan Lips
Director of Cyber and National Security
Grace Meyer
Development Manager
William Upton
Director of Communications and Outreach
Garret Johnson Lincoln Executive Director
Garrett Johnson
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Zach Graves
Head of Policy
Aaron Ginn
Co-Founder
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