- Founded by former Real Networks CEO and progressive activist Robert Glaser
- Has made large contributions to far-left political groups including Media Matters for America and the Center for American Progress
- Assets: $15,447,040 (2009)
- Grants Awarded: $1,815,250 (2009)
The Glaser Progress Foundation (GPF) was founded in 1993 (as the Glaser Family Foundation) by software entrepreneur and leftwing activist Robert Glaser. The organization adopted its current name in 2001. GPF seeks to advance its own vision of “genuine progress” in four major program areas:
(a) Progress Measurement: Underlying all of GPF's philanthropic endeavors, this term signifies the premise that societal success should be measured on a scale of progressive metrics rather than by “wealth alone.” The Gross Domestic Product and the stock market, GPF explains, do not "really reflect our most cherished values and aspirations." In 1999, GPF partnered with the University of Washington to create the Progress Project, which explored “the concept of progress and its relationship to public decision-making.” This initiative's centerpiece lecture series featured such guest speakers as Jimmy Carter and Ralph Nader.
(b) Animal Advocacy: This program is focused on "combating companion animal overpopulation in the Pacific Northwest."
(c) Independent Media: GPF seeks to fulfill the late Howard Zinn's call for the development of media that would foment a "permanent adversarial culture" and widespread "resistance" to traditional norms among the American population. In 2003, GPF helped sponsor a Media that Matters Film Festival, hosted by MediaRights.org. The Open Society Institute and Human Rights Watch, among others, participated in the event. Specifically, this festival was designed to highlight films that "encourage social action and inspire dialogue" vis a vis such topics as environmentalism, criminal justice, cultural diversity, military spending, world hunger, homosexuality, racism, AIDS, poverty, domestic abuse, and war.
(d) Global HIV/AIDS: Robert Glaser and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs collaborated to launch an "Access Project for the Global Fund" to support efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, Rwanda, Angola, Namibia, and Haiti. Also involved in the project, which is ongoing, is the Earth Institute.
In 2004, GPF financed a trip to Seattle (arranged by the World Affairs Council) for the notoriously corrupt Rwandan president Paul Kagame. GPF also funded a 2009 Kagame lecture hosted by the same organization. Robert Glaser has praised the Rwandan government for being “very progress-oriented and pragmatic.”
In partnership with the Yale School of Public Health, GPF in 2008 announced the creation of the Global Health Leadership Institute which seeks to achieve certain public-health-system goals set by the World Heath Organization and the World Bank.
In 2009, GPF and the Center for American Progress launched a Progressive Studies Program, whose mission is to “increase public awareness of progressive ideas and values, as well as to educate public officials and policymakers.”
In recent years, GPF has awarded grants to such organizations as: the AdBusters Media Foundation, the Agape Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, The American Prospect, the Aspen Institute, the Carter Center, the Center for American Progress (Campus Progress), the Center for Progressive Leadership, the Earth Action Network, the Environmental Working Group, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, the Gamaliel Foundation, the Greenpeace Fund, the Humane Society of the United States, the Independent Media Institute, the Institute for America’s Future, the Institute for Public Accuracy, Media Matters for America, the People for the American Way Foundation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Sierra Club Foundation, Sojourners, the Tides Foundation, the Waterkeeper Alliance, and the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation. In addition to these organizations, GPF supports many small groups in the Pacific Northwest.
In 2001, GPF held assets totaling $53,667,155. By 2009, this figure had dwindled to $15,477,040.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Glaser Progress Foundation, click here.
(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)