Glaser Progress Foundation (GPF)

Glaser Progress Foundation (GPF)


* Assets: $2,448,976 (2018)
* Grants Received: $0 (2018)
* Grants Awarded: $305,223 (2018)

The Glaser Progress Foundation (GPF) was established in 1993 (as the Glaser Family Foundation) by software entrepreneur and left-wing activist Robert Glaser. It obtained charitable status in August 1996, adopted its current name in 2001, and has long sought to advance its own vision of “genuine progress” in four major program areas:

(a) Measuring Progress: This term, which underlies all of GPF’s philanthropic endeavors, is intended to convey the idea that societal success ought to be measured not by “wealth alone,” but by a range of metrics such as “the health of our children,” “the quality of their education,” “the joy of their play,” “the beauty of our poetry,” “the strength of our marriages,” “the intelligence of our public debate,” and “the integrity of our public officials.” The Gross Domestic Product and the stock market, says the Foundation, do not “really reflect our most cherished values and aspirations.”

  • Under the aegis of this program area, GPF in 1999 partnered with the University of Washington to create the Progress Project, which explored “the concept of progress and its relationship to public decision-making.” The centerpiece of this initiative was a lecture series that featured guest speakers such as Jimmy Carter, Ralph Nader, anthropologist Jane Goodall, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Senator George Mitchell.

(b) Animal Advocacy: Partnering with various animal shelters and rescue groups, this program focuses on “combating companion animal overpopulation in the Pacific Northwest.”

(c) Independent Media: In an effort “to give voice to the world’s silent majority,” this project seeks to fulfill the late historian Howard Zinn‘s wish that the media would foment a “permanent adversarial culture” and widespread “resistance” to traditional societal norms.

  • In 2003, GPF’s Independent Media program helped sponsor a “Media That Matters” film festival, to highlight cinematic productions that “encourage social action and inspire dialogue” about such topics as environmentalism, criminal justice, cultural diversity, military spending, world hunger, homosexuality, racism, AIDS, poverty, domestic violence, and war. Among the organizations participating in this event were the Open Society Institute and Human Rights Watch.

(d) Global HIV/AIDS: Launched jointly by Robert Glaser and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs, GPF’s “Access Project for the Global Fund” aims to equip existing health systems in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, Rwanda, Angola, Namibia, and Haiti with the technology and expertise that are required to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

In 2009, GPF and the Center for American Progress together established 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.” One of the program’s major initiatives is called “Progressivism on Tap,” a series of speaking egagements where left-wing authors discuss the issues of the day at a Washington, DC-area restaurant named Busboys and Poets. The owner of this eatery is Andy Shallal, an Iraqi-American who reveres the radical historian Howard Zinn and supports the feminist anti-war group Code Pink for Peace.

Over the years, GPF has awarded grants to a host of organizations including: 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, Deep Dish TV, Democracy Now!, Demos, the Earth Action Network, the Earth Day Network, the Earth Island Institute, the Environmental Working Group, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Free Press, Free Speech TV, 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 Nation Institute, the People for the American Way Foundation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Progressive Legislative Analysis Network, the Sierra Club Foundation, Sojourners, the Tides Foundation, the Waterkeeper Alliance, and the Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Glaser Progress Foundation, click here.

For additional information on GPF, click here.

(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center,, and Undue Influence)

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