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Acton Institute moving up

By Laurie Bennett

February 22, 2013 at 9:18am

Like other well-funded American think tanks, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty plans is heading for new headquarters.

It has purchased a landmark building in downtown Grand Rapids, MI, and raised $10 million for the move.

As shown in the admittedly complex Muckety map above, the institute draws its support from the wealthy right. (For easier viewing and room to expand entries, see the larger map version.)

Donors include the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.

Closer to home, the think tank has been able to rely on involvement by the Prince-DeVos family. Matriarch Elsa Prince Broekhuizen is a board member. Prince and DeVos family foundations have donated money.

Our map shows prominent board members, contributing foundations and several organizations that have received funding from many of the same contributors.

These include the conservative Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, the American Enterprise Institute and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

Founded by a Paulist priest 23 years ago, the Acton Institute is committed to Judeo-Christian beliefs and a free market. It has criticized the Obama administration on issues such as energy policy, health care and gun control.

In its annual rankings, the Think Tanks And Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania recently listed it as 34th among top American think tanks. That was a significant step up from 2011, when Acton was ranked 39th.

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