The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.
One way CFR maintains its independence is through a diversity of funding sources. These include member dues; annual giving by members (in recent years, over one-third of CFR members have chosen to participate); corporate memberships; Foreign Affairs magazine (subscriptions, advertising, events); grants from foundations, corporations, and individuals; investment returns from its endowment; and rental income from outside use of CFR's New York and Washington facilities.
Funding Sources for CFR as a Whole
The breakdown of sources for CFR’s $76 million annual revenue is as follows (FY19 data).
|Gifts and Grants|
|Annual Fund and other unrestricted gifts||16%|
|Foundation grants (restricted)||6%|
|Corporate grants (restricted)||2%|
|Other grants (restricted)||15%|
|Investment Management draw||1%|
|Dues: individual members (unrestricted)||10%|
|Dues and related income: Corporate members (unrestricted)||8%|
|Rental income and miscellaneous||4%|
Note: "Unrestricted" funds can be used for any purpose across the organization. "Restricted" funds must be used to support a particular purpose or project.
Funding Sources for the David Rockefeller Studies Program
The breakdown of the $14.5 million support specifically for the David Rockefeller Studies Program (CFR’s “think tank”) is as follows (FY19 data):
|Gifts and Grants|
|Foundation Grants (restricted)||23%|
|Corporate Grants (restricted)||8%|
|Other grants (restricted)||17%|
More Information About CFR’s Funding Policies
- CFR is committed to independent, nonpartisan research and scholarship. The institution takes no positions on matters of policy. There is a wide range of views to be found on our website, from our scholars, in our meetings and conferences, and in the pages of Foreign Affairs.
- CFR has longstanding funding policies in place to ensure its intellectual independence and integrity. Donors may not direct the outcome of any research or event, and those who fund chairs are not involved in the selection of scholars to fill those posts. CFR does not accept funding from corporations for individual research projects. Additionally CFR has strict conflict-of-interest policies in place for its directors, officers, and scholars.
- CFR does not accept funding from foreign governments. The organization also does not accept money from the U.S. government except to cover some of the costs of up to six visiting fellows each year who are employees of the U.S. government and spend an academic year at CFR’s New York office.
- Foreign Affairs magazine accepts advertising and sponsorship from corporations and governments. All advertising and sponsorship is clearly identified; advertisers and sponsors have no influence over editorial decisions or articles appearing in the magazine. Foreign Affairs is also editorially independent from CFR.
- CFR is a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization and all contributions are fully deductible within the limits of the law. A full list of donors is published each year in conjunction with CFR’s annual report. CFR’s IRS Form 990 is available here.
Ways to Donate
We make it easy to donate to support CFR's mission.
How to Give
Thank you for your interest in supporting the Council on Foreign Relations. Your tax-deductible contribution to the Annual Fund will help support CFR’s broad range of activities, including the work of fellows in its distinguished think tank, its award-winning website, and its Washington Program, which serves as a resource for policymakers from the White House to Capitol Hill.
Your gift to CFR will help ensure its availability as a trusted resource for policymakers, the media, and others who care about foreign policy and international relations.
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Council on Foreign Relations
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Stock or Mutual Fund Transfer
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