Founded in 2009, the Franklin Center aims to fill the gap created by “a steep falloff in reporting on state government” by training and supporting “journalists working to detect and expose corruption and incompetence in government at the state and local levels.” To that end, the Franklin Center operates Watchdog.org websites in over 20 states and promotes the work of “affiliates” all over the country. Although it claims to be nonpartisan, the Franklin Center is closely tied to the organized right. Franklin Center president Jason Stverak was previously the executive director of the North Dakota Republican Party; the Franklin Center has conducted a number of training sessions with Americans for Prosperity; and its “Watchdog Wire” website lists a number of conservative “partners” such as Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Foundation, State Policy Network, and True the Vote.

Franklin Center is a part of the Koch network, having received over 95% of its 2011 funding from Donors Trust, a Koch-affiliated “dark money ATM.” Additionally, the Center for Public Integrity reported that the Franklin Center “has numerous ties to… Americans for Prosperity,” the Kochs’ main political arm.

Notable Facts:

  • Franklin Center senior vice president Erik Telford was previously the director of membership and online strategy at Americans for Prosperity.
  • In 2013, Franklin Center and the Heritage Foundation cosponsored the “Breitbart Awards Dinner,” which honored right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin. Franklin Center was also a “major” sponsor of Erik Erickson’s “RedState Gathering” in 2012.
  • Franklin Center president Jason Steverak, wrote a defense of the American Legislative Exchange Council published by Breitbart, stating that “groups such as ALEC educate elected officials on a variety of issues” and that he “worked directly with ALEC in the past.” A member of the Franklin Center’s board, North Dakota Rep. Blair Thoreson, is the public sector chair of ALEC’s Communications and Technology Task Force.
View Financial Record
#
Year
Assets
Revenue
Grants In
Grants Out
Total Expenses
Link
12013$1,717,372$1,754,752$1,737,254$0$1,545,035View 990
22012$631,030$11,625,189$11,621,132$3,256,601$11,773,324View 990
32011$526,338$6,614,542$6,611,263$1,214,725$6,672,066View 990
42010$545,242$3,775,771$3,776,997$315,600$3,942,844View 990
52009$598,539$2,932,901$2,918,430$685,412$2,334,362View 990

148 transactions on record as a recipient.

Ordered By: Year (Newer to Older)

#
Donor
Recipient
Amount
Year
Link
1Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$2,009,9002014+
2Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$250,0002014+
3Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$50,0002014+
4Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$250,0002014+
5Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$100,0002014+
6Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$89,1002014+
7Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$1,750,0002014+
8Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$250,0002014+
9Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$250,0002014+
10Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$60,0002014+
11Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$250,0002014+
12Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$1,000,0002014+
13Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$150,0002014+
14Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$30,0002014+
15Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$10,0002014+
16Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$250,0002014+
17Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$125,0002014+
18DonorsTrustFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$50,0002014+
19DonorsTrustFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$40,0002014+
20DonorsTrustFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$10,0002014+
21DonorsTrustFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$1,0002014+
22Judicial Education ProjectFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$100,0002014+
23DonorsTrustFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$40,0002013+
24DonorsTrustFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$106,7202013+
25DonorsTrustFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$25,0002013+
26DonorsTrustFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$250,0002013+
27Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$155,1032013+
28Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$2,000,0002013+
29Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$50,0002013+
30Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$100,0002013+
31Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$250,0002013+
32Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$1,250,0002013+
33Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$250,0002013+
34Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$275,0002013+
35Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$500,0002013+
36Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$250,0002013+
37Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$250,0002013+
38Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$275,0002013+
39Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$100,0002013+
40Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$150,0002013+
41Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$100,0002013+
42Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$9,9002013+
43Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$18,9202013+
44The Lynde and Harry Bradley FoundationFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$50,0002013+
45Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$50,0002012+
46Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$50,0002012+
47Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$50,0002012+
48Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$50,0002012+
49Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$25,0002012+
50Donors Capital FundFranklin Center for Government & Public Integrity$22,5002012+
The transactions in Conservative Transparency are based on information reported by the donors and exclude 'dark money' raised by the recipients from unknown donors that are not in the database. For more information about our methodology, visit our about page.