The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research is an influential conservative think-tank whose mission is to “develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.” The Institute has traditionally pegged itself in the center-right and has been referred to as the “fiscally conservative, culturally agnostic wing of the [Republican] party.” The group was most influential during Rudy Giuliani’s reign as mayor of New York City, when it backed charter schools, challenged rent control, and popularized the “broken windows” approach to policing. Giuliani later joked that his administration “plagiarized most of [their political programs], if not all of them, from the pages of the City Journal and from the thinking and analysis of the Manhattan Institute.”

The think tank, originally known as the International Center for Economic Policy Studies, was founded in 1978 by Antony Fisher and William Casey. Fisher, a British economist, founded several other large think tanks, including the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Canada’s Fraser Institute, and the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs was called the “single most important person in the development of Thatcherism” by economist Milton Friedman. Casey, a lawyer and Republican operative, later served as Director of Central Intelligence under Ronald Reagan (as well as Reagan’s campaign director during the 1980 election).

Despite its moderate reputation, the Manhattan Institute has often taken a hawkish view on foreign policy issues and has hosted several neoconservative thinkers and writers, including, David Frum, Judith Miller and Bill Kristol, publisher of the Weekly Standard, who sits on the group’s board. In 2002, then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice made the Bush administration’s case for attacking Iraq at a speech hosted by the Manhattan Institute. In 2006. Vice President Dick Cheney delivered another speech before the group, this one defending the disastrous war in Iraq.

The group’s funders include the John M. Olin Foundation (contributed $6,774,500 since 1985), the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation ($5,781,560 since 1986), the Sarah Scaife Foundation ($4,615,000 since 1985), the Searle Freedom Trust ($3,486,000 since 2001), and the Smith Richardson Foundation ($2,797,977 since 1999). The Conservative Transparency database includes grants totaling $40,937,087 to the Manhattan Institute.


View Financial Record
YearAssetsRevenueGrants InGrants OutTotal ExpensesLink
2014$19,847,434$17,210,753$15,948,760$746,570$13,949,343View 990

1 transaction on record as a recipient.

The Galbraith FoundationManhattan Institute$365,8552012+
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.