The Brennan Center for Justice: A Bipartisan Champion of Democracy Comes of Age

Carnegie Corporation of New York


The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University is a nationally recognized powerhouse for research and activism in the fields of campaign finance and election reform, voting rights and combating special interests in judicial elections. Its efforts, in concert with activist groups throughout the nation, have been felt from city and state legislatures to Congress and in court cases up to the Supreme Court. As a result, the Brennan Center has an impact on a wide range of issues that affect America at the ballot box. Yet it was just a small start-up organization in the mid-1990s.
With a former law clerk serving as its part-time director, the fledgling Brennan Center’s standing was, by all accounts, greatly boosted by one of its first foundation grants. That initial $25,000 grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York in 1996 was followed up by increasingly larger amounts over the years that brought the total Carnegie Corporation investment to $3,650,000. But as much as providing desperately needed cash inflows, Carnegie Corporation’s grantmaking was used to help leverage other donors.



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