Author Archives: Lawson Bader

Lawson Bader

About Lawson Bader

Since 2015, Lawson Bader serves as president and CEO of DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. Before coming to DonorsTrust, he amassed twenty years’ experience leading free-market research and advocacy groups including the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He began his career in DC in as special assistant at the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, then worked as a legislative analyst/paralegal with Pierson, Semmes & Finley, and managed government relations at SRI International. He is a former weekly columnist with Human Events, and serves on the governing boards of the Atlas Network, State Policy Network, Oakseed Ministries International, and Solers, Inc. Lawson earned a BA in political science from Wheaton College (IL) and an MA in public policy from The Johns Hopkins University.
Mocking Philanthropic Motives Doesn’t Help Anyone

Mocking Philanthropic Motives Doesn’t Help Anyone

Life does not always mimic Robert Frost. We should define ourselves less by our regret over a road not taken, than by those moments along our journey when we were t-boned.

I recognize that time has a way of blurring memories’ edges, and in some cases, obliterating them. Historians spend lifetimes discerning hyperbole, exaggeration, and mistaken identity from so-called reality.…

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DonorsTrust Grows Liberty Beyond Grant-Making

DonorsTrust Grows Liberty Beyond Grant-Making

DonorsTrust argued before the United States Supreme Court earlier this week. We also are engaged in a lawsuit with Harvard University over admission policies that discriminate against Asian-Americans. Let’s not forget we help produce educational materials about the importance of property rights, expressed concern over the uncivil tone that flows through today’s electorate, and we interviewed and recommended 30 people …

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Starting Over with a Donor-Advised Fund

Starting Over with a Donor-Advised Fund

An accurate, albeit overused phrase is “to wipe the slate clean”. While perhaps outdated in its technology (what 25-year-old has ever experienced a classroom ‘slate’?), the reference to starting over again is clear.

I’m sympathetic to the notions of grace, forgiveness, success and failure that provide the basis for the philosophical concept of starting over (again).  But, let’s be honest, …

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Specialization Can Save Your Plumbing and Philanthropy

Specialization Can Save Your Plumbing and Philanthropy

I spent much of my pre-July Fourth celebration in my basement, dealing with a backed-up sewer line. It’s not exactly what I had planned, but, alas, it’s been an ongoing issue for a few years. And, well, y’know “stuff” happens.

There is no metaphor here for philanthropy, per se. Nor for donor intent or issues affecting DonorsTrust’s principles of limited …

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Funding the Faith from All Perspectives

Funding the Faith from All Perspectives

Last week, I attended the Becket Fund’s annual Canterbury Medal Gala. It honors an individual – in this case, Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik – who defends religious liberty and conscience with distinction.

What struck me, was not merely the dinner’s noble purpose, but the fact that the stereotypical joke about the Rabbi, the Priest, and the Iman walking …

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State of DonorsTrust: Growing To Serve the Liberty Community

State of DonorsTrust: Growing To Serve the Liberty Community

The genesis for creating DonorsTrust nearly twenty years ago was the preservation of donor intent.

This was not, however, grounded in blind devotion to the belief that any donor’s intent was to be maintained. Instead, DonorsTrust would safeguard the donor who saw private markets, free exchange, and increased personal responsibility as the keys to progress.

Most importantly, such protection could …

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Lessons in Collaboration from the Top of a Volcano

Lessons in Collaboration from the Top of a Volcano

I climbed a volcano last week. Let’s face it, you’ve probably done something similar, considering most mountains are merely ex-volcanos, or were birthed through volcanic activity. So “climbing a volcano” is not necessarily a big deal.

Except this particular volcano was alive. Not Mt. St. Helens alive, mind you, but it was hard not to miss the consistent spout of …

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Common End-of-Year Questions We Hear at DonorsTrust

Common End-of-Year Questions We Hear at DonorsTrust

While we don’t get many inquiries about last minute gift ideas (you’re on your own for that!), we do receive a diverse range of questions at the end of the year. As you can guess, many people focus their charitable giving as the calendar winds down towards December 31. Below, I’ve listed several of the common questions we at DonorsTrust …

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