Giving Ventures Podcast: Ep. 55 — Liberty Training Isn’t Just for the Kids

Study Conservatism with National Review Institute

Craig is continually recruiting for the National Review Institute “Burke to Buckley” fellowship, a program geared toward working professionals and named after the late Bill Buckley, host of the long-running television show “Firing Line” and founder of National Review magazine.

“We’re really looking for a cohort of people who likely went through their college education studying their chosen profession. Most higher-ed programs have little time to take ‘History of Economic Thought’ or ‘What is Conservatism?’ or, for that matter, ‘What is Marxism?’”

The fellowship gathers its respective participants in multiple cities across the country for an eight-week in-person course intended to foster community and deepen participants’ knowledge of the philosophical underpinnings at the core of the modern conservative movement.

Fellows Learn In-Person Rather Than Over Zoom

“One of the things that we have found over the years—now it’s 10 years going—that, as people get more comfortable with each other and meeting in person, not just over Zoom, that they can learn a lot more from each other and we think that’s an important aspect of the program.”

There are “Burke to Buckley” cohorts in five major cities: Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York City and Philadelphia. Every session features a unique topic and expert on that particular topic. Past speakers include Brian C. Anderson of City Journal and Berkley law professor John Yoo.

“I think that one of the things that’s been I think to me very satisfying is that the group wants to be involved and then, of course, as a nonprofit, one of the things we also want to do is be able to see how they can become part of the life of the organization as donors.”

Equipping Civic-Minded Men and Women to Serve Their Community

McIntosh likewise is searching for those interested in applying for a fellowship — the fellowship he helps oversee, however, is geared toward serving those interested in running for public office instead of those more narrowly interested in financing the conservative movement.

“These are people in their 30s, early 40s, a few 20-years-olds, a few 50-year-olds — but younger leaders who are already doing things in their communities. They’re not candidates … but they’re out there leading and so we want them to be able to go do an interview, write op-eds…”

So far, about 200 men and women have graduated from the fellowship program and already there are about 50 more men and women slated for acceptance into the next round of the Club for Growth Foundation fellowship program.

“We have a positive message: Freedom works. Free markets work. It blesses everybody in the society. Let’s focus on those benefits and blessings even when the negative question comes from the reporter.”

AEI Fellowship Gathers State Leaders

American Enterprise Institute likewise has a fellowship program, albeit its program is a bit different from the ones our friends at National Review Institute and Club for Growth Foundation host. Good works to recruit for and manage 21 fellowship cohorts in its Leadership Network.

“We launched the Leadership Network so that we could not only have our scholar insights serving states and state leaders but also to provide an opportunity for state leaders to know one another,” says Good.

The fellowship is not only an opportunity for state-based leaders to gather for a couple days and learn from issue-area experts that specialize in topics ranging from education to criminal-justice reform but to also meet one another and grow their respective networks to hopefully leverage for meaningful change in the various states.


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