Give the Gift of Liberty

Last year I recommended giving a donation in a loved one’s name to a non-profit institution dedicated to the fight for liberty in lieu of a normal present.  Please consider doing so again since these places rely on donations to help them stay afloat.  All of the following institutions are certainly worthy of your hard-earned money and will spend it wisely for the cause of freedom:

1. The Fund for American Studies

Given its sponsorship of Pileus and many other great programs, this is a no-brainer! But I’m anything but an unbiased observer, so caveat emptor.  TFAS does a wonderful job helping young people understand the importance of individual liberty, the rule of law, and free markets.  Its talented staff is committed to the principles and values that made America such a great place and one worth fighting to save today.  TFAS also recognizes the importance of spreading the good word of freedom to foreign students who are American in spirit! 

2. The Cato Institute

One of the key pillars of the libertarian movement. It does great work and has top shelf intellectuals on staff. If you care about libertarian ideas getting attention in the imperial capital, this is the place to support. Cato is particularly important for keeping alive the anti-interventionist tradition in foreign policy. I can’t think of another place in Washington that howls so articulately against the misguided policies preferred by the American foreign policy establishment.  Plus Cato Vice President Christopher Preble was our first guest blogger at Pileus (see here, here, here, here, here, and here).

3. The Institute for Justice

The IJ is the ACLU for folks who respect the entire range of freedoms and understand that economic freedom and personal freedom are not unconnected. It might be the most effective libertarian institution in the country.

4. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

From everything I’ve read, FIRE does a great job making sure that educational institutions respect individual rights on campus. Students and professors can be bullied by universities, but FIRE exists to make sure that universities remain free-fire zones for rational inquiry.

5. Property and Environment Research Center (PERC)

I came to know PERC back when it was called the Political Economy Research Center. Regardless of the name, PERC is a great resource for those interested in liberty and the environment. These folks know that property rights and markets are critical to a truly sustainable world.

6. Institute for Humane Studies

Introduces and cultivates ideas central to a free society among young people interested in liberty.

* Note that there are certainly more than six great liberty-friendly institutions that I could recommend. However, other than TFAS, I wanted to avoid specifically mentioning ones with which I have a current contractual relationship so as to avoid any suggestion of impropriety. Like most libertarians interested in public policy work, I have been involved with Cato but am not currently on its payroll.

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