Non-profit

Clapham Group

Website:

claphamgroup.com

Location:

Springfield, VA

The Clapham Group is a private political consultancy that serves a number of nonprofit organizations, including the left-of-center Annie E. Casey Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. [1] The firm was founded by Mark Rodgers, a former chief of staff to Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and a policy fellow of the right-of-center American Conservative Union Foundation. [2]

The firm has helped promote evangelicals’ interest in humane treatment of animals; the vegetarian advocacy group Humane Society of the United States is a Clapham client. [3]

Background

The Clapham Group is a political consulting group that is named for a group of 18th century British Christian social reformers, the most prominent being the abolitionist politician William Wilberforce. The group offering a mix of social conservatism and social justice. It argues for, “renewing the culture, confronting injustice and promoting the common good must be undertaken together.” [4]

The group says it focuses on opposing modern day injustices through marketing campaigns with think tanks, private firms and advocacy groups. The company says it offers “creative consultation,” “relationship building,” “campaign development” and “public relations and messaging.” [5]

Clapham Group’s declared clients include left-of-center organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Humane Society of the United States, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the College Board. They also include the Canadian social-conservative policy center Cardus. [6]

The Clapham Group was founded by Mark Rodgers, who is the principal of the company. Rodgers had a Capitol Hill career spanning 16 years. Other staff include senior associate Ashlynn Welker, associate Caroline Lucas and affiliate Branden Polk. [7]

Mark Rodgers

Rodgers was the third-ranking Republican leadership staffer in the U.S. Senate for six years. Rodgers oversaw strategic planning and communications for Senate GOP leadership. He was also the former chief of staff for U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA). [8] During Santorum’s 2012 Presidential campaign, ABC News reported that the Clapham Group had paid Santorum $125,000. [9]

During his Capitol Hill career, he was involved in matters such as alleviating poverty and HIV-AIDS in the PEPFAR program and opposing abortion. Rodgers advocates promoting policy through culture, and has done work with Bono, Patty Heaton, and The Fray. [10] He was known for bring Santorum and Bono together during this time as a Senate staffer. [11]

Before working on Capitol Hill, Rodgers worked for the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, a Christian-based organization addressing social needs in Pittsburgh. Rodgers is also the founder of the National Institute of Lay Education, which developed curriculum to encourage Christian involvement in public life. [12]  He was also once his local chapter’s president of the National Organization of Episcopalians for Life. [13]

Rodgers argues that part of the pro-life agenda should extend to supporting paid family leave, tax credits for families with newborns, making health care affordable for mothers and their children for the first 1,000 days of life and more public funding for early childhood. [14]

Animal Ethics

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a vegetarian activist group,[15] hired the Clapham Group at a time that HSUS was working closely with evangelical Christians to craft a statement to oppose mistreatment of animals. [16]

The movement for animal ethics began in with Rodgers and a discussion with other evangelical leaders in 2011. By fall of 2015, Barrett Duke, the vice president for public policy of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, along with a group of other evangelical pastors, scholars and theologians issued the declaration “Every Living Thing: An Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals.” [17]

References

  1. “ABOUT US.” Clapham Group. Accessed June 21, 2019. http://claphamgroup.com/. ^
  2. “Mark Rodgers.” ACU Foundation. Accessed June 21, 2019. http://acufoundation.conservative.org/policy-fellows/mark-rodgers/. ^
  3. “ABOUT US.” Clapham Group. Accessed June 21, 2019. http://claphamgroup.com/. ^
  4. “About.” Clapham Group. Accessed June 21, 2019. http://claphamgroup.com/about/. ^
  5. “About.” Clapham Group. Accessed June 21, 2019. http://claphamgroup.com/about/. ^
  6. “ABOUT US.” Clapham Group. Accessed June 21, 2019. http://claphamgroup.com/. ^
  7. Clapham Group. Accessed June 15, 2019. http://claphamgroup.com/ ^
  8. Clapham Group. Accessed June 15, 2019. http://claphamgroup.com/ ^
  9. Mosk, Matthew, and Brian Ross. “Rick Santorum, ‘Stealth Lobbyist’.” ABC News. January 05, 2012. Accessed June 21, 2019. https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/rick-santorum-stealth-lobbyist/story?id=15298204. ^
  10. Clapham Group. Accessed June 15, 2019. http://claphamgroup.com/ ^
  11. Lopez, Kathryn Jean. “Ling in the Comic World.” National Review. January 4, 2019. Accessed June 15, 2019. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/light-in-the-comic-world/ ^
  12. Clapham Group. Accessed June 15, 2019. http://claphamgroup.com/ ^
  13. Rodgers, Mark. “Restoring the Cultural Divide With Pro-Life Policies.” Clapham Group Blog. March 6, 2019. Accessed June 15, 2019. http://claphamgroup.com/uncategorized/restoring-the-cultural-divide-with-pro-life-policies/ ^
  14. Rodgers, Mark. “Restoring the Cultural Divide With Pro-Life Policies.” Clapham Group Blog. March 6, 2019. Accessed June 15, 2019. http://claphamgroup.com/uncategorized/restoring-the-cultural-divide-with-pro-life-policies/ ^
  15. Eule, Joseph. “The Humane Society’s Descent Into Abolitionist Veganism.” The Weekly Standard. October 31, 2016. Accessed June 21, 2019. https://www.weeklystandard.com/joseph-j-eule/the-humane-societys-descent-into-abolitionist-veganism. ^
  16. Bailey, Sarah Pulliam. “Inside the Evangelical Push to Rally Around Animal Ethics.” The Washington Post. April 10, 2015. Accessed June 15, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/04/10/inside-the-evangelical-push-to-rally-around-animal-ethics/?utm_term=.d987627bd237 ^
  17. Allen, Bob. “SBC Leader Helps Draft Evangelical Statement on Animal Welfare.” Baptist Press. September 30, 2015. https://baptistnews.com/article/sbc-leader-helps-draft-evangelical-statement-on-animal-welfare/#.XQWZ_9NKgWp ^
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Clapham Group

6551 Loisdale Court, Suite 330
Springfield, VA 22150