Planned Giving Menu

A Legacy of Freedom

Joe and Diane Bast

Some time ago, Joseph Bast announced his plans to retire from The Heartland Institute in January 2018, 34 years after cofounding Heartland with David Padden.

Diane Carol Bast, who joined Heartland just two years after it started and is now senior editor and finance manager, is retiring with her husband of 36 years.

Joe and Diane worked tirelessly for three decades to transform The Heartland Institute from a one-person shop operating out of a single donated room at a law firm, into one of the top ten free-market think tanks in the United States, according to According to The Economist, Heartland is “the world’s most prominent think tank supporting skepticism of man-made climate change.”

Joe has been recognized many times for his contributions to the freedom movement, including:

  • 1994 Roe Award from State Policy Network
  • 1996 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award (with coauthors)
  • 1998 Eagle Award from Eagle Forum
  • 2004 Champion of Liberty award from the Libertarian Party
  • 2016 Edward Teller Award for the Defense of Freedom from Doctors for Disaster Preparedness

To honor Joe and Diane’s accomplishments and ensure their life’s work continues after they retire, please consider renewing or increasing your regular contribution to The Heartland Institute. There are four special gifts you can make:

  • place Joe and Diane’s names on or near our building here in Arlington Heights, Illinois,
  • name one of our policy centers in Joe and Diane’s honor,
  • endow one of our programs, such as internships or senior fellows, in their names, or
  • make a special contribution to Heartland’s Endowment Fund.

Gwendalyn Carver, Heartland’s development director, can describe each of these opportunities in detail. Contact her at 312/377-4000 or by email at [email protected]. Ms. Carver will help you craft your special gift in honor of Joe and Diane Bast.