Latest Entries
An Economic History Challenge to the History of Philanthropy
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research

An Economic History Challenge to the History of Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: David Hammack reviews Organizations, Civil Society, and the Roots of Development, edited by Naomi R. Lamoreaux and John Joseph Wallis. For more than thirty years a growing literature has debated the origins of the market economy and the relation between the market and economic growth. Motivating this debate is the understanding, widely shared … Continue reading

Highlighting the (Elitist) History of the Charitable Contribution Income Tax Deduction
New Works in the Field

Highlighting the (Elitist) History of the Charitable Contribution Income Tax Deduction

Editors’ Note: Nicolas Duquette highlights the history of the charitable contribution income tax deduction, in a preview of an upcoming article in Business History Review.  The US charitable-contribution income-tax deduction marked its centennial in 2017. Relative to nearly every other aspect of the federal income tax, the workings of the deduction have changed little since its creation in … Continue reading

Giving Athletes: Why Sports Philanthropy Deserves Our Attention
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy

Giving Athletes: Why Sports Philanthropy Deserves Our Attention

Editors’ Note: Sarah Fields spotlights the need for more scholarly attention directed to the history of athletes’ philanthropy. Athletes are a complicated group. Sporting figures have long been celebrities, but they have not always been wealthy either as a class or as individuals. And yet they have long been involved in various ways with philanthropy and … Continue reading

The Fall of ACORN and the Timidity of Progressive Funders
Oral History/Testimonies

The Fall of ACORN and the Timidity of Progressive Funders

Editors’ Note: As regular readers of HistPhil will know, we ordinarily publish the work of scholars who write, or reflect on, the history of philanthropy. We have occasionally published comments of practitioners or observers who have something important to say to an audience of those interested in the history of philanthropy. The following post is … Continue reading

Force for Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence
New Works in the Field

Force for Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence

Editors’ Note: Kellie Carter Jackson makes the case for a fuller scholarly engagement with black abolitionists and their “profound understanding of the idea, experience and value of violence,” the subject of her new book, Force and Freedom. John Anderson was an escaped slave who fled to Canada. On July 5, 1861 the Toronto Globe recounted the speech he … Continue reading

Why Exercise Restraint when Funneling Money into Politics? An Appeal to Mega Donors’ Self Interest
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and the State

Why Exercise Restraint when Funneling Money into Politics? An Appeal to Mega Donors’ Self Interest

Editors’ Note: Reflecting on her new book, co-authored with Jeffrey Henig and Rebecca Jacobsen, Outside Money in School Board Elections: The Nationalization of Education Politics, Sarah Reckhow draws our attention to Los Angeles and details a new trend among mega donors in coordinating their philanthropic giving and political contributions. Reckhow argues that this behavioral shift … Continue reading

7 Ways to Read around the History of Philanthropy’s Diversity Problem this Black History Month
Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality

7 Ways to Read around the History of Philanthropy’s Diversity Problem this Black History Month

Editors’ Note: Against the backdrop of Black History Month, Tyrone McKinley Freeman asks fellow historians of philanthropy to acknowledge black Americans’ history as philanthropists, reminding us that the current literature on the history of US philanthropy “does not fully capture the richness of African Americans’ giving, volunteering, associating, and advocating systems, models, behaviors and ways … Continue reading

Networked Social Movements and the ‘Tyranny of Structurelessness’
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Networked Social Movements and the ‘Tyranny of Structurelessness’

Editors’ Note: Rhodri Davies reflects on the contemporary relevance of Jo Freeman’s 1970 essay, “The Tyranny of Structurelessness.” The recent success of digitally-coordinated protest movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo has sparked a wave of interest in the potential for technology to transform the ways in which we organise. In particular, it has placed … Continue reading

Effective Altruism, Meet Animal Protection
New Works in the Field

Effective Altruism, Meet Animal Protection

Editors’ Note: Examining how the animal protection and effective altruism movements have come to intersect, Garrett M. Broad explains the ways that these communities have contributed to each other, what conflicts have emerged, and what the future holds for ‘effective animal advocacy.” In this essay, Broad draws from an academic article he wrote, published this past December in Agriculture … Continue reading

Aprill on LIBERAL SUPPRESSION: Viewing Section 501(c)(3)’s Speech Restrictions In Their Tax Context
New Works in the Field

Aprill on LIBERAL SUPPRESSION: Viewing Section 501(c)(3)’s Speech Restrictions In Their Tax Context

Editors’ Note: Ellen P. Aprill reviews Philip Hamburger’s Liberal Suppression: Section 501(c)(3) and the Taxation of Speech. Hamburger introduced his book’s central arguments in a previous HistPhil post and replies to Aprill’s review in the comments below. Philip Hamburger’s Liberal Suppression: Section 501(c)(3) and the Taxation of Speech opposes on constitutional grounds the limitation on lobbying and … Continue reading

Hamburger on LIBERAL SUPPRESSION: How Section 501(c)(3)’s Speech Restrictions Undermine Constitutional Rights
New Works in the Field

Hamburger on LIBERAL SUPPRESSION: How Section 501(c)(3)’s Speech Restrictions Undermine Constitutional Rights

Editors’ Note: Philip Hamburger introduces some central arguments of his recently published book, Liberal Suppression: Section 501(c)(3) and the Taxation of Speech. Ellen Aprill will follow later this week with a review of the book. Last spring I published a book on a revenue subsection—not something that would ordinarily stir the passions of readers. The subsection in … Continue reading

Rob Reich Responds
Book Forum on Reich's Just Giving / New Works in the Field

Rob Reich Responds

Editors’ Note: HistPhil’s forum on Rob Reich’s Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How it Can Do Better (2018) has included three separate reviews of the book by HistPhil co-editors Stanley N. Katz, Maribel Morey, and Benjamin Soskis. The forum closes with a response to these reviews from the book’s author, Rob Reich. In Just Giving: … Continue reading

Philanthropy, Democratic Scrutiny, and Time: Soskis on Reich’s Just Giving
Book Forum on Reich's Just Giving

Philanthropy, Democratic Scrutiny, and Time: Soskis on Reich’s Just Giving

Editors’ Note: Benjamin Soskis continues HistPhil‘s book forum on Rob Reich’s Just Giving. In the forum’s next post, Reich will response to these reviews. I think it’s fair to say that Rob Reich’s Just Giving is one of the more “time-sensitive” inquiries into philanthropy in recent decades. By this I don’t just mean that it’s especially … Continue reading

Keeping Philanthropy Fully Accountable in a Democracy: Morey on JUST GIVING & WINNERS TAKE ALL
Book Forum on Reich's Just Giving

Keeping Philanthropy Fully Accountable in a Democracy: Morey on JUST GIVING & WINNERS TAKE ALL

Editors’ Note: Continuing HistPhil‘s forum on Rob Reich‘s Just Giving (2018), HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey relates Just Giving to another much-discussed book on philanthropy published earlier this year: Anand Giridharadas’ Winners Take All (2018). In Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018), journalist Anand Giridharadas introduces readers to a network of elites taking on “social change as … Continue reading

Philanthropy, Democracy, and the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg: Katz on Reich’s Just Giving
Book Forum on Reich's Just Giving

Philanthropy, Democracy, and the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg: Katz on Reich’s Just Giving

Editors’ Note: Today begins HistPhil‘s mini-forum on Rob Reich‘s much anticipated new book, Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How it Can Do Better. The three HistPhil co-editors, Stan, Maribel, and Ben, will each offer their perspectives on Just Giving, followed by a response from Rob. The forum begins with a review from Stanley … Continue reading

Cost Escalation in U.S. Higher Education: Historical Analysis and the Competing Bowen Theories
Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Cost Escalation in U.S. Higher Education: Historical Analysis and the Competing Bowen Theories

Editors’ Note: Bruce Kimball casts the light of historical analysis on the two major theories explaining cost escalation in U.S. higher education. His post draws upon the following sources: Bruce A. Kimball and Jeremy B. Luke, “Historical Dimensions of the “Cost Disease” in U.S. Higher Education, 1870s–2010s,” Social Science History 42 (2018): 29-55; Bruce A. Kimball and … Continue reading

Crossing the border between helping and being helped: Informal Giving and the U.S. Immigrant Crisis
Current Events and Philanthropy / New Works in the Field

Crossing the border between helping and being helped: Informal Giving and the U.S. Immigrant Crisis

Editors’ Note: Jamie Goodwin introduces her research on the informal giving network of immigration communities at the U.S. Southern border. [Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este artículo.] “Our principal thesis is that a river of care rises…and that we must trace its flow through all its branches, including all those hidden yet … Continue reading

Community Foundations as Advocates
Forum on Interest Groups & Advocacy Symposium on Foundations

Community Foundations as Advocates

Editors’ Note: David Suárez, Kelly Husted and Andreu Casas complete HistPhil’s preview of a symposium on foundations as interest groups which Kristin A. Goss and Jeffrey M. Berry have co-edited for the October issue of Interest Groups & Advocacy. Below, Suárez, Husted, and Casas summarize their contribution to the forum.   Years of gridlock in policymaking at the national level in the U.S. has led to more … Continue reading

Choosing between Financial Viability and a Political Voice: A History of the NAACP’s Tax Status
Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy and the State

Choosing between Financial Viability and a Political Voice: A History of the NAACP’s Tax Status

Editors’ Note: Bringing historical context to the NAACP’s decision in 2017 to change its tax status from a 501(c)3 to 501(c)4, HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey argues that the NAACP’s announcement “should be understood as yet another move by an organization long deciding between accepting political silence and financial viability as a 501(c)3 or gaining political voice and financial vulnerability as … Continue reading

Giving to Government: Foundation Grants to State Education Agencies
Forum on Interest Groups & Advocacy Symposium on Foundations

Giving to Government: Foundation Grants to State Education Agencies

Editors’ Note: In a previous post, Kristin A. Goss and Jeffrey M. Berry introduced the symposium on foundations as interest groups that they have co-edited for the October issue of Interest Groups & Advocacy. Here, Leslie K. Finger discusses her contribution to the symposium.  When we think of foundations like the Gates Foundation and the Wallace Foundation, we usually think of … Continue reading