Latest Entries
A new social contract: Reconciling the welfare state and societal change through philanthropy
Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in Sweden

A new social contract: Reconciling the welfare state and societal change through philanthropy

Editors’ Note: HistPhil‘s forum on philanthropy in Sweden closes with a contribution from Johanna Palmberg and Pontus Braunerhjelm. The two authors describe shifting intellectual currents in Sweden (and Europe more broadly) which are making it increasingly favorable for philanthropy and conclude by suggesting ways for philanthropic giving to play an increasingly greater role in European societies … Continue reading

The Democratic Challenges of Philanthropy in Sweden
Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in Sweden

The Democratic Challenges of Philanthropy in Sweden

Editors’ Note: Noomi Weinryb and Jaakko Turunen continue HistPhil‘s forum on philanthropy in Sweden.  In the historical context of the Swedish welfare state, we will here discuss philanthropy as an economic expression of pluralism, which may be interpreted as historically antithetical to democratic practice in Sweden. We will hypothesize what an expansion and development of philanthropy could … Continue reading

Public money for public causes and private money for private causes? A short history of tax incentives for charitable giving in Sweden
Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in Sweden

Public money for public causes and private money for private causes? A short history of tax incentives for charitable giving in Sweden

Editors’ Note: Continuing HistPhil’s forum on philanthropy in Sweden, Johan Vamstad suggests that Swedes’ longstanding resistance to tax incentives for charitable giving is rooted in a particularly Swedish distinction between the public and the private. Sweden is one of very few countries in the world that does not offer its citizens any tax incentives for charitable giving, something … Continue reading

Philanthropy in Sweden: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Opportunities
Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in Sweden

Philanthropy in Sweden: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Opportunities

Editors’ Note: Providing a sweeping history of civil society in Sweden, Lars Trägårdh continues our forum on philanthropy in Sweden. Based on this historical lens, Lars explains the relative novelty of philanthropy in Sweden and concludes by suggesting the types of philanthropy-state relations to which Swedes likely will be most receptive. Compared with most other … Continue reading

Sweden as Exemplar of Scientific Planning Philanthropy
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in Sweden

Sweden as Exemplar of Scientific Planning Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: This HistPhil forum on philanthropy in Sweden opens with an essay by HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey. It will be followed by contributions from Lars Trägårdh, Johan Vamstad, Noomi Weinryb, Johanna Palmberg, Pontus Braunerhjelm, and Jaakko Turunen. Though planned for some months, we are publishing this forum right as a national conversation in the United … Continue reading

J. Howard Pew’s Godly Conservatism
History of Philanthropy and Conservatism

J. Howard Pew’s Godly Conservatism

Editors’ Notes: This week, HistPhil begins to wrap up its forum on the history of conservative philanthropy with a post from Andrew Jungclaus. In the period of American history I study—1913 to 1969, a stretch bookended by two pieces of tax legislation dictating the terms under which philanthropic foundations would be organized and run—conservative philanthropy … Continue reading

The Bradley Foundation’s “Milwaukee Story”: Patience and Perseverance in Foundation Funding of School Choice
History of Philanthropy and Conservatism

The Bradley Foundation’s “Milwaukee Story”: Patience and Perseverance in Foundation Funding of School Choice

Editors’ Note: Daniel Schmidt and Michael Hartmann continue HistPhil’s forum on conservative philanthropy. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee has generally been considered by both its allies and (grudgingly) by its foes one of the most-effective conservative philanthropies in the United States. This recognition has been due in large part to the grantmaking roles … Continue reading

Philanthropy and the American Far Right
History of Philanthropy and Conservatism

Philanthropy and the American Far Right

Editors’ Note: David Walsh continues HistPhil‘s forum on the history of conservative philanthropy. How should historians—and especially historians of philanthropy—understand the far right in American history? Is the far right simply a lunatic fringe that has, occasionally, managed to briefly coalesce to make an actual impact in American politics? Or have far right politics enjoyed … Continue reading

Political Investment, the Grassroots, and Policy Change: Lessons from the Conservative Legal Movement
History of Philanthropy and Conservatism

Political Investment, the Grassroots, and Policy Change: Lessons from the Conservative Legal Movement

Editors’ Note: Jefferson Decker continues HistPhil‘s forum on the history of conservative philanthropy. In 1973, a group of California lawyers left the administration of Gov. Ronald Reagan to form a new sort of policy organization: a non-profit, “public interest” legal foundation staffed entirely by conservatives. Calling themselves Pacific Legal Foundation, these attorneys sought to defend … Continue reading

Conservative Philanthropy and Political Coalition Building Across the U.S. States
History of Philanthropy and Conservatism

Conservative Philanthropy and Political Coalition Building Across the U.S. States

Editors’ Note: With this post from Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, HistPhil opens a new forum on the history of conservative philanthropy. We are approaching the bounds of this topic expansively, hoping that questions of what constitutes conservative philanthropy, what its lineage might be, and whether it even makes sense to speak of a distinctly conservative philanthropic tradition … Continue reading

Disrupting defaults and upending moral hierarchies in discussions of philanthropic timeframes: A Review of Fleishman’s Putting Wealth to Work
New Works in the Field

Disrupting defaults and upending moral hierarchies in discussions of philanthropic timeframes: A Review of Fleishman’s Putting Wealth to Work

Editors’ Note: Benjamin Soskis reviews Joel Fleishman’s Putting Wealth to Work: Philanthropy for Today or Investing for Tomorrow? HistPhil recently published an excerpt from the book. In his new book, Putting Wealth to Work, Joel Fleishman, a professor of law and public policy at Duke and the director of its Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil … Continue reading

Puncturing the Myth of Henry Ford II’s Foundation Resignation–an excerpt from Joel Fleishman’s Putting Wealth to Work
New Works in the Field

Puncturing the Myth of Henry Ford II’s Foundation Resignation–an excerpt from Joel Fleishman’s Putting Wealth to Work

Editors’ Note: The following is a modified excerpt from Joel Fleishman’s recently published book, Putting Wealth to Work: Philanthropy for Today or Investing for Tomorrow? Henry Ford II resigned as a trustee of the Ford Foundation in 1976, 40 years after he assumed his first role at the organization.  His decision to leave, and the way … Continue reading

Foundation Grant-making and Historical Insight: Opportunities Missed and Met
Conferences / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Foundation Grant-making and Historical Insight: Opportunities Missed and Met

Editors’ Note: The following are remarks made by Patricia Rosenfield at a January 4th panel discussion–“Understanding the Past to Plan the Future: Historical Inquiry and Philanthropic Grant-Making”–sponsored by the National History Center, at the 2018 annual conference of the American Historical Association. As a scholar and practitioner of philanthropy, I have written about the history of … Continue reading

Giving Our Taxes: Historical Perspective on Charitable Donations as SALT Cap Work-Around
Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in the News

Giving Our Taxes: Historical Perspective on Charitable Donations as SALT Cap Work-Around

Editors’ Note: Shirley Tillotson offers some historical perspective on recent proposals that would allow taxpayers to make charitable donations to state and local governmental agencies as a way of dealing with new provisions in the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that limit state and local tax (SALT) deductions. The border between tax and charity is patrolled … Continue reading

“We are the Outcome of Your Actions”: Philanthropy and the Discourse of the Beneficiary
New Works in the Field

“We are the Outcome of Your Actions”: Philanthropy and the Discourse of the Beneficiary

Editors’ Note: The following post is adapted from a talk that Bruce Robbins gave at the University of Copenhagen in June 2017. It is based on his recently published book, The Beneficiary. In the May 17, 2016 London Review of Books, journalist Ben Ehrenreich interviewed a 31-year-old Syrian man he encountered in the so-called “Jungle” … Continue reading

Carnegie Libraries, Holiday Re-gifting, and the Perils of Tax Windfall Philanthropy
Current Events and Philanthropy / From the Editors

Carnegie Libraries, Holiday Re-gifting, and the Perils of Tax Windfall Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: A version of this essay, by HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis, was published online in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Not long after Congress passed its massive tax overhaul—and even before President Trump had actually signed the bill itself—corporate PR departments across the country were busy putting out press releases documenting how the bill’s passage … Continue reading

The Rosenwald Resurgence and its Limits
New Works in the Field

The Rosenwald Resurgence and its Limits

Editors’ Note: We are in the midst of a “Rosenwald Resurgence”–a wave of attention and accolade directed toward Julius Rosenwald, the Sears, Roebuck magnate and early 20th century philanthropist. He’s become a model for a new generation of actively engaged living donors. (For a critical analysis of his resurgence, see HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey‘s post arguing … Continue reading

The Strange Career of New Careers for the Poor: The Challenge of Evaluating the Impact of a Great Society Program
Philanthropy and Historical Research

The Strange Career of New Careers for the Poor: The Challenge of Evaluating the Impact of a Great Society Program

Editors’ Note: This August, Claire Dunning published an article in the Journal of Urban History, “New Careers for the Poor: Human Services and the Post-Industrial City,” that touched on several key themes in 20th century U.S. nonprofit history. Dunning discusses several of them in this post for HistPhil. As a scholar, I greet the current … Continue reading

Conferences

Following the New Humanities Track at ARNOVA’s annual conference

Editors’ Note: This year, for the first time, the annual ARNOVA conference will feature a separate Humanities track. This allowed humanities-trained scholars to review panels and ensured that those panels were scheduled at different time slots so they did not compete with each other. The Humanities track represents a concerted effort on the part of … Continue reading

A “thoroughly satisfactory and permanent remedy”: the Twentieth Century Invention of the American University Endowment
Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Historical Research

A “thoroughly satisfactory and permanent remedy”: the Twentieth Century Invention of the American University Endowment

Editors’ Note: Swelling college and university endowments have attracted increased scrutiny and criticism; the recently released House GOP tax plan even included a tax on the investment income of college and university endowments with assets of $100,000 or more per full-time student. In this post, Bruce Kimball outlines the origin of such large university endowments. It is … Continue reading