Latest Entries
A History of Unequal Partnerships between American Foundations and African Universities
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Education

A History of Unequal Partnerships between American Foundations and African Universities

Editors’ Note: Fabrice Jaumont contributes a post based on his new book, Unequal Partners: American Foundations and Higher Education Development in Africa (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2016). At a time when higher education is once again recognized as a driver of development and income growth, when knowledge economies requiring additional levels of education are displacing economies predicated on manufacturing, … Continue reading

Morey on Willoughby-Herard’s WASTE OF A WHITE SKIN (2015)
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Inequality

Morey on Willoughby-Herard’s WASTE OF A WHITE SKIN (2015)

Editors’ Note: HistPhil’s Maribel Morey reviews Tiffany Willoughby-Herard’s new book, Waste of a White Skin: The Carnegie Corporation and the Racial Logic of White Vulnerability (University of California Press, 2015).  In a 1914 editorial titled “World War and the Color Line,” African American historian W.E.B. Du Bois explained to black readers of the NAACP’s Crisis why they should … Continue reading

Joan Kroc’s Radical and Ecstatic Philanthropy
New Works in the Field

Joan Kroc’s Radical and Ecstatic Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: Journalist Lisa Napoli, who has recently published the first biography of McDonald’s heiress Joan Kroc, offers a fascinating portrait of Kroc’s philanthropy. Kroc is a figure who defies easy categorization. She was, in one sense, a traditional funder; one of her largest gifts was to a social service organization, the Salvation Army. But she also … Continue reading

The U.S. Fiscal State and the History of American Philanthropy
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and the State

The U.S. Fiscal State and the History of American Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: We’ve been on a brief hiatus while working on some history of philanthropy manuscripts, and at the same time, internalizing the U.S. presidential election results. On the latter topic, fellow HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis published a piece for The Chronicle of Philanthropy earlier this month. Two weeks ago at ARNOVA, I presented some initial thoughts on philanthropy, American race … Continue reading

Disruptive philanthropy?
Book Forum on Philanthropy in Democratic Societies / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy

Disruptive philanthropy?

Editors’ Note: For this current forum, we have asked the authors of the recently-published volume Philanthropy in Democratic Societies to present synopses of their contributions. Here, Aaron Horvath discusses his chapter on disruptive democracy, which he co-authored with Walter W. Powell.  In a June 2015 Wall Street Journal editorial, Sean Parker, of Napster and Facebook fame, advanced a manifesto for the new … Continue reading

Why is the History of Philanthropy not a Part of American History?
Book Forum on Philanthropy in Democratic Societies / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy

Why is the History of Philanthropy not a Part of American History?

Editors’ Note: We have asked the authors of the recently-published volume Philanthropy in Democratic Societies to present synopses of their contributions. Continuing this forum, Olivier Zunz discusses his chapter on the historical study of philanthropy.  If philanthropy were only an activity of the very wealthy, then the historical inquiry could safely center on the democratic legitimacy of large donations. But the debate … Continue reading

Designing nonprofits for the digital age: Lessons from the Digital Public Library of America
Book Forum on Philanthropy in Democratic Societies / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy

Designing nonprofits for the digital age: Lessons from the Digital Public Library of America

Editors’ Note: For this current forum, we have asked the authors of the recently-published volume Philanthropy in Democratic Societies to present synopses of their contributions. Here, Lucy Bernholz discusses her chapter on the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).  The story of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) fits into the volume, Philanthropy in Democratic Societies, as an illustrative case on the … Continue reading

Reconciling Corporate Social Responsibility And Profitability:  Guidelines for the Conscientious Manager
Book Forum on Philanthropy in Democratic Societies / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy

Reconciling Corporate Social Responsibility And Profitability: Guidelines for the Conscientious Manager

Editors’ Note: In our efforts to introduce readers to new works in the field, we have invited the authors of the recently-published volume Philanthropy in Democratic Societies to present synopses of their contributions. Paul Brest continues this forum by discussing his chapter on reconciling corporate social responsibility and profitability.  How can a company’s managers safeguard the firm’s financial value for its shareholders … Continue reading

The Problem With Discretionary Philanthropy
Book Forum on Philanthropy in Democratic Societies / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy

The Problem With Discretionary Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: Since our last conversation on philanthropy and the state, we have been working on two other forums for the site. Highlighting new scholarship in the field, this next forum centers on the edited volume, Philanthropy in Democratic Societies (U. of Chicago Press, 2016). In the book, editors Rob Reich, Chiara Cordelli, and Lucy Bernholz have brought together an interdisciplinary community … Continue reading

New HULA Research on Humanities Grant Applications
New Works in the Field

New HULA Research on Humanities Grant Applications

Editors’ Note: Below, Christopher Pupik Dean, Maggie Schein, Sheena Kang, and Danielle Allen describe their research on grant applications funded by Illinois Humanities, with emphasis on its relevance for philanthropy scholars and philanthropists alike.  The Humanities and Liberal Arts Assessment (HULA) project (a research and consulting group led by Danielle Allen and based out of … Continue reading

The Clinton Foundation and the Declining Price of Antiretroviral Drugs: A Cautionary Success Story
Current Events and Philanthropy

The Clinton Foundation and the Declining Price of Antiretroviral Drugs: A Cautionary Success Story

Editors’ Note: In this post, Tamara Mann Tweel offers an assessment of the impact of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, based on a report completed for the Open Philanthropy Project. The Open Philanthropy Project, funded by GiveWell and Good Ventures, also supports the work of HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis on the blog. Two modes of discourse dominate … Continue reading

Call for Papers on the History of Philanthropy: LSA Conference (Mexico City, June 2017)
Calls for Papers / Conferences / From the Editors

Call for Papers on the History of Philanthropy: LSA Conference (Mexico City, June 2017)

The Law and Society Association‘s annual meeting will take place in Mexico City this upcoming June of 2017 and its theme will be “Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World.” I am reaching out to our readers in order to organize a potential panel on the history of American philanthropy and public policymaking on an interconnected, global stage. … Continue reading

Can History Make You a Better Giver?
New Works in the Field / Oral History/Testimonies / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Can History Make You a Better Giver?

Editors’ Note: The following post, a personal reflection from Amanda Moniz, which also introduces themes from her new book, From Empire to Humanity, originally appeared on the OUPBlog under the title “How can history inform public policy today?” As a historian of philanthropy, I have wrestled with how to bring historical perspectives to my own gifts … Continue reading

The Eighteenth-Century Revolution in Philanthropy
New Works in the Field

The Eighteenth-Century Revolution in Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: Karen Sonnelitter discusses her recently-published book, Charity Movements in Eighteenth-Century Ireland (2016). More specifically in this post, she explains how “joint-stock financing” facilitated the establishment of a wide range of charitable societies in eighteenth-century Ireland. Earlier this summer, she presented part of this work at the 2016 conference of the International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) in Stockholm, Sweden.  … Continue reading

Reconsidering Progressive Era Opposition to Foundation Activity: The Farm Demonstration Project Controversy
Philanthropy and the State

Reconsidering Progressive Era Opposition to Foundation Activity: The Farm Demonstration Project Controversy

Editors’ Note: HistPhil continues its forum on philanthropy and the state with this contribution from Jesse Tarbert. Scholars of philanthropy have long been preoccupied with puzzling out the motives of the progenitors and leaders of the large foundations of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Were the philanthropists benevolent industrial statesmen? Clever Robber Barons? Or … Continue reading

Can Philanthropy Be a Profession? Should it Be?
New Works in the Field

Can Philanthropy Be a Profession? Should it Be?

Editors’ Note: In 1995, Howard Gardner, a psychologist-turned qualitative social scientist, joined forces with psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and William Damon to start the Good Work Project—an empirical study of the professions in the United States and of how such work could be conducted in an ethical manner. Two decades later, Gardner began a blog, The Professional Ethicist, … Continue reading

Stanley N. Katz’s ISTR Prize Lecture (2016)
Conferences / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Stanley N. Katz’s ISTR Prize Lecture (2016)

Editors’ Note: At the 2016 meeting of the International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) in Stockholm this summer, HistPhil’s Stanley N. Katz became the inaugural recipient of the ISTR Lecture Prize. Honoring “a member who has made a significant contribution to the field of Third Sector Research,” the Society asked Katz to share his thoughts on his work in Third Sector studies … Continue reading

Calls for Papers

Announcing UT essay competition on the financial crisis in higher ed

Editors’ Note: This announcement comes from HistPhil contributor Thomas Adam. Note that the winning essay will appear in an edited volume whose introduction will be written by HistPhil‘s own Stan Katz.  The Department of History at the University of Texas at Arlington is announcing its annual Webb/Smith Essay Competition as part of the 52nd annual Walter … Continue reading

How Foundations Got the U.S. Government Invested in International Population Control
Conferences / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

How Foundations Got the U.S. Government Invested in International Population Control

Editors’ Note: Emily Klancher Merchant continues HistPhil’s forum on Philanthropy and the State with a post outlining research she recently presented at a panel on “Private Foundations and Public Policy” at the Policy History Conference in Nashville. HistPhil recently published a post from Anne Fleming based on a paper she presented on that same panel. In … Continue reading