Latest Entries
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

What Gates and Broad Could Have Learned From Ford
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Education

What Gates and Broad Could Have Learned From Ford

Editors’ Note: Megan Tompkins-Stange discusses her book, Policy Patrons, which was published by Harvard Education Press this month. Earlier this week, HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey reviewed the book on this site.  “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” wrote George Santayana in 1905 – a perennially popular aphorism. But in the case of philanthropy, … Continue reading

New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Next Week’s ISTR Conference in Stockholm (June 28-July 1)

The 12th International Conference of the International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) is taking place next week (June 28-July 1) at Ersta Skondal University College in Stockholm, Sweden. The theme is “The Third Sector in Transition: Accountability, Transparency, and Social Inclusion.” Below, I am including events that would be of particular interest to HistPhil readers. Of … Continue reading

Maribel Morey Reviews Tompkins-Stange’s POLICY PATRONS (2016)
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Education

Maribel Morey Reviews Tompkins-Stange’s POLICY PATRONS (2016)

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor, Maribel Morey, reviews Megan Tompkins-Stange’s new book, Policy Patrons: Philanthropy, Education Reform, and the Politics of Influence (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Education Press, 2016). In Policy Patrons: Philanthropy, Education Reform, and the Politics of Influence, Megan Tompkins-Stange provides a fascinating peek into staff mentalities at the Gates, Broad, Kellogg, and Ford foundations. This is a … Continue reading

The Changing  Role of Foundations in Regulatory Reform: The Case of Small-Dollar Loan Reform
Conferences / Philanthropy and the State

The Changing Role of Foundations in Regulatory Reform: The Case of Small-Dollar Loan Reform

Editors’ Note: In early June, the Policy History Conference in Nashville held a panel on “Private Foundations and Public Policy.” In this post, one of the panelists, Anne Fleming, shares some of the research she presented, continuing HistPhil’s forum on Philanthropy and the State. The work of the modern foundation in policymaking often takes a … Continue reading

What Makes Philanthropy Political?
Philanthropy and the State

What Makes Philanthropy Political?

Editors’ Note: After a brief hiatus, HistPhil continues its Philanthropy and the State forum with a post from Amy Schiller. Spring 2016 is shaping up to be a watershed moment for philanthropy’s role as a political tool. Even setting aside political donations within the presidential race, two incidents have generated tremendous public conversation about what … Continue reading

Another Interpretation of “The Bible Cause”: David Hammack Reviews Fea’s History of the American Bible Society
New Works in the Field

Another Interpretation of “The Bible Cause”: David Hammack Reviews Fea’s History of the American Bible Society

Editors’ Note: David Hammack reviews John Fea’s The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society (Oxford, 2016). Neil Young reviewed the book last week. As a sponsored celebration of two hundred years of the American Bible Society intended for a friendly audience, The Bible Cause is remarkably comprehensive and thoughtful. Its acknowledgement of debates and … Continue reading

Current Events and Philanthropy / From the Editors

Philanthropy Scholarship at Ongoing Policy History Conference (Nashville, TN)

From today until Saturday, June 4th, the ninth biennial Policy History Conference is taking place at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. And just this moment, a wonderful group of scholars has gathered to discuss private foundations and public policy: ______________________________ Private Foundations and Public Policy: How Modern Philanthropy Has Shaped Credit, Labor, and Population Policies (3:15pm-4:45pm) Chair … Continue reading

Interpreting “The Bible Cause”: Neil Young Reviews Fea’s History of the American Bible Society
New Works in the Field

Interpreting “The Bible Cause”: Neil Young Reviews Fea’s History of the American Bible Society

Editors’ Note: Neil Young reviews John Fea’s The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society. Later this week, David Hammack offers his own perspective on the book. Last year, the American Library Association recorded a new entry on its annual list of the ten most challenged library books. For the first time ever, the … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

An Interview with National Philanthropic Trust’s Eileen Heisman on NPT’s new History of Modern Philanthropy website

Editors’ Note: On Tuesday, National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) unveiled a new History of Modern Philanthropy website at HistoryofGiving.org, a digital resource that covers the last 500 years of global philanthropy. The digital exhibition highlights 200 moments in global philanthropy illustrated by almost 100 rare media assets, including documents, audio and video. Below is an edited … Continue reading

The Green Revolution

The Green Revolution, Energy, and Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: John Perkins contributes to HistPhil’s forum on the Green Revolution. Scholarship over the past 20 years has produced a much richer understanding of the Green Revolution, but one critical angle has received little attention: the role of energy. This post will sketch the important issues connecting energy with the Green Revolution and explain why they … Continue reading

Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

Edwin Embree as Exemplar: How one Philanthropic Leader Confronted Racial Prejudice during the Second World War

Editors’ Note: Alfred Perkins highlights the leadership of Edwin Embree, who served for two decades as president of the Julius Rosenwald Fund, in advocating for the rights of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. The current presidential campaign has brought again to the surface the hostility to cultural differences long an element in the American emotional … Continue reading

New Works in the Field

Alice O’Connor on Erica Kohl-Arenas’ THE SELF-HELP MYTH (2016)

Editors’ Note: Alice O’Connor reviews Erica Kohl-Arenas’ The Self-Help Myth: How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty (University of California Press, 2016). Kohl-Arenas recently participated in the inaugural HistPhil Exchange with Linsey McGoey. Erica Kohl-Arenas opens her important and sharply-observed new book with a field note from her visit to organized philanthropy’s grand palaver, the Annual Meeting … Continue reading