HistPhil is a web publication on the history of the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, with a particular emphasis on how history can shed light on contemporary philanthropic issues and practice. In founding and editing this blog, we hope to foster discussion and debate on the sector with a more humanistic orientation than is often found in much of the current discourse. More broadly, we hope this blog helps bring together scholars, foundation leaders, and philanthropists in common dialogue on the past, present, and future of philanthropy. If you would like to pitch a blog post idea, please feel free to contact us via email (email@example.com) or Twitter (@HistPhil).
-Benjamin Soskis, Maribel Morey, and Stanley N. Katz, co-founders and editors of HistPhil.
Benjamin is a Research Associate at the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy. He is a frequent contributor to the Chronicle of Philanthropy; his writing on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector has also appeared in the Washington Post, The Atlantic online, the New Yorker.com, the Guardian, and the Foundation Review. He is the co-author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song that Marches On (Oxford, 2013), and Both More and No More: The Historical Split between Charity and Philanthropy (Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal, 2014). He is also a consultant for the history of philanthropy program of the Open Philanthropy Project, jointly funded by Good Ventures and GiveWell, which has also supported Ben’s work on this blog. He lives in Washington DC with his wife and two daughters.
Maribel is an Assistant Professor of History at Clemson University and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow during the 2016-18 academic years. A twentieth-century U.S. historian and historian of U.S. philanthropy, she is working on a two-part book project on elite philanthropy and the African American experience during the span of the twentieth century. In the first manuscript, she describes how and why white Americans in big philanthropy began to strip their identities as proponents of segregated education for black Americans and metamorphose into fellow travelers of the civil rights movement by the mid-twentieth century. For the second book, she is investigating exactly what these philanthropic managers and trustees meant by supporting the civil rights movement in the later half of the century. For more information on Maribel, please go to http://www.maribelmorey.com.
Stanley was originally trained in early American history, but has since moved on to study the history of philanthropy in the United States. Currently a member of the faculty at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, he has also taught at Harvard, Wisconsin and Chicago. His work on philanthropy began in the 1970s in collaboration with Barry D. Karl of the University of Chicago. Oft-cited examples of their collaboration include “Foundations and Ruling Class Elites,” Daedalus (1987) and “The American Private Philanthropic Foundation and the Public Sphere 1890-1930,” Minerva (1981). Now he works with two former students! For further information on Stanley, please go to http://www.princeton.edu/~snkatz/.