The Private Charity Lacunae: The Tax Reform Act of 1969 and the Rise of Donor-Advised Funds
Tax Reform Act of 1969 forum

The Private Charity Lacunae: The Tax Reform Act of 1969 and the Rise of Donor-Advised Funds

Editors’ Note: Lila Corwin Berman continues HistPhil’s (slightly dilatory) forum marking the 50th anniversary of the Tax Reform Act of 1969 with a contribution explaining how the Act paved the way for the spectacular rise of donor-advised funds. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Congress worried about the unchecked private power that philanthropic entities could hold … Continue reading

The Private Foundation Rules at Fifty: How Did We get There?
Tax Reform Act of 1969 forum / Uncategorized

The Private Foundation Rules at Fifty: How Did We get There?

Editors’ Note: 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the Tax Reform Act of 1969 (TRA), the most significant package of legislative reforms directed at the philanthropic sector in recent memory. We missed the actual semi-centennial, but there’s no reason to think that philanthropic reform will be any less important a topic to consider in 2020 … Continue reading

Information, Education, and Security as Public Goods: When Are Philanthropic Foundations the Providers of Last Resort?
New Works in the Field

Information, Education, and Security as Public Goods: When Are Philanthropic Foundations the Providers of Last Resort?

Editors’ Note: Building upon his article in the latest issue of the Journal of Latin American Studies, “La gran dama: Science Patronage, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Mexican Social Sciences in the 1940s,” Álvaro Morcillo Laiz considers U.S. foundations’ funding of education, the elaboration of statistics, and human rights activism in Latin America as producing public … Continue reading

The Philanthropy Critic as Pain in the Ass: Robert Payton on Peter Dobkin Hall
Primary Source Documents

The Philanthropy Critic as Pain in the Ass: Robert Payton on Peter Dobkin Hall

Editors’ Note: HistPhil is happy to share with our readers a remarkable primary source document, an unpublished essay by Robert Payton, the founding director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, on the philanthropy scholar Peter Dobkin Hall, and on the personal and professional difficulties Hall encountered in developing a career as a critic … Continue reading

Introducing Re:source: the Rockefeller Archive Center’s new effort to bring the History of Philanthropy to a Wider Audience
Archives and Knowledge Management

Introducing Re:source: the Rockefeller Archive Center’s new effort to bring the History of Philanthropy to a Wider Audience

Editors’ Note: Rachel Wimpee and Elizabeth Berkowitz, historians in the Research & Education division of the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC), introduce the RAC’s latest project, Re:source, a new digital storytelling platform focused on philanthropic history. We at HistPhil give Re:source a hearty welcome (its initial postings have been superb) and encourage our readers to check … Continue reading

In Defense of Unstrategic Philanthropy
Oral History/Testimonies / Philanthropy / Uncategorized

In Defense of Unstrategic Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: Gara LaMarche reflects on lessons learned from leadership positions at two of the nation’s largest foundations, Open Society Foundations and the recently sunset Atlantic Philanthropies. I’ve been helping foundations and rich individuals redistribute their wealth to non-profits and social movements for nearly twenty-five years, and almost all of that time there has been … Continue reading

Mission to the Missiologists: The Protestant Foreign Missionary Project and the History of Philanthropy
New Works in the Field

Mission to the Missiologists: The Protestant Foreign Missionary Project and the History of Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: David A. Hollinger calls for scholars, and especially scholars of philanthropy, to engage with the history of missionaries and mission work in the United States. He makes his case in part based on his experience working on one of his  recent books, Protestants Abroad: How Missionaries Tried to Change the World but Changed … Continue reading

Broad on THE GOSPEL OF KINDNESS: ANIMAL WELFARE AND THE MAKING OF MODERN AMERICA (2016)
New Works in the Field

Broad on THE GOSPEL OF KINDNESS: ANIMAL WELFARE AND THE MAKING OF MODERN AMERICA (2016)

Editors’ Note: Garrett M. Broad reviews Janet M. Davis’s The Gospel of Kindness: Animal Welfare and the Making of Modern America (Oxford University Press, 2016). Among those who identify as members of the animal rights community in the United States, religion is rarely a motivating factor for activism. Quite the contrary, animal rights activists are … Continue reading

Donations Without Domination: Private Charity and Republican Liberty
New Works in the Field / Political Scientists and Philanthropy

Donations Without Domination: Private Charity and Republican Liberty

Editors’ Note: Robert S. Taylor introduces his “competitive model of public charity,” which he argues satisfies the imperatives of the republican intellectual tradition and which he outlined in a recent article in the Journal of Political Philosophy. Over the centuries, the republican intellectual tradition has focused on limiting domination of some citizens by others—be they … Continue reading

A Grantee’s Freedom and Independence
Conferences / Philanthropy and Historical Research

A Grantee’s Freedom and Independence

Editors’ Note: In anticipation of “An American Dilemma for the 21st Century” conference at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in NYC next Wednesday (where she will be presenting), HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey encourages here on HistPhil some dialogue on the relative constraints and freedoms of the funder-grantee relationship, a topic of mutual … Continue reading

McCarthy on THE MOMENT OF LIFT: HOW EMPOWERING WOMEN CHANGES THE WORLD (2019)
New Works in the Field

McCarthy on THE MOMENT OF LIFT: HOW EMPOWERING WOMEN CHANGES THE WORLD (2019)

Editors’ Note: Kathleen D. McCarthy reviews Melinda Gates’s The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World (New York: Flatiron Books, 2019). Melinda Gates’s The Moment of Lift, is a feminist Gospel of Wealth for the 21st century. While Andrew Carnegie’s much-cited 1889 essay, “Gospel of Wealth,” issued a clarion call to his fellow … Continue reading

Conferences / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Announcing the Jewish Philanthropy Research Initiative

Editors’ Note: The organizers of a new research initiative in Jewish philanthropy announce its inauguration. In a newly published study that draws on the first comprehensive data set of U.S.-based Jewish philanthropic organizations, Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim and Mathew Brookner show that such organizations gave more than $46 billion in grants in the period between … Continue reading

World Vision and Divergences within Evangelical Humanitarianism: A Review of King’s God’s Internationalists
New Works in the Field

World Vision and Divergences within Evangelical Humanitarianism: A Review of King’s God’s Internationalists

Editors’ Note: Heather D. Curtis reviews David P. King‘s God’s Internationalists: World Vision and the Age of Evangelical Humanitarianism. King introduced his work to HistPhil readers earlier this week. Recently, I attended a Protestant church service on “Hope Sunday.” After watching a professional video that documented the Evangelical Covenant Church’s work in the Democratic Republic of Congo … Continue reading

Religion’s Role in International Relief and Development: World Vision and the Age of Evangelical Humanitarianism
New Works in the Field

Religion’s Role in International Relief and Development: World Vision and the Age of Evangelical Humanitarianism

Editors’ Note: David P. King discusses the history of World Vision, the subject of his new book, God’s Internationalists: World Vision and the Age of Evangelical Humanitarianism. Heather Curtis will offer a review of the book on HistPhil later this week. In twentieth-century histories of philanthropy, religion rarely makes a major appearance. Of course, almost … Continue reading

Inflaming the Civic Temper: The Enduring Appeal of National Service
Current Events and Philanthropy / Uncategorized

Inflaming the Civic Temper: The Enduring Appeal of National Service

Editors’ Note: In the last several months, several of the Democratic candidates for president have proposed national service plans. Scott Moore discuses what we can learn from the history of such schemes.   This past March, South Bend Mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg became the latest in a long line of American political leaders to … Continue reading

The Historical Case for Participatory Grantmaking
Philanthropy

The Historical Case for Participatory Grantmaking

Editors’ Note: Cynthia Gibson, one of the leading experts on participatory philanthropy, explains why funders who question whether a participatory approach is consistent with philanthropic practice might want to consult the sector’s past. The material in this post is adapted from a number of sources, including Cynthia Gibson, Participatory Grantmaking: Has Its Time Come? (New York: … Continue reading

Common Enemies: Why Americans Favor Single-Disease Campaigns
New Works in the Field

Common Enemies: Why Americans Favor Single-Disease Campaigns

Editors’ Note: Rachel Best discusses the long history of single disease charitable campaigns in the United States, the subject of her new book, Common Enemies: Disease Campaigns in America (Oxford, 2019). In October, pink ribbons decorate everything from sneakers to buckets of fried chicken, and hundreds of thousands of people participate in walks or runs to … Continue reading

More Lore than Law: The Dartmouth College Case and the Myth of the Purely Private College
Dartmouth College v. Woodward

More Lore than Law: The Dartmouth College Case and the Myth of the Purely Private College

Editors’ Note: John Thelin continues HistPhil‘s forum marking the bicentennial of the Dartmouth College case. This post is an excerpt from his book, A History of American Higher Education, published as a new third edition in 2019 by the Johns Hopkins University Press. For Dartmouth College and Daniel Webster, 1819 was a very good year.  It was no less than … Continue reading

Not Just a Contract case: Dartmouth College v. Woodward’s Law-of-the-Land Legacy
Dartmouth College v. Woodward

Not Just a Contract case: Dartmouth College v. Woodward’s Law-of-the-Land Legacy

Editors’ Note: Jane Manners continues HistPhil’s forum marking the bicentennial of the Dartmouth College case. Dartmouth College v Woodward is, as every first-year law student knows, a contract case. Its canonical holding distinguished public corporations from private ones and established that where private corporations are concerned, a legislative charter is a contract, protected from legislative … Continue reading

The Dartmouth College Case, the Contract Clause, and the Creation of the Private Sector
Dartmouth College v. Woodward

The Dartmouth College Case, the Contract Clause, and the Creation of the Private Sector

Editors’ Note: Mark D. McGarvie continues HistPhil’s forum marking the bicentennial of the Dartmouth College v. Woodward case. The material in this post is adapted from several previously published works by McGarvie, including One Nation Under Law: America’s Early National Struggles to Separate Church and State (2004); Law and Religion in American History: Public Values and Private … Continue reading