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

Islamic Charity & the Paradox of ‘Obligated Voluntarism’: A Comparison of Christian and Muslim Charitable Giving
Philanthropy and Historical Research

Islamic Charity & the Paradox of ‘Obligated Voluntarism’: A Comparison of Christian and Muslim Charitable Giving

Editors’ Note: Previously published on Maydan, this essay by Christopher B. Taylor compares the Christian view of charitable giving in the United States and Islamic charitable giving in India. Taylor concludes by urging readers to view charity as a blend of both perspectives.  Ahmed was the clerk of a firearms store on one of the main roads … Continue reading

The Hidden Histories of Regional Philanthropy: The Case of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
New Works in the Field

The Hidden Histories of Regional Philanthropy: The Case of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Editors’ Note: Bill Bush discusses the history and impressive impact of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. The concept of “wellness” has become a widely accepted, if loosely defined, feature of the everyday cultural landscape of American society. Central to that wellness ideal is mental health, itself a concept readily found in news coverage of … Continue reading

The Return of Hookworm and the Limits of Public Health Philanthropy
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and the State

The Return of Hookworm and the Limits of Public Health Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis reflects on a recent article in the Guardian on the return of hookworm to the American South. There’s been no shortage of news stories over the last several months that delivered a punch to the gut of our national self-regard, challenging Whiggish notions of moral progression that still color … Continue reading

Graduate Seminar on the History of Philanthropy
From the Editors / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Graduate Seminar on the History of Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: Prompted by an emailed request from University of Minnesota doctoral student Reba Juetten, I have updated a syllabus on the history of philanthropy that I drafted in 2015 and whose introduction I include on my personal website. Never used, it has remained a dream course that I would love to teach one day. … Continue reading

Giving Like Newton
Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Uncategorized

Giving Like Newton

Editors’ Note: With today’s philanthropies in mind, Michael E. Hartmann explains the relevance of a recently-published Science Advances article on past knowledge and future breakthroughs in science and technology.  What’s new? It’s a common question for us all. You’ve heard it. You’ve asked it. It’s often a useful way of jumpstarting conversation. It was also commonly asked of … Continue reading

“Contraband Humanitarianism”: German Charity on the Kenyan Coast
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

“Contraband Humanitarianism”: German Charity on the Kenyan Coast

Editors’ Note: Nina Berman wraps up HistPhil‘s book forum on German philanthropic history. The chapter I wrote for German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective is part of a larger ethnographic project that I conducted over much of the past decade in an Indian Ocean community in Kenya. That study explores material changes and social relations in Diani, an … Continue reading

The German Philanthropic Experience after 1945
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

The German Philanthropic Experience after 1945

Editors’ Note: Volker Berghahn continues HistPhil‘s book forum on German philanthropic history. Berghahn contributed to the edited volume, German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective, which Gregory Witkowski introduced in yesterday’s post.  In his recent book, Philanthropy, Civil Society and the State in German History, Thomas Adam endeavors to correct several misperceptions that he found in the literature … Continue reading

German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective: A Brief History
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective: A Brief History

Editors’ Note: HistPhil continues its book forum on German philanthropic history with a post from Gregory R. Witkowski, the co-editor of the recently published volume, German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective.  Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America casts a long shadow on discussions of the role of charitable giving, associations, and civil society in a democracy.  … Continue reading

“Je mehr sich etwas aendert”: From Nineteenth-Century German Housing Cooperatives to Twenty-First-Century Social Entrepreneurship
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

“Je mehr sich etwas aendert”: From Nineteenth-Century German Housing Cooperatives to Twenty-First-Century Social Entrepreneurship

Editors’ Note: Thomas Adam, author of Philanthropy, Civil Society, and the State in German History, 1815-1989 (reviewed yesterday by Stefan Toepler), continues HistPhil‘s week-long book forum on German philanthropy history. The last two decades have seen the rise of social enterprises and social entrepreneurship in which profit-seeking ventures are combined with philanthropic forms. This “new … Continue reading

Re-considering Tocqueville through a Wilhelmine Lens: A Review of Adam’s PHILANTHROPY, CIVIL SOCIETY, AND THE STATE IN GERMAN HISTORY, 1815-1989
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

Re-considering Tocqueville through a Wilhelmine Lens: A Review of Adam’s PHILANTHROPY, CIVIL SOCIETY, AND THE STATE IN GERMAN HISTORY, 1815-1989

Editors Note: The last year witnessed the publication two important books on the history of modern German philanthropy, Thomas Adam’s Philanthropy, Civil Society, and the State in German History, 1815-1989 and German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective, edited by Gregory Witkowski and Arnd Bauerkämper. The coincidence of these two works signals a contemporary flowering of scholarship on the … Continue reading

How Can Foundations Change Public Policy? The Case for Funding Grassroots NGOs
New Works in the Field / Political Scientists and Philanthropy

How Can Foundations Change Public Policy? The Case for Funding Grassroots NGOs

Editors’ Note: Continuing the forum on philanthropy and political science, Leah Stokes details how the funding strategies of the Energy Foundation led to policy innovation.  Foundations are often interested in catalyzing policy change. In the United States, however, this is a difficult task to accomplish. The political system is fragmented, with many policy venues. Individual politicians … Continue reading

Julius Rosenwald was not a Hero
Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy in the News

Julius Rosenwald was not a Hero

Editors’ Note: In response to a recent SSIR piece describing Julius Rosenwald as a philanthropic hero, HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey reflects on the distinction between an effective philanthropist and a heroic figure.  “Julius Rosenwald is one of our philanthropic heroes.” This is how Bridgespan’s William Foster, Gail Perreault, and Elise Tosun begin their essay on “Ten Ways to Make … Continue reading

What’s New, Philanthropy? Novelty as an Analytic Category in Callahan’s The Givers
Book Forum on Callahan's The Givers / New Works in the Field

What’s New, Philanthropy? Novelty as an Analytic Category in Callahan’s The Givers

Editors’ Note: Benjamin Soskis wraps up HistPhil’s book forum on David Callahan’s The Givers. Although it has gotten much more attention for its commentary on the contemporary philanthropic scene, David Callahan’s The Givers also makes some important arguments about philanthropic history (for more on my thoughts on the book, see my review in the American … Continue reading