The many meanings of ‘community’ and nonprofits’ place in urban policy
New Works in the Field

The many meanings of ‘community’ and nonprofits’ place in urban policy

Editors’ Note: Jeremy Levine discusses the indeterminate meaning of ‘community’ and how it shapes nonprofit organization’s place in urban policy, a major theme of his 2021 book, Constructing Community: Urban Governance, Development, and Inequality in Boston (Princeton University Press). It is impossible to understand urban policy in the United States without appreciating the role of … Continue reading

A Masterpiece of Political Imagination: What Tocqueville Saw–and Didn’t See–in the United States
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy

A Masterpiece of Political Imagination: What Tocqueville Saw–and Didn’t See–in the United States

Editors’ Note: The following is an adaptation of a lecture delivered in May 2022 by Olivier Zunz at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture on his book, The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville (Princeton University Press, 2022). When Alexis de Tocqueville, only 25 years-old in 1831, … Continue reading

Inequality and Organizational Vitality: A History of Nonprofit Neighborhoods and the American State
New Works in the Field

Inequality and Organizational Vitality: A History of Nonprofit Neighborhoods and the American State

Editors’ Note: Claire Dunning introduces her new book, Nonprofit Neighborhoods: An Urban History of Inequality and the American State (University of Chicago, 2022). I first encountered the puzzle that inspired my recent book, Nonprofit Neighborhoods: An Urban History of Inequality and the American State, at a meeting I attended while working at The Boston Foundation … Continue reading

Corporate Philanthropy as Diversity Capital
New Works in the Field

Corporate Philanthropy as Diversity Capital

Editors’ Note: Patricia A. Banks reflects on the significance of Black cultural patronage and diversity capital, key concepts in her new book, Black Culture, Inc.: How Ethnic Community Support Pays for Corporate America (Stanford University Press, 2022). In 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) opened its doors to the public. … Continue reading

The Tyranny of Generosity and How we Can Tame it
New Works in the Field

The Tyranny of Generosity and How we Can Tame it

Editors’ Note: Ted Lechterman introduces his new book, The Tyranny of Generosity: Why Philanthropy Corrupts Our Politics and How We Can Fix It (Oxford University Press, 2021). When philosophers assess philanthropy, they tend to focus narrowly on the decisions of donors and the relationship between donors and recipients. Do individuals have a duty to give? … Continue reading

Building Prisms of the People within the Nonprofit Industrial Complex
Uncategorized

Building Prisms of the People within the Nonprofit Industrial Complex

Editors’ Note: Michelle Oyakawa explores the lessons behind the case studies collected in Prisms of the People: Power & Organizing in Twenty-First-Century America (University of Chicago, 2021), co-written with Hahrie Han and Elizabeth McKenna. A prism is a powerful instrument that can gather, focus, and project light. My co-authors and I chose prisms as a … Continue reading

‘A sprawling, complicated chronicle’ of ACT UP New York: A review of Schulman’s Let the Record Show
New Works in the Field

‘A sprawling, complicated chronicle’ of ACT UP New York: A review of Schulman’s Let the Record Show

Editors’ Note: Dan Royles reviews Sarah Schulman’s Let the Record Show: A Political History of Act Up New York, 1987-1993. This version of the review has been revised to reflect a response from Schulman. Sarah Schulman’s Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 is a sprawling, complicated chronicle of … Continue reading

Hybrid entities on the Nonprofit-Government Continuum
New Works in the Field

Hybrid entities on the Nonprofit-Government Continuum

Editors’ Note: Ellen Aprill introduces her research on governmental and semi-governmental federal charitable entities. A version of this post appeared on Notice & Comment, a blog from the Yale Journal on Regulation and ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice. Few American taxpayers know that they can make tax-deductible charitable contributions of cash and … Continue reading

What’s New? Exploring the concept of nonprofit organizational founding
New Works in the Field

What’s New? Exploring the concept of nonprofit organizational founding

Editors’ Note: Jamie Levine Daniel introduces her research, done with Fredrik O. Andersson, on expanding the definition of nonprofit organization founding, recently published in the Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research. “When is a nonprofit founded?” This seems like a straightforward question. However, the answer is anything but straightforward, because founding is a … Continue reading

Why Popularist Attacks on Progressive Philanthropy Miss the Mark
Current Events and Philanthropy

Why Popularist Attacks on Progressive Philanthropy Miss the Mark

Editors’ Note: Over the last year, a number of center-left and centrist journalists and political operatives have advanced a critique of progressive philanthropy from a “popularist” perspective, arguing that progressive philanthropy has promoted causes without significant support from the American public that have proved injurious to the electoral prospects of the Democratic party. This critique … Continue reading

The many meanings of “women’s empowerment”: a history of the “women in development” movement
New Works in the Field

The many meanings of “women’s empowerment”: a history of the “women in development” movement

Editors’ Note: Joanne Meyerowitz examines the history of the “women in development” movement, based on material in her recent book, A War on Global Poverty: The Lost Promise of Redistribution and the Rise of Microcredit (Princeton University Press, 2021). Today “empowering women” is a ubiquitous buzz phrase in both the policy and philanthropy of global … Continue reading

Behind the Scenes of WHITE PHILANTHROPY
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality

Behind the Scenes of WHITE PHILANTHROPY

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey introduces her new book, White Philanthropy: Carnegie Corporation’s An American Dilemma and the Making of a White World Order (2021), and underscores the research methodology at the foundation of the book’s historical narrative.  Earlier this month, my first book, White Philanthropy: Carnegie Corporation’s An American Dilemma and the Making … Continue reading

Epistemic Crises, Then and Now: The 1965 Carnegie Commission as Model Philanthropic Intervention
New Works in the Field

Epistemic Crises, Then and Now: The 1965 Carnegie Commission as Model Philanthropic Intervention

Editors’ Note: Peter Kaufman argues that the 1965 Carnegie Commission that led to the creation of the U.S.’s public television and radio systems can be a model for a philanthropic intervention to address our current epistemic crisis. With lies now so rampant on the Internet, television, and radio – with every printed page, moving image, … Continue reading

Bowling with Trump: The Downside of Social Capital
Uncivil Civil Society

Bowling with Trump: The Downside of Social Capital

Editors’ Note: Alejandro Portes continues HistPhil’s forum on “uncivil civil society.” I have adapted the title of this comment from the classic article by Sheri Berman, “Civil Society and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic” published in 1997. Since that time, several additional studies have documented the close relationship between German associationism and the rise … Continue reading

MALDEF, the Ford Foundation and the Politics of Patronage
New Works in the Field

MALDEF, the Ford Foundation and the Politics of Patronage

Editors’ Note: Benjamin Márquez introduces his new book, The Politics of Patronage: Lawyers, Philanthropy and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, 1967-2000 (University of Texas Press, 2021). The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is one of the best-known Latino/a political organizations. The scope of its involvement in Latino/a politics is … Continue reading

Lead Zeppelin? A Chance for a Revival of Germany’s Third Sector
Current Events and Philanthropy

Lead Zeppelin? A Chance for a Revival of Germany’s Third Sector

Editors’ Note: Thomas Adam highlights an important recent court case in Germany that has the potential to transform the nation’s philanthropic sector. Over the course of the nineteenth century, German civil society experienced a remarkable expansion in the absolute numbers of, and in the assets given to, foundations and endowments. Wealthy Germans created endowments that … Continue reading

Frederick Douglass and the Political Theory of Dirty Money
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Frederick Douglass and the Political Theory of Dirty Money

Editors’ Note: Emma Saunders-Hastings introduces her new article in American Political Science Review on Frederick Douglass and his political theory of ‘dirty money.’ In 1844, the newly-formed Free Church of Scotland sent a fundraising mission to the United States. It raised about £3,000, largely from southern Presbyterian donors. Abolitionists in the United States and abroad … Continue reading

Why Early American Fears about Civil Society Still Matter
Uncivil Civil Society

Why Early American Fears about Civil Society Still Matter

Editors’ Note: Kevin Butterfield continues HistPhil’s forum on “uncivil civil society.” Historians and social scientists studying the civil society of the early United States have rediscovered fears and anxieties within the much-celebrated notion of Americans as a “nation of joiners.” The emerging world of mutual aid organizations, reform societies, political clubs, and voluntary associations of … Continue reading

MacKenzie Scott, the Giving Pledge, and Rival Discourses of Billionaire Philanthropy
Philanthropy in the News

MacKenzie Scott, the Giving Pledge, and Rival Discourses of Billionaire Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: Hans Peter Schmitz, George E. Mitchell, and Elena M. McCollim introduce their research on the Giving Pledge, and analyze how one of its most prominent signatories, MacKenzie Scott, poses a challenge to the discourse surrounding philanthropy it most often advances. During the Covid-19 pandemic, MacKenzie Scott accompanied three rounds of billion-dollar donations to … Continue reading