Donor Standing and the Real Legacy of Adele Smithers
Current Events and Philanthropy / In remembrance / Philanthropy in the News

Donor Standing and the Real Legacy of Adele Smithers

Editors’ Note: Brian Galle weighs in on the misunderstood legacy of heiress Adele Smithers, who passed away last week. HistPhil readers will have noticed the passing last week of Adele Smithers, the heiress and careful monitor of the charitable trust established by her late husband, R. Brinkley. The New York Times obit describes her as having … Continue reading

Finding, and Preserving, Democracy in UK’s voluntary sector archives
Archives and Knowledge Management

Finding, and Preserving, Democracy in UK’s voluntary sector archives

Editors’ Note: Charlotte Clements continues HistPhil’s forum on archives and knowledge management. In this post I want to offer a UK perspective on the archives of philanthropic and non-profit organisations. I am sure that several of the issues I highlight are common outside the UK and I am interested in working across borders to share knowledge … Continue reading

Scientific Knowledge on Minority Groups during the Trump Era
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Inequality

Scientific Knowledge on Minority Groups during the Trump Era

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey reports on her impressions of a forum on populism, the world order, and the Trump era hosted by the Carnegie Corporation and Time Magazine at the foundation’s offices last week. At the Carnegie Corporation offices in midtown Manhattan this past Tuesday, I attended a panel discussion coordinated by the foundation and Time Magazine on “A Populist … Continue reading

A Matter of Trusts: Philanthropy and India’s Biggest Corporate Scandal
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy in the News

A Matter of Trusts: Philanthropy and India’s Biggest Corporate Scandal

Editors’ Note: Mircea Raianu follows up on last year’s post on the Tata Trusts with historical insights on the corporate scandal that has rocked India and has implicated the nation’s largest philanthropy. In late October 2016, an extraordinary corporate scandal broke out in India. Tata, the country’s largest, most influential, and most widely respected business group, suddenly … Continue reading

Hewlett’s Larry Kramer on Archives & Historical Analysis at the Foundation
Archives and Knowledge Management / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Hewlett’s Larry Kramer on Archives & Historical Analysis at the Foundation

Editors’ Note: The following is an interview between HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey and Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer, which took place over email in the past weeks. For earlier Q&As between Kramer and Morey, please follow this link. Below, Kramer discusses the foundation’s forthcoming plans to establish formal archives and the organization’s use of its history in its decision-making … Continue reading

“We will ‘Totally Destroy’ the Johnson Amendment”
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and the State

“We will ‘Totally Destroy’ the Johnson Amendment”

Editors’ Note: During a speech at the 64th annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington last week, Donald Trump reaffirmed his campaign promise to “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment.” Here, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan offers a history of the amendment and some analysis on its likely future. President Trump announced at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday … Continue reading

The Atlantic Philanthropies and its Archives: Limited Life, Enduring Legacy
Archives and Knowledge Management

The Atlantic Philanthropies and its Archives: Limited Life, Enduring Legacy

Editors’ Note: Joanne Volpe Florino continues HistPhil’s forum on archives and knowledge management with a post detailing the archival strategy of The Atlantic Philanthropies. This past December, The Atlantic Philanthropies made its final awards, becoming the largest limited life philanthropy to complete its grantmaking. The end of this aspect of its organizational life has been long-planned … Continue reading

Philanthropic Data and the Rise of LLCs; Or, What Happens when Scholars Can No Longer Follow the Money
Archives and Knowledge Management

Philanthropic Data and the Rise of LLCs; Or, What Happens when Scholars Can No Longer Follow the Money

Editors’ Note: education scholar Sarah Reckhow continues HistPhil‘s forum on archives and knowledge management. Her post examines how new institutional forms within the sector are reshaping and constraining philanthropic research, and what this might mean for the philanthropy archives of the future. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has received substantial media attention and scrutiny during … Continue reading

Ford’s Darren Walker on How Philanthropy Can Mine its Own Past
Archives and Knowledge Management

Ford’s Darren Walker on How Philanthropy Can Mine its Own Past

Editors’ Note: The following is an edited transcript of an interview between HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis and Ford Foundation president Darren Walker. In 2011, the Ford Foundation moved its archives, which had previously been housed in its New York headquarters, to the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC). Two years later, Walker became president of the Foundation. Since … Continue reading

Foundation Archives in the Digital Age
Archives and Knowledge Management

Foundation Archives in the Digital Age

Editors’ Note: Lucy Bernholz continues HistPhil‘s forum on archives and knowledge management. Foundations and archives often share a structural commitment to perpetuity. Yet most foundations haven’t shown an interest in organizing their own archives or in making them available to future scholars. This is a missed opportunity for institutions that care about their long-term impact. … Continue reading

The Beginnings of Independent Sector and Why They Matter
Current Events and Philanthropy / Oral History/Testimonies

The Beginnings of Independent Sector and Why They Matter

Editors’ Note: Last Week, Pablo Eisenberg, for decades one of the nation’s leading progressive critics of foundations, wrote an important op-ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy calling for six reforms necessary to strengthen the nonprofit sector in the Trump era. One of those involved changes to Independent Sector, transforming it into “a new powerful coalition solely of charities.” In making … Continue reading

Bridging the Divide Between Scholarship and Practice: A View from the Rockefeller Archive Center
Archives and Knowledge Management

Bridging the Divide Between Scholarship and Practice: A View from the Rockefeller Archive Center

Editors’ Note: Laura Miller and Rachel Wimpee, historians and project directors at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC), continue HistPhil‘s forum on archives and knowledge management. The RAC is the nation’s leading repository of philanthropic archives, holding the records of such important institutions as the Rockefeller, Ford, and Russell Sage Foundations, as well as numerous nonprofits … Continue reading

Social Change & the Critical Importance of Open Archiving
Archives and Knowledge Management

Social Change & the Critical Importance of Open Archiving

Editors’ Note: This post, from Lisa Brooks and Gabriela Fitz at IssueLab, opens HistPhil’s forum on philanthropy, archives, and knowledge management. IssueLab is a searchable, browseable knowledge sharing platform that collects, curates, and distributes the social sector’s knowledge. IssueLab also supports ongoing learning and research in the sector, believing in the power of the sector’s collective … Continue reading

Introducing HistPhil’s Forum on Archives and Knowledge Management
Archives and Knowledge Management

Introducing HistPhil’s Forum on Archives and Knowledge Management

This week, HistPhil begins a new forum on philanthropy, archives, and knowledge management. In some respects, the forum will likely cover ground already tilled by the many debates surrounding the issues of accountability and transparency occurring now within the sector. This forum, like those other discussions, will address the extent to which philanthropy opens itself … Continue reading

A History of Unequal Partnerships between American Foundations and African Universities
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Education

A History of Unequal Partnerships between American Foundations and African Universities

Editors’ Note: Fabrice Jaumont contributes a post based on his new book, Unequal Partners: American Foundations and Higher Education Development in Africa (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2016). At a time when higher education is once again recognized as a driver of development and income growth, when knowledge economies requiring additional levels of education are displacing economies predicated on manufacturing, … Continue reading

Morey on Willoughby-Herard’s WASTE OF A WHITE SKIN (2015)
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Inequality

Morey on Willoughby-Herard’s WASTE OF A WHITE SKIN (2015)

Editors’ Note: HistPhil’s Maribel Morey reviews Tiffany Willoughby-Herard’s new book, Waste of a White Skin: The Carnegie Corporation and the Racial Logic of White Vulnerability (University of California Press, 2015).  In a 1914 editorial titled “World War and the Color Line,” African American historian W.E.B. Du Bois explained to black readers of the NAACP’s Crisis why they should … Continue reading

Joan Kroc’s Radical and Ecstatic Philanthropy
New Works in the Field

Joan Kroc’s Radical and Ecstatic Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: Journalist Lisa Napoli, who has recently published the first biography of McDonald’s heiress Joan Kroc, offers a fascinating portrait of Kroc’s philanthropy. Kroc is a figure who defies easy categorization. She was, in one sense, a traditional funder; one of her largest gifts was to a social service organization, the Salvation Army. But she also … Continue reading

The U.S. Fiscal State and the History of American Philanthropy
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and the State

The U.S. Fiscal State and the History of American Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: We’ve been on a brief hiatus while working on some history of philanthropy manuscripts, and at the same time, internalizing the U.S. presidential election results. On the latter topic, fellow HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis published a piece for The Chronicle of Philanthropy earlier this month. Two weeks ago at ARNOVA, I presented some initial thoughts on philanthropy, American race … Continue reading

Disruptive philanthropy?
Book Forum on Philanthropy in Democratic Societies / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy

Disruptive philanthropy?

Editors’ Note: For this current forum, we have asked the authors of the recently-published volume Philanthropy in Democratic Societies to present synopses of their contributions. Here, Aaron Horvath discusses his chapter on disruptive democracy, which he co-authored with Walter W. Powell.  In a June 2015 Wall Street Journal editorial, Sean Parker, of Napster and Facebook fame, advanced a manifesto for the new … Continue reading

Why is the History of Philanthropy not a Part of American History?
Book Forum on Philanthropy in Democratic Societies / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy

Why is the History of Philanthropy not a Part of American History?

Editors’ Note: We have asked the authors of the recently-published volume Philanthropy in Democratic Societies to present synopses of their contributions. Continuing this forum, Olivier Zunz discusses his chapter on the historical study of philanthropy.  If philanthropy were only an activity of the very wealthy, then the historical inquiry could safely center on the democratic legitimacy of large donations. But the debate … Continue reading