The Unevenness of Archives
Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality

The Unevenness of Archives

Editors’ Note: With a lens on the funding of black education in early twentieth-century United States, Melissa Wooten discusses how wealth inequality among charitable givers and racialized tendencies in public memory lead to inequities in the archives, and thus too, to writing histories privileging the philanthropic acts of the wealthy over the less wealthy and of whites … Continue reading

The UK Civil Society Strategy and  The History of State vs Philanthropic Welfare Provision
Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in the News

The UK Civil Society Strategy and The History of State vs Philanthropic Welfare Provision

Editors’ Note: Against the backdrop of the UK government’s new Civil Society Strategy, Rhodri Davies provides broader historical context to UK debates on civil society, the state, and welfare needs.  The UK government recently launched its major new Civil Society Strategy, billed as the first attempt in 15 years to outline a holistic vision for the relationship … Continue reading

Policing the Border: A History of IRS Regulation of Political Activity
Current Events and Philanthropy / History of Anonymous Giving

Policing the Border: A History of IRS Regulation of Political Activity

Editors’ Note: Roger Colinvaux continues HistPhil’s forum on anonymous giving with a post that places the controversies over “dark money” contributions into historical and legal context. The IRS is a partisan political punching bag, perhaps no more so than in the area of regulation of nonprofit organizations. Over the past five years, there have been … Continue reading

Undergraduate Seminar on the History of Philanthropy
Philanthropy and Historical Research

Undergraduate Seminar on the History of Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: Last August, I shared with readers my syllabus for a graduate seminar on the history of philanthropy. In a similar spirit, I am including below an undergraduate version of that class which I will be teaching this fall. Of course, and as always, please feel free to reach out with feedback and suggestions both on … Continue reading

Expressive Anonymity: What Pseudonyms in 19th Century Charity Subscription Lists Tell Us About Donors
History of Anonymous Giving

Expressive Anonymity: What Pseudonyms in 19th Century Charity Subscription Lists Tell Us About Donors

Editors’ Note: Sarah Flew continues HistPhil‘s forum on anonymous giving. This post is based on Flew’s article, “Unveiling the Anonymous Philanthropist: Charity in the Nineteenth Century,” Journal of Victorian Culture 20, issue 1 (March 2015), 20-33. Whilst researching philanthropy in London in the nineteenth century, I became fascinated by the small proportion of individuals who … Continue reading

The Changing Meaning of Community Development in Harlem (And its Consequences)
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality

The Changing Meaning of Community Development in Harlem (And its Consequences)

Editors’ Note: Brian D. Goldstein introduces his recent work, The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle Over Harlem (Harvard, 2017). The January 29, 1977 front page of the New York Amsterdam News offered grim news to any Harlemites hoping to own part of the land they inhabited. “Harlem Commonwealth Council Fails to Sell Shares to Residents,” … Continue reading

The Price of Privacy: What’s Wrong with the New Shadow Giving System
History of Anonymous Giving

The Price of Privacy: What’s Wrong with the New Shadow Giving System

Editors’ Note: David Callahan adds to HistPhil‘s forum on anonymous giving. The world of philanthropy is becoming less transparent, and that’s not a good thing. Recent years have seen the rapid growth of a shadow giving system that funnels billions of dollars in gifts in ways that leave no fingerprints. The disclosure rules that have governed … Continue reading

The Historical Case for Charitable Donor Privacy
History of Anonymous Giving

The Historical Case for Charitable Donor Privacy

Editors’ Note: Sean Parnell continues Histphil‘s forum on anonymous giving, making the affirmative, historical case. Modern discussions of anonymous philanthropic giving tend to focus on supposed malefactors such as the libertarian brothers Charles and David Koch, progressive George Soros, or the general threat that so-called “dark money” poses to our free society.[1] Often lost in these … Continue reading

The Uneasy Convergence of Elite and Mass Fundraising in Higher Ed: The Harvard Endowment Fund drive, 1915-1925
Philanthropy and Education

The Uneasy Convergence of Elite and Mass Fundraising in Higher Ed: The Harvard Endowment Fund drive, 1915-1925

Editors’ Note: HistPhil takes a brief break from the forum on anonymous giving for a post from Bruce Kimball on the path-breaking Harvard Endowment Fund drive. It is adapted from Bruce A. Kimball, “The First Campaign and the Paradoxical Transformation of Fundraising in American Higher Education, 1915-1925.” Teachers College Record 116, no. 7 (2014): 1-44. In September 2013 … Continue reading

Beyond Maimonides’ Ladder: Anonymous Charity in Early Jewish Tradition
History of Anonymous Giving

Beyond Maimonides’ Ladder: Anonymous Charity in Early Jewish Tradition

Editors’ Note: Gregg Gardner adds more deep historical background to HistPhil’s forum on anonymous giving. It is commonly held that Judaism holds anonymous giving as the highest form of charity – a characteristically Jewish form of philanthropy championed by the preeminent philosopher Moses Maimonides (1135–1204 CE). Yet the truth is more complicated: anonymous giving was directed … Continue reading

It’s No Secret: The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Benefits and Drawbacks to Operating Anonymously
History of Anonymous Giving

It’s No Secret: The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Benefits and Drawbacks to Operating Anonymously

Editors’ Note: The Atlantic Philanthropies’ Christopher G. Oechsli continues HistPhil’s forum on anonymous giving. There was a time, and not that long ago, when our strict adherence to operating anonymously would have made it impossible for The Atlantic Philanthropies to participate in a forum like this. In fact, for our first 15 years, we didn’t publicly … Continue reading

Sound Not a Trumpet, Let your Light Shine: the Tension at the Heart of Medieval Attitudes toward Anonymous Giving
History of Anonymous Giving

Sound Not a Trumpet, Let your Light Shine: the Tension at the Heart of Medieval Attitudes toward Anonymous Giving

Editors’ Note: Adam Davis continues HistPhil’s forum on the history of anonymous giving with some deep historical background. During the first millennium and a half of Christian history, there was a fundamental tension between the ideal of anonymous charity on the one hand, which by definition was not done out of vainglory, and on the other … Continue reading

Introducing HistPhil’s Forum on the History of Anonymous Giving
From the Editors / History of Anonymous Giving

Introducing HistPhil’s Forum on the History of Anonymous Giving

Editors’ Note: This post, by HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis, introduces HistPhil‘s forum on the history of anonymous giving, which will be featured on the site over the next few weeks. To get a sense of the ambiguous place that anonymous giving now occupies within contemporary attitudes towards philanthropy, take a look at a striking passage in … Continue reading

Past Transactions: The History of Fee-Charging in the American Nonprofit Human Services Sector
New Works in the Field

Past Transactions: The History of Fee-Charging in the American Nonprofit Human Services Sector

Editors’ Note: Maoz Brown previews his article, “The Moralization of Commercialization: Uncovering the History of Fee-Charging in the U.S. Nonprofit Human Services Sector,” which was recently published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.  Finances are often viewed as vital signs in the nonprofit sector, as in the much-discussed (and much-lamented) case of using administrative expense … Continue reading

“A Disparity in Paper”: Recovering Chinese Charitable Traditions and the Struggle Against Western Philanthropic Imperialism
Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Historical Research

“A Disparity in Paper”: Recovering Chinese Charitable Traditions and the Struggle Against Western Philanthropic Imperialism

Editors’ Note: This post, by Caroline Reeves, is adapted from a paper presented at the “Empires of Charity” conference, held at the University of Warwick in March 2017 and is part of Reeves’ larger project on the history of Chinese charitable giving. The Last Bastion of Cultural Imperialism In 2009, I was invited to celebrate the … Continue reading

Philanthropy and the End of Teacher Autonomy
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Education

Philanthropy and the End of Teacher Autonomy

Editors’ Note: Nicholas Tampio, author of the recently published Common Core: National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy, discusses the role the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation played in the establishment of Common Core. I recently gave a talk at a local bookstore about my new book on the Common Core, a set of … Continue reading

Toward an Appreciation of Generosity’s “Full Range and Flourishing”
Philanthropy

Toward an Appreciation of Generosity’s “Full Range and Flourishing”

Editors’ Note: Paul Schervish writes on the dangers of researchers equating generosity with formal charitable giving. Just peruse studies and media commentary on charitable giving and you will see how often one financial group, region, gender, or race is called more “generous” than another on the basis of how much formal charitable giving that group carries … Continue reading

From Turtle Bay to DC: The Transformation of American Human Rights Activism in the Long 1960s
New Works in the Field

From Turtle Bay to DC: The Transformation of American Human Rights Activism in the Long 1960s

Editors’ Note: Sarah B. Snyder discusses her new book, From Selma to Moscow: How Human Rights Activists Transformed U. S. Foreign Policy. Americans and human rights have had a long, interconnected history.  After all, Thomas Jefferson used the language of “rights” in his 1776 Declaration of Independence.  And, Americans were active in shaping human rights commitments … Continue reading

The Kids Are Alright: The Promise and Reality of Youth Volunteering, 1974-2018
New Works in the Field

The Kids Are Alright: The Promise and Reality of Youth Volunteering, 1974-2018

Editors’ Note: Robert Grimm and Nathan Dietz discuss the findings of the new report from the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, “Good Intentions, Gap in Action,” on youth civic engagement. Over the past several weeks, the students of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have proved that young people have the civic … Continue reading