Updating HistPhil’s Reading List
Current Events and Philanthropy / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy and the State

Updating HistPhil’s Reading List

Editors’ Note: In response to Black Lives Matter protests, #BlackInTheIvory, and nearly daily updates of leading U.S. philanthropies, nonprofits and for-profits proclaiming their allyship to the BLM movement, we have questioned what role we should and could play here on HistPhil. As a first step, we are amplifying the published works of Black scholars both … Continue reading

Power, Ignorance and the New Philanthropic Enlightenment
COVID-19 Pandemic / Current Events and Philanthropy / New Works in the Field

Power, Ignorance and the New Philanthropic Enlightenment

Editors’ Note: An early critic of philanthrocapitalism and the Gates Foundation – arguing in No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy (2015) that in the age of philanthrocapitalism “[g]iving more” had become “an avenue for getting more” –  Linsey McGoey introduces her newest book, The Unknowers: How Strategic … Continue reading

Mutual aid and physical distancing are not new for Black and racialized minorities in the Americas
COVID-19 Pandemic / Current Events and Philanthropy

Mutual aid and physical distancing are not new for Black and racialized minorities in the Americas

Editors’ Note: Caroline Shenaz Hossein responds to Lucy Bernholz’s recent blog post predicting shifting philanthropic trends– a “rebirth of mutual aid”– during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hossein argues that “any general trends towards mutual aid in the U.S. should be understood, not simply or principally as a return to earlier giving habits, but also as an … Continue reading

Trump Donated His Salary to HHS. Is that Kosher?
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy in the News

Trump Donated His Salary to HHS. Is that Kosher?

Editors’ Note: Ellen P. Aprill comments on how President Trump’s recent decision to donate his salary to the Department of Health and Human Services fits into her latest research project on the boundaries between private charitable donations and public funds. On March 3, President Trump’s Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham, announced on Twitter that, consistent with … 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

Plus ça change: The long history of questioning Charitable giving to Notre Dame
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy in the News

Plus ça change: The long history of questioning Charitable giving to Notre Dame

Editors’ Note: In light of recent controversies over private contributions to rebuild the cathedral, recently damaged by fire, Matthew Ross discusses the long history of questions about charitable giving to Notre Dame. The billion dollars pledged to repair Notre Dame de Paris stoked a public crisis of conscience. Before the smoke had cleared over the gothic … Continue reading

Walmart Heirs Shift from Red to Purple: The Evolving Political Contributions of the Nation’s Richest Family
Current Events and Philanthropy

Walmart Heirs Shift from Red to Purple: The Evolving Political Contributions of the Nation’s Richest Family

Editors’ Note: Leslie K. Finger and Sarah Reckhow write on the changing nature of Walton family political contributions. In the 2012 election cycle, 72 percent of partisan federal and state election contributions from family members serving on the board of the Walton Family Foundation supported Republican candidates and committees. Four years later, in the 2016 … Continue reading

Giving Athletes: Why Sports Philanthropy Deserves Our Attention
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy

Giving Athletes: Why Sports Philanthropy Deserves Our Attention

Editors’ Note: Sarah Fields spotlights the need for more scholarly attention directed to the history of athletes’ philanthropy. Athletes are a complicated group. Sporting figures have long been celebrities, but they have not always been wealthy either as a class or as individuals. And yet they have long been involved in various ways with philanthropy and … Continue reading

Networked Social Movements and the ‘Tyranny of Structurelessness’
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Networked Social Movements and the ‘Tyranny of Structurelessness’

Editors’ Note: Rhodri Davies reflects on the contemporary relevance of Jo Freeman’s 1970 essay, “The Tyranny of Structurelessness.” The recent success of digitally-coordinated protest movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo has sparked a wave of interest in the potential for technology to transform the ways in which we organise. In particular, it has placed … Continue reading

Crossing the border between helping and being helped: Informal Giving and the U.S. Immigrant Crisis
Current Events and Philanthropy / New Works in the Field

Crossing the border between helping and being helped: Informal Giving and the U.S. Immigrant Crisis

Editors’ Note: Jamie Goodwin introduces her research on the informal giving network of immigration communities at the U.S. Southern border. [Haga clic aquí para la versión en español de este artículo.] “Our principal thesis is that a river of care rises…and that we must trace its flow through all its branches, including all those hidden yet … Continue reading

Grappling with Legacy – The Pursuit of Effective Philanthropy with Ancestral Skeletons in the Closet
Current Events and Philanthropy / Oral History/Testimonies / Philanthropy

Grappling with Legacy – The Pursuit of Effective Philanthropy with Ancestral Skeletons in the Closet

Editors’ Note: Sylvia Brown chronicles her experience grappling with the relationship between the legacy of the Brown Family and her own commitment to philanthropy. In 1989 my father sold his most valuable possession, a Colonial-era bookcase-on-desk, to pay for the restoration of our family home in Providence, Rhode Island. The desk fetched $12.1 million at … 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

Solidarity: The History of a Powerful Idea and how it can Shape Philanthropic Practice
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Solidarity: The History of a Powerful Idea and how it can Shape Philanthropic Practice

Editors’ Note: Activist Leah Hunt-Hendrix discusses the history of the idea of “solidarity” and how it has shaped her own philanthropic projects, including the Solidaire funders’ network.  The words we use matter.  When we employ terms like “altruism” or “effective” or “venture” we are locating ourselves in specific schools of thought, which include ideas about good and bad, … 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 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

Can Endowments Save Higher Education?
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Education

Can Endowments Save Higher Education?

Editors’ Note: In response to the recently-released annual survey of 805 college and university endowment returns and the Trump administration’s proposed “skinny budget,” Christopher P. Loss analyzes the future of American colleges and universities. He does so by providing historical context to these contemporary anxieties.  Last month, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) released its annual … Continue reading

A History of Voluntary Action and Political Frustration: Soskis on  Zinsmeister’s “What Comes Next?”
Current Events and Philanthropy / New Works in the Field

A History of Voluntary Action and Political Frustration: Soskis on Zinsmeister’s “What Comes Next?”

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis reviews Karl Zinsmeister’s What Comes Next? Over the last half century, whenever a Republican assumed the presidency after a stretch in electoral exile, you knew it was only a matter of time before Alexis de Tocqueville appeared on the scene. That is, calls to cut the size and scope … Continue reading

Seven Lessons from History about How to Make Protest Work
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality

Seven Lessons from History about How to Make Protest Work

Editors’ Note: Many Americans are anxious about Donald Trump’s presidency, and particularly Trump’s disparaging language and treatment of immigrants, Muslims, Hispanics, African Americans, women, the press, the judicial system, among other individuals and key institutions of American democratic life. They subsequently have wondered what role, if any, they can play in defending democratic values and principles … Continue reading

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

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