“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

A Review of Shomari Wills’s BLACK FORTUNES (2018)
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research

A Review of Shomari Wills’s BLACK FORTUNES (2018)

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey reviews Shomari Wills’s Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires (New York: Amistad, HarperCollins Publishers, 2018).  Detailing a history of the “first cohort of black millionaires” in the United States, journalist Shomari Wills begins Black Fortunes by correcting the popular myth that … Continue reading

Risk and Reward: A History of Charitable Gift Annuities
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Risk and Reward: A History of Charitable Gift Annuities

Editors’ Note: Ronald A. Brown provides a history of charitable gift annuities, based on his new book, A History of Charitable Gift Planning: How Gift Annuities Shaped American Philanthropy (1830-1959). In the ecosystem of American philanthropy, money is not only given, it is actively raised. There are only a few major histories of charitable fundraising, … 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

The Archives as Meeting Place: Perspectives on the HIV/AIDS History Collaboratory
Archives and Knowledge Management / Philanthropy and Historical Research

The Archives as Meeting Place: Perspectives on the HIV/AIDS History Collaboratory

Editors’ Note: Dan Royles guest-edits the following post, which features five perspectives on the HIV/AIDS History Collaboratory, hosted by the Rockefeller Archive Center. In June 2017 the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) convened a meeting of scholars, grantmakers, and AIDS activists to discuss new directions for the histories of HIV/AIDS and the ways that a better … Continue reading

Foundation Grant-making and Historical Insight: Opportunities Missed and Met
Conferences / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Foundation Grant-making and Historical Insight: Opportunities Missed and Met

Editors’ Note: The following are remarks made by Patricia Rosenfield at a January 4th panel discussion–“Understanding the Past to Plan the Future: Historical Inquiry and Philanthropic Grant-Making”–sponsored by the National History Center, at the 2018 annual conference of the American Historical Association. As a scholar and practitioner of philanthropy, I have written about the history of … 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

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

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

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

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

Can History Make You a Better Giver?
New Works in the Field / Oral History/Testimonies / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Can History Make You a Better Giver?

Editors’ Note: The following post, a personal reflection from Amanda Moniz, which also introduces themes from her new book, From Empire to Humanity, originally appeared on the OUPBlog under the title “How can history inform public policy today?” As a historian of philanthropy, I have wrestled with how to bring historical perspectives to my own gifts … Continue reading

Stanley N. Katz’s ISTR Prize Lecture (2016)
Conferences / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Stanley N. Katz’s ISTR Prize Lecture (2016)

Editors’ Note: At the 2016 meeting of the International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) in Stockholm this summer, HistPhil’s Stanley N. Katz became the inaugural recipient of the ISTR Lecture Prize. Honoring “a member who has made a significant contribution to the field of Third Sector Research,” the Society asked Katz to share his thoughts on his work in Third Sector studies … Continue reading

How Foundations Got the U.S. Government Invested in International Population Control
Conferences / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

How Foundations Got the U.S. Government Invested in International Population Control

Editors’ Note: Emily Klancher Merchant continues HistPhil’s forum on Philanthropy and the State with a post outlining research she recently presented at a panel on “Private Foundations and Public Policy” at the Policy History Conference in Nashville. HistPhil recently published a post from Anne Fleming based on a paper she presented on that same panel. In … Continue reading

New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Next Week’s ISTR Conference in Stockholm (June 28-July 1)

The 12th International Conference of the International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) is taking place next week (June 28-July 1) at Ersta Skondal University College in Stockholm, Sweden. The theme is “The Third Sector in Transition: Accountability, Transparency, and Social Inclusion.” Below, I am including events that would be of particular interest to HistPhil readers. Of … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

An Interview with National Philanthropic Trust’s Eileen Heisman on NPT’s new History of Modern Philanthropy website

Editors’ Note: On Tuesday, National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) unveiled a new History of Modern Philanthropy website at HistoryofGiving.org, a digital resource that covers the last 500 years of global philanthropy. The digital exhibition highlights 200 moments in global philanthropy illustrated by almost 100 rare media assets, including documents, audio and video. Below is an edited … Continue reading

Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

Edwin Embree as Exemplar: How one Philanthropic Leader Confronted Racial Prejudice during the Second World War

Editors’ Note: Alfred Perkins highlights the leadership of Edwin Embree, who served for two decades as president of the Julius Rosenwald Fund, in advocating for the rights of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. The current presidential campaign has brought again to the surface the hostility to cultural differences long an element in the American emotional … Continue reading

New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

A Review of Rhodri Davies’s PUBLIC GOOD BY PRIVATE MEANS (2016)

Editors’ Note: On HistPhil earlier this year, Rhodri Davies discussed his new book, Public Good by Private Means: How philanthropy shapes Britain (2016). Here, Andrew Purkis reviews the manuscript.    This is a delightful series of wise reflections about key issues for philanthropy, particularly in the UK, informed by a historical perspective. It contributes more to stimulating thinking about the future … Continue reading