An Economic History Challenge to the History of Philanthropy
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research

An Economic History Challenge to the History of Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: David Hammack reviews Organizations, Civil Society, and the Roots of Development, edited by Naomi R. Lamoreaux and John Joseph Wallis. For more than thirty years a growing literature has debated the origins of the market economy and the relation between the market and economic growth. Motivating this debate is the understanding, widely shared … Continue reading

7 Ways to Read around the History of Philanthropy’s Diversity Problem this Black History Month
Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality

7 Ways to Read around the History of Philanthropy’s Diversity Problem this Black History Month

Editors’ Note: Against the backdrop of Black History Month, Tyrone McKinley Freeman asks fellow historians of philanthropy to acknowledge black Americans’ history as philanthropists, reminding us that the current literature on the history of US philanthropy “does not fully capture the richness of African Americans’ giving, volunteering, associating, and advocating systems, models, behaviors and ways … 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

Cost Escalation in U.S. Higher Education: Historical Analysis and the Competing Bowen Theories
Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Cost Escalation in U.S. Higher Education: Historical Analysis and the Competing Bowen Theories

Editors’ Note: Bruce Kimball casts the light of historical analysis on the two major theories explaining cost escalation in U.S. higher education. His post draws upon the following sources: Bruce A. Kimball and Jeremy B. Luke, “Historical Dimensions of the “Cost Disease” in U.S. Higher Education, 1870s–2010s,” Social Science History 42 (2018): 29-55; Bruce A. Kimball and … Continue reading

Choosing between Financial Viability and a Political Voice: A History of the NAACP’s Tax Status
Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy and the State

Choosing between Financial Viability and a Political Voice: A History of the NAACP’s Tax Status

Editors’ Note: Bringing historical context to the NAACP’s decision in 2017 to change its tax status from a 501(c)3 to 501(c)4, HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey argues that the NAACP’s announcement “should be understood as yet another move by an organization long deciding between accepting political silence and financial viability as a 501(c)3 or gaining political voice and financial vulnerability as … Continue reading

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

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

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

“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