New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Tata Philanthropy and the Making of Modern India

Editors’ Note: Scholars have often engaged the rise of modern philanthropy in the developing world through the tensions between indigenous traditions and cosmopolitan practices. Mircea Raianu explores the place of Tata philanthropy in modern India to complicate that dichotomy. What is the relationship between corporate philanthropy and the modern nation-state? Or, to put it another way, … Continue reading

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

The Social Benefits of Philanthropy & Charity

Editors’ Note: Below, Rhodri Davies discusses his new book, Public Good by Private Means: How philanthropy shapes Britain (2016). It is easy to take for granted the idea of charity as an accepted public good and to picture the not-for-profit sector as having incrementally yet inevitably developed towards its current form. However, my new book, Public Good by … Continue reading

Conferences / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Dialoging with Indiana’s Past: Philanthropy in a State-wide Context

Editors’ Note: Gregory Witkowski introduces the Hoosier Philanthropy Conference, which will take place February 18-19. The Hoosier Philanthropy Conference: Understanding the Past, Planning the Future (follow us February 18-19 on Twitter at #INPHIL200) aims to integrate practice and scholarship, providing an avenue for a constructive exchange between scholars and philanthropy and nonprofit professionals throughout the … Continue reading

Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Historical Context to $2.1 Million Grant to Women’s Philanthropy Institute

Editors’ Note: In early January, Inside Philanthropy announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had gifted $2.1 million to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Below, the Institute’s Director Debra Mesch and Associate Director Andrea Pactor provide some historical perspective to the grant.   While the history of women’s activism through philanthropy is … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research / The Green Revolution

U.S. Regionalism and the Many Histories of the Green Revolution

Editors’ Note: Tore Olsson continues HistPhil’s forum on the Green Revolution. The reach of U.S. philanthropy has rarely been contained by national boundaries, and in the twentieth century, this was especially true. Readers of this blog are likely familiar with the vast global footprint left by institutions such as the Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie endowments, … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research / The Green Revolution

Was the Green Revolution a Humanitarian Undertaking?

Editors’ Note: With this post from Jonathan Harwood, HistPhil begins a forum on the Green Revolution. The GR is often touted as one of the greatest achievements of twentieth century philanthropy, but perhaps with no other initiative is the gap between assessment of its impact and significance by scholars and practitioners so wide. With this … Continue reading

Conferences / From the Editors / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Philanthropy at the Upcoming AHA Meeting

This upcoming Jan. 7-10th, the annual meeting of the American Historical Association will take place in Atlanta; and in anticipation of the event, I have culled a list of panels that might be of interest to HistPhil readers. We hope to see you there! Of course, please let me know if I missed any panels, and please also reach … Continue reading

New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Confronting a Philanthropic Past: A Review of Rosenfield’s A World of Giving

Editors’ Note: Benjamin Coates reviews Patricia Rosenfield’s A World of Giving: Carnegie Corporation of New York – A Century of International Philanthropy.  As a pioneer of modern philanthropy, Andrew Carnegie was among the first millionaires to face criticism not for his stinginess, but for his largesse. Why should society admire a man for giving away wealth … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

The Long History of Philanthropic Impact Reporting

Contrary to the impression given in many philanthropy blogs and in the pronouncements of contemporary movements such as “effective altruism,” providing evidence of philanthropic impact is not a new development. It has been at the center of the voluntary sector since its rise in the early nineteenth century. Evidence of the impact of the “philanthropic … Continue reading

Conferences / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Reflections on History and ARNOVA

Editors’ Note: On Friday, at its annual conference in Chicago, ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action) held a mini-plenary: “History, Nonprofits Organizations and Voluntary Associations: Plenary in Honor of Peter Dobkin Hall” at which scholars in the field debated the role that history should play within the research organization. They also discussed … Continue reading

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

Early 20th Century American Philanthropy in the Near East

Editors’ Note: Continuing the site’s forum on philanthropy & education, Michael Limberg presents some of his ongoing dissertation research on early twentieth century U.S. development in the Near East. By 1920, field workers and administrators of the New York-based humanitarian agency Near East Relief realized they had a problem: they had been extremely successful, perhaps too successful, … Continue reading

From the Editors / Philanthropy and Historical Research

History of Philanthropy at NYU’s Philanthropy & the Law Annual Conference

Yesterday and today, NYU School of Law’s National Center on Philanthropy and the Law is holding its annual conference, this year on the topic of “Elasticity of the Boundaries: What Is (and Isn’t) Charitable.” HistPhil‘s own Stanley N. Katz delivered an opening paper on the history of those boundaries, “Should We Kill the Goose that Laid the … Continue reading

Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Donor Advised Funds from an Historian’s Perspective

Editors’ Note: This Friday, in Washington, DC, Boston College Law School’s Forum on Philanthropy and the Public Good will be hosting a conference, “The Rise of Donor-Advised Funds: Should Congress Respond.” Among the scholars and policy-makers convening to discuss DAFs is Lila Corwin Berman, Associate Professor of History at Temple University, who will be presenting on … Continue reading

From the Editors / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Call for Papers on the History of Philanthropy: ISTR Conference (Stockholm, June 2016)

The Twelfth International Conference of the International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) will be taking place this upcoming June-July 2016 at Ersta Sköndal University College in Stockholm, Sweden. I am reaching out to our readers in order to organize a potential panel on the history of philanthropy and foundations for the conference. If you’re interested in joining such … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

Call for Papers: Voluntary Action History Conference (University of Liverpool, July 2016)

In the Summer of 1991 three people who conducted research on the UK voluntary sector and volunteering as well as working in voluntary organisations met at the Coach and Horses, a well-known public house in London’s Soho. After spending months complaining among themselves about the ignorance and lack of interest of people who worked in … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

An Update on Open Philanthropy’s History of Philanthropy Project

Editors’ Note: Next week, this site will begin a discussion on philanthropy & education. In the meantime, HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis provides an update on his work with Open Philanthropy’s history of philanthropy project. Several years ago, GiveWell, a nonprofit that evaluates charities and advises donors on effective giving, began to consider how historical inquiry might help them … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

A Call for More Transnational Histories of Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: To our readers in the U.S., welcome back from a long holiday weekend! We continue our discussion of the field with the below post by Thomas Adam. In the next week, we will be discussing philanthropy and humanitarianism on the global stage. As always, though, please reach out to HistPhil‘s editors with commentary and … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Q&A with Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer

Editors’ Note: The following is a conversation between Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer and HistPhil co-founder Maribel Morey. It was conducted via email in February and early March, and inspired by Kramer’s 2015 Roberts Lecture at Penn Law “‘To Adjust These Clashing Interests’: Negotiation and Compromise as Core Constitutional Values.” A constitutional scholar and historian who is now a foundation president, Larry Kramer … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

A Historian in a Management-Oriented Field

Editors’ Note: With this piece by Peter C. Weber, we continue our discussion on the history of philanthropy.  It is not always easy being a historian of philanthropy in a field that is an increasingly management-oriented one. As I am starting my first academic position as Director of Nonprofit Leadership Studies at Murray State University, … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

Part II: Debating the Basis of American Civil Society, Waves of Debate about Religion and Virtue

Editors’ Note: Yesterday, we published Part One of David C. Hammack‘s two-part contribution. Below is Part Two: “Debating the Basis of American Civil Society, Waves of Debate about Religion and Virtue.” Earlier posts under this general dialogue on the field of philanthropic history include: Stan Katz’s “The Clinton Foundation in Historical Perspective”; Maribel Morey’s “Increasing the Visibility of Philanthropy among … Continue reading