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

From the Editors / Philanthropy and Education

A Call for Contributions on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge

As part of HistPhil‘s education theme, we’d like to run a post, or a number of posts, on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which can be regarded as a precedent for some of the major educational philanthropic interventions of the current moment. If you are doing work on the Challenge, or know a scholar, researcher or … Continue reading

From the Editors / Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Inequality

Shifting Focus: From Inequality to Education

With Erica Kohl-Arenas’ recent piece, HistPhil‘s forum on inequality comes to an end. This is not to say that our attention toward the issue will wane; we still welcome contributions and discussions on the topic. But at the start of September, we’ll be moving on to a focus on another theme: the history of the … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Inequality

Does Ford’s Announcement Signal a New Gospel of Wealth?

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis continues the Philanthropy & Inequality Forum with the below post. One of the welcome, immediate consequences of the Ford Foundation’s recent announcement that it would focus its grant-making on eradicating inequality has been the flood of excellent writing on the subject of philanthropy and inequality that it has provoked—at HistPhil and elsewhere. I’ve … Continue reading

Philanthropy in the News

What it means to think historically about philanthropy

Broadly conceived, HistPhil is dedicated to encouraging the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to think historically about their work. What, precisely, this means in practice is still something of an open question. Two recent op-eds have helped me in approaching an answer. In The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Tom Watson celebrates the Ford Foundation’s recently announced commitment … Continue reading

From the Editors

OHSU Meets Knight’s $500 Million Challenge Grant: A Historical Reflection

The big news from Oregon Health and Science University is that they have met Phil Knight’s $500 million challenge grant. To celebrate, take a look at the recent article that Benjamin Soskis, a HistPhil co-editor, wrote for the Chronicle of Philanthropy on the history and contemporary significance of challenge grants. Challenge grants are “in many respects, … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

Philanthropic History and a Healthy Heterodoxy

Yesterday, the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s Kevin Bolduc directed our attention to a recent article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review that he considered “ripe for historical insight.” HistPhil is never one to back away from a challenge—to say nothing of the fact that this was precisely the sort of conversation between historians, practitioners, and … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

Q&A with Historian Olivier Zunz

Editors’ Note: In our introduction to the blog, we said that the site will be structured around certain themes and that we would start off with a discussion on the state of the field. HistPhil’s Stan Katz launched this dialogue last week by asking how a historical perspective can inform our understanding of the Clinton Foundation; providing an example of how this field … Continue reading