Philanthropic Poverty Action: A Brief History of Strategic Donor Behavior
Money Well Spent (2nd Edition) Forum

Philanthropic Poverty Action: A Brief History of Strategic Donor Behavior

Editors’ Note: Erica Kohl-Arenas continues HistPhil‘s forum on Paul Brest and Hal Harvey‘s Money Well Spent (2008, 2018). Focusing on the authors’ analysis of philanthropic strategy and social change, Kohl-Arenas provides “some brief historical accounts to show how funders’ inability to solve the problems they set out to address is not necessarily due to lack of strategy—as Brest and … Continue reading

New Works in the Field

Alice O’Connor on Erica Kohl-Arenas’ THE SELF-HELP MYTH (2016)

Editors’ Note: Alice O’Connor reviews Erica Kohl-Arenas’ The Self-Help Myth: How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty (University of California Press, 2016). Kohl-Arenas recently participated in the inaugural HistPhil Exchange with Linsey McGoey. Erica Kohl-Arenas opens her important and sharply-observed new book with a field note from her visit to organized philanthropy’s grand palaver, the Annual Meeting … Continue reading

HistPhil Exchange

The Possibility of the Free Gift, the Dramaturgy of the Program Officer, and the Revival of the Walsh Commission: A HistPhil Exchange

Editors’ Note: This is the first installment of HistPhil Exchange, our new series in which the editors ask two members of the HistPhil community to trade emails and discuss prominent issues in their work. (We were inspired by Slate‘s “Breakfast Table” posts). We hope it will be the first of many. The participants in this inaugural … Continue reading

Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Inequality

Ford Tackles Inequality?

Editors’ Note: Against the backdrop of Ford Foundation President Darren Walker’s announced efforts to address inequalities on the global stage, HistPhil hosted a conversation this past August on the ability of philanthropy to address societal-wide inequities. At the Ford Foundation offices in NYC earlier this month, Walker discussed further his vision for the organization with Stanford political scientist Rob Reich … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Inequality

Can Social Movements Tackle Inequality with Foundation Funding? The Case of the Farmworker Movement

Editors’ Note: Below, Erica Kohl-Arenas provides the final contribution for the site’s ongoing discussion on philanthropy & inequality.  Over the past month HistPhil has published a timely series on philanthropy and inequality. A few commentators, including Pablo Eisenberg and Alice O’Connor, proposed that if foundations are to seriously address inequality they must, among other things, invest … Continue reading