Current Events and Philanthropy / From the Editors

Philanthropy Scholarship at Ongoing Policy History Conference (Nashville, TN)

From today until Saturday, June 4th, the ninth biennial Policy History Conference is taking place at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. And just this moment, a wonderful group of scholars has gathered to discuss private foundations and public policy: ______________________________ Private Foundations and Public Policy: How Modern Philanthropy Has Shaped Credit, Labor, and Population Policies (3:15pm-4:45pm) Chair … 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

From the Editors / New Works in the Field

A Review of Linsey McGoey’s NO SUCH THING AS A FREE GIFT (2015)

In his synopsis of last week’s Hudson Institute event for Linsey McGoey’s No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy (Verso, 2015), fellow HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis mentioned that the site will be engaging further with the book. In this vein, here is a link to my review No Such Thing as a Free … Continue reading

From the Editors

Social Velocity’s Q&A with HistPhil

Several weeks ago, Social Velocity’s Nell Edgington sent us a series of questions asking us to compare and contrast past and present American philanthropy. She has now posted our responses on Social Velocity’s blog. Please visit her site and check out this latest post: “Learning from Philanthropy’s Past: An Interview with the HistPhil Blog.” In this Q&A, Stan discusses two … Continue reading

From the Editors / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy in the News

On Fortune, Linsey McGoey Compares Past & Present Philanthropy

Today, Fortune published a piece by sociologist Linsey McGoey, “Do today’s philanthropists hurt more than they help?” The author applies the history of philanthropy in furthering her argument on the contemporary state of philanthropic giving in the United States, so we are bringing the piece to readers’ attention. In her indictment of contemporary philanthropic practices, McGoey specifically draws comparisons … Continue reading

From the Editors

Darren Walker’s “Toward a New Gospel of Wealth”

Yesterday, the Ford Foundation’s President Darren Walker posted a thoughtful essay on the history of philanthropy and inequality, along with an analysis of how to tackle global inequities today. Since the piece revisits many of the topics that HistPhil contributors discussed during the inequality forum, we wanted to bring the essay to readers’ attention. He also answers quite directly … Continue reading

From the Editors / Philanthropy and Inequality

Reflecting on the Past 10 Years: U.S. Philanthropy’s Response to Katrina

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, The New York Times today published an in-depth analysis of how the city of New Orleans has changed since then, arguing: “The city that went under in the surging waters of Hurricane Katrina has not returned, not to the way it used to be.” Though the piece does not focus particularly on philanthropy, it … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Inequality

Responding to the Forum on Philanthropy & Inequality

Editors’ Note: This past Friday, Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer reached out to co-editor Maribel Morey with some reactions to the ongoing forum on philanthropy & inequality. Below is a snapshot of their dialogue: KRAMER: Pablo Eisenberg’s response is the latest in what has been a line of surprisingly unhistorical and depressingly superficial posts. Most have … Continue reading

From the Editors / Philanthropy and Inequality

Beyond HistPhil: Discussing the Ford Foundation’s Global Inequality Focus

This week’s contributors to the Philanthropy & Inequality Forum—particularly Alice O’Connor and I—made mention of the Ford Foundation’s recent announcement to make global inequality its principal grantmaking focus. Before moving on with the forum on Monday with contributions by Karen Ferguson, Leah Gordon, and Daniel Geary, here is a list of other pieces from various … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Inequality

Will Ford’s Equality Initiative Be Radical or More of the Same?

Editors’ Note: Taking the Ford Foundation’s equality program as a starting point of conversation, HistPhil is hosting a forum on the past and present relationship between philanthropy and inequality in the United States. Today, we begin this discussion with posts by HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey and then by Faith Mitchell, president and CEO of Grantmakers in … Continue reading

From the Editors

On OpenDemocracy: An Analysis of the Ford Foundation’s New Mission

Earlier today, openDemocracy published an insightful piece by Erica Kohl-Arenas examining the Ford Foundation’s new mission to eradicate inequality. In “Can philanthropy ever reduce inequality,” the author questions whether the Foundation will stray from the history of U.S. philanthropy and attack “inequality at its roots” instead of simply promoting “the tradition of individualized ‘racial uplift’ or ‘self-help’ that calls for assimilation, … Continue reading

From the Editors

In The Boston Review: Forum on the Logic of Effective Altruism

In the current issue of The Boston Review, Peter Singer opens a debate on the logic of effective altruism. Respondents include Daron Acemoglu, Angus Deaton, Jennifer Rubenstein, Larissa MacFarquhar, Leila Janah, Emma Saunders-Hastings, Rob Reich, Paul Brest, Iason Gabriel, András Miklós, and Catherine Tumber. This forum is definitely worth a read for anyone interested in analyzing what it means … 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

Current Events and Philanthropy

Obergefell (2015): A Time for Reflection on the Role of Philanthropy in a Democracy

This past Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Obergefell v. Hodges that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize similar marriages licensed and performed out-of-state. Of course, this decision will be celebrated by marriage equality activists and supporters, like myself, and … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

Increasing the Visibility of Philanthropy among U.S. Historians

Editors’ Note: In “Introducing HistPhil,” we mentioned 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 co-founder Stan Katz launched this dialogue earlier this week by asking how a historical perspective can inform our understanding of the Clinton Foundation; providing an example of how this field … Continue reading