Martin Morse Wooster

Martin Morse Wooster

Martin Morse Wooster is senior fellow at the Capital Research Center. He is the author of three books: Angry Classrooms, Vacant Minds (Pacific Research Institute, 1994), The Great Philanthropists and the Problem of ‘Donor Intent’ (Capital Research Center, 1994; revised 1998, 2007, and 2017), and Great Philanthropic Mistakes (Hudson Institute, 2006; revised 2010). His monographs about philanthropy include Should Foundations Live Forever? (Capital Research Center, 1998), The Foundation Builders (Philanthropy Roundtable, 2000), Return to Charity? (Capital Research Center, 2000), By Their Bootstraps (Manhattan Institute, 2002), and Games Universities Play (Pope Center, 2011). His articles and reviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, American Spectator, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Commentary, Elle, Air and Space, Esquire, Philanthropy, Policy Review, Reader’s Digest, Reason, and Washingtonian.

Wooster frequently comments on philanthropic issues for newspapers, magazines, and television in the U.S. and Great Britain. He has contributed to the Encyclopedia of Philanthropy, the Encyclopedia of Civil Rights, and Notable American Philanthropists.

Wooster was formerly an editor at The American Enterprise, Reason, the Wilson Quarterly, and Harper’s Magazine. He was graduated from Beloit College with degrees in history and philosophy.


David Brooks’s weak attempt at promoting civil society

In “The Second Mountain,” David Brooks imagines a healthier and happier society—but he fails to acknowledge or understand the robust conversation about strengthening civil society already taking place.

public education, private philanthropy
Should private philanthropy influence public education?

Andrea Gabor, professor of Business Journalism at CUNY, worries at the role private philanthropists play in public education. Unfortunately, her criticisms come up wanting.


Parents, children, and donor intent

It’s a too-familiar theme: conservative parents start foundations and liberal children change the foundation’s giving goals. Is there any way to protect conservative donor intent after they pass away?

Three nonprofits are helping seniors during quarantine

While the elderly are at-risk and isolated during the pandemic, three new groups have started to help the elderly and keep them company.


Diverse giving from different donors

A recent Washington Post article criticizes the giving of wealthy Americans during the COVID-19 crisis. But their research misunderstands philanthropy.

Teaching compassion and virtue to citizens today

Today’s virulent political discourse needs an influx of compassion and virtue. Here’s how donors might support that.


Fraying civil society—how charity can help

The Social Capital Project makes specific recommendations on how the charitable endeavors and incentives can help repair our fraying civil society.

COVID-19, lean philanthropy
How “lean philanthropy” responds to COVID-19

Exponent Philanthropy surveyed its network of “lean funders” to see how they are responding to COVID-19. Much of it is good, another example of donors shifting in ways that will be valuable beyond the pandemic.


Philanthropy during COVID should focus on effective, local giving

Foundations and philanthropists should be focused on the most effective, local forms of giving in order to provide relief during this national health and economic crisis.

The dark side of GoFundMe?

Individual charitable giving can’t compete with the lofty aspirations of big government and big philanthropy. But is that a bug in the system or a feature?