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.


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?

political fragmentation arthur brooks love your enemies
Political fragmentation today harms our communities

Arthur Brooks’ new book, Love Your Enemies, discusses the political discord in America today and how we might form healthier communities.


Philanthropists have an important role in preserving traditions

Philanthropists tend to see their role as funding new projects and new ideas. Unfortunately, this overlooks the importance of preserving tradition.

volunteers are volunteering to strengthen civil society
Volunteering is essential to civil society. Here are some ideas.

The Washington Post highlighted several individuals who volunteer regularly. Their volunteering is essential to a strong civil society—and should encourage all of us to give of our time, as well.


jeffrey epstein dirty money MIT
Dirty donors: what to do with questionable money?

Frequently in 2019 we raised the question about what to do with grants from questionable individuals and organizations. Jeffrey Epstein was by far the worst example—but should we have a system to assess donors?

Using private wealth to place staffers in attorney general offices

Foundations and billionaires are using donations to place privately-funded employees in states offices. Why?


An Austin, Texas nonprofit has a creative way of helping the homeless

A nonprofit in Austin, Texas has a creative way of dealing with the homeless in their city. Treating them like persons, they’ve created a community for the homeless to live and support each other.

In a talk at Cambridge University, Bill Gates is optimistic about helping poorer countries

Bill Gates is confident that focusing donor resources on researching and innovating medical advances for Third World country is the best way to fight poverty and disease.