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.


How can funders support scholars with an alternative point of view?

Funders interested in supporting intellectual diversity should pay attention to the ideas of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, and academic organizations doing their part to encourage alternative points of view.

Listening to the poor

If you really want to fight poverty, you need to start by listening to (and respecting) the poor.


Following its crisis, will the SPLC truly change?

“The SPLC,” staffers would joke, “Making hate pay.”

Democracy takes practice

As local civic associations dwindle, Americans lose essential democratic habits needed for self-governance.


The achievements behind America’s great philanthropist

We should remember Julius Rosenwald’s philanthropy and his accomplishments at Sears, Roebuck if we are to properly assess his place in American history.

Pew Charitable Trusts CEO Rebecca Rimel announces retirement

After 25 years leading Pew Charitable Trusts, Ms. Rimel leaves behind a transformed organization and a questionable record on donor intent.


The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s plans for sunsetting

The Foundation is planning to spend itself out, but it’s not clear how much of its billion-dollar endowment is being spent and how much is being transferred (with much of its staff) to a partner nonprofit.

For-profit thrift store chain gets sued for dressing like a charity

The attorney general of Washington state sued largest thrift retailer in the world with what amounts to deception and acting like a fake charity.


Why did Panera’s pay-what-you-can social experiment fail?

What the Panera Cares failure shows is that community cafes work as long as people understand they’re charities, not businesses.

An army for peace

In the midst of civil war in the Central African Republic, boy scouts are arguably more effective than peacekeepers.