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.


John and Laura Arnold create new LLC, focus on affecting policy change

In the past few years, several mega donors have used LLC’s as their giving vehicles, and now the Arnolds are joining this move away from traditional philanthropy.

Nonprofit groups are restructuring themselves to be political players

The increasing prevalence of 501(c)(4)s is shaping the political landscape.


Study reveals damage done by insidious licensing laws

If fighting poverty is philanthropy’s primary task, then foundations and donors ought to take note of the high economic and moral damage done by insidious occupational licensing laws.

History of diabetes cure offers useful lessons for think tanks

The story of how the Rockefeller Institute missed out on discovering the cure to diabetes, and the Nobel Prize that came with it.


Survey reveals public confidence in philanthropy across party lines

In our extremely polarized age, this is a very good piece of news.

What I saw when I visited my old Boy Scout troop

What I saw at the Troop 209 centennial banquet was an organization that was blissfully free of politics, and which remained committed to the Scout ideal of respecting nature and helping others.


The legacy of Todd Bol and his Little Free Libraries

Improving communities and angering zoning bureaucrats since 2008.

A fair hearing

Tanenhaus’ politically selective reading of DeVos family giving ignores significant contributions to local charities, presenting a distorted picture of their philanthropy.


Brad Pitt’s foundation debacle offers timeless lesson for donors

The lesson of this debacle is a timeless one for philanthropy—ask the poor what they want, don’t just give them what you think they should have.

Philanthropy’s responsibility to place

If a foundation is based on a fortune built in one city, should the foundation support that city or should it be a national organization with no ties to a particular region?