Michael E. Hartmann

Michael E. Hartmann

Michael E. Hartmann is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Strategic Giving at the Capital Research Center (CRC) in Washington, D.C. For more than 18 years, he served in various roles on the program staff of The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee, including as its Director of Research.

Before joining Bradley in 1998, Hartmann was Director of Research at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. He has also been a consultant to other foundations and education-reform organizations.

Hartmann is a past Visiting Fellow of the Philanthropy Roundtable in Washington, D.C., where he researched and wrote Helping People to Help Themselves: A Guide for Donors. He is co-author of CRC’s The Flow of Funding to Conservative and Liberal Political Campaigns, Independent Groups, and Traditional Public Policy Organizations Before and After Citizens United, hailed as “an unprecedented study” by RealClearPolicy.

A graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, Hartmann has also published law-review articles on the constitutionality of school vouchers and aspects of welfare reform, as well as on the First Amendment and intellectual-property rights. He has written for National Affairs, National Review Online, City Journal, RealClearPolitics, RealClearPolicy, RealClearBooks, RealClearReligion, the Washington Examiner, Philanthropy, Philanthropy Daily, HistPhil, and CRC, as well.

Reach Michael at mhartmann@philanthropydaily.com


The underappreciated benefits of “other-side” policy-oriented giving

It may sometimes be a good idea for policy-oriented givers to consider supporting those on the other side of an otherwise-overarching ideological divide or with another worldview.

A conversation with Phil Buchanan

Michael E. Hartmann talks to the president of The Center for Effective Philanthropy and author of “Giving Done Right: Effective Philanthropy and Making Every Dollar Count.”


Welcome to “The Giving Review”

Introducing our new blog for independent analysis and commentary about philanthropy and giving.

Realism vs. radicalism: the practice and promise of philanthropy

Phil Buchanan’s “Giving Done Right” offers practical advice to grantmakers during times of radical outcry.


A conversation with Carolyn Jones and Kelly Cote Jasper, descendants of John Emory Andrus

Michael E. Hartmann talks to the cousins leading a family group protesting the Surdna Foundation’s violation of Andrus’ donor intent.

Embarrassment about SPLC should be shared by others

Pillars of establishment philanthropy—including GuideStar and Charity Navigator—should be subject to increased scrutiny because of what went on at SPLC and their reactions to it.


Nonprofits must bargain with both donors and the state

Policy-oriented groups are making the most of IRS regulations so they can bargain with both the government and their donors.

The price of prayer

A recent study examined whether “thoughts and prayers” are substitutes or compliments to material help.


Underappreciated lessons from philanthropic support of the Federalist Society

Given recent attention to the Federalist Society, policy-oriented donors can learn some underappreciated lessons from the Society’s early philanthropic support.

Philanthropy against democracy

Hans Speier’s career and thought provide some penetrating insight into the roots of modern philanthropy’s anti-democratic tendencies — and the relationship between knowledge and power.