Michael E. Hartmann

The Giving Review co-editor 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. He also curates RealClearPolicy’s “Philanthropy and Giving” section.

For almost 20 years, Hartmann 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, he was Director of Research at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. He has been a consultant to other foundations and education-reform organizations, as well.

Hartmann is a past Visiting Fellow of the Philanthropy Roundtable in Washington, D.C., for which 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 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, City Journal, Law & Liberty, National Review Online, The American Conservative, RealClearPolitics, RealClearPolicy, RealClearBooks, RealClearReligion, the Washington Examiner, Philanthropy, Philanthropy Daily, and HistPhil.

Reach Michael at mhartmann@givingreview.com.


A conversation with retiring Murdock Trust CEO Steve Moore (Part 1 of 2)

After 16 years as a philanthropic executive, he talks to Michael E. Hartmann about Jack Murdock and his fellow Tektronix founder Howard Vollum, the opportunities and challenges of planning for a foundation to exist in perpetuity, and the consequences of ideas, both good and bad.


Trust in nonprofits down since 2020, according to Independent Sector survey

High trust in nonprofits and philanthropy correlates with high socioeconomic status. Democrats trust philanthropy appreciably more than the general population.

Philanthropy in The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order

Historian Gary Gerstle’s new book on America in what he considers the bygone free-market era includes a role for philanthropy in its narrative—well, at least in its purportedly “Powell-ian” rise, anyway.


“It all needs to stop”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s promise that any efforts to “clean up” the politicization of nonprofits will be pursued regardless of various practical effects on those engaging in it may present an opportunity.

Senate Finance Committee subcommittee to hold hearing on tax-exempt nonprofits and politics

Congressional interest in sector’s activities seems to be increasing.


A conversation with Know Your Enemy’s Sam Adler-Bell (Part 2 of 2)

The writer, analyst, and podcast co-host talks to Michael E. Hartmann about how conservative philanthropy was caught flat-footed by the political ascendancy of conservative populism in 2016 and progressive and populist discontent with elites, potentially including nonprofit and philanthropic ones.


A conversation with Know Your Enemy’s Sam Adler-Bell (Part 1 of 2)

The writer, analyst, and podcast co-host talks to Michael E. Hartmann about ideas, why we believe in the ones we do, and how sophisticated argumentation can better help us know that. “It’s perfectly all right with us to not find agreement,” he says.

A conversation with Duke University’s Kristin Goss (Part 2 of 2)

The professor of public policy and political science talks to Michael E. Hartmann about how policy plutocrats actually go about trying to get their way, the effects of this plutocracy, critiques of it from both progressives and populist conservatives, and whether there could be some overlap in those critiques as philanthropy reforms might be proposed and considered in the future.