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.


Effort to reduce tax on income of elite higher-education endowments dropped

Tax likely to remain at current level, at least for now. “The Harvard faculty club should lay in extra scotch for members to drown their sorrows,” according to a tax-policy expert.

A conversation with I, Citizen author Tony Woodlief (Part 2 of 2)

The State Policy Network executive vice president talks to Michael E. Hartmann about love of neighbor, Tocqueville, localism, and politics, as well as more about philanthropy.


A conversation with I, Citizen author Tony Woodlief (Part 1 of 2)

The State Policy Network executive vice president talks to Michael E. Hartmann about path dependence, his career in conservative policy-oriented nonprofitdom, and whether philanthropy has contributed to the decline of American self-governance.

A conversation with American Majority’s Ned Ryun (Part 2 of 2)

The conservative grassroots activist, author, and commentator talks to Michael E. Hartmann more about ideas, action, and giving, as well as some recent proposals to reform philanthropy.


A conversation with American Majority’s Ned Ryun (Part 1 of 2)

The conservative grassroots activist, author, and commentator talks to Michael E. Hartmann about ideas and action, and giving and grifting.

A conversation with University of Kentucky law professor Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Part 2 of 2)

The tax-law scholar talks to Michael E. Hartmann more about whether the reasoning underlying the excise tax on higher-education endowments could apply to private foundations, the potential for a cross-ideological coalition to back philanthropy reform, and the real-world ramifications of such reform.


A conversation with University of Kentucky law professor Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Part 1 of 2)

The tax-law scholar talks to Michael E. Hartmann about the excise tax on investment income in higher education and whether its underlying reasoning could perhaps also apply in other nonprofit contexts.


Philanthropy, grassroots activism, and politics in In Defense of Populism

“[T]oday’s politics of the street,” according to political historian Donald T. Critchlow, “resembles that of the late Roman Republic, when oligarchs, such as Caesar, Sulla, and Catiline, organized mobs to serve their factional interests.”

Conservatism, philanthropy, and The Dying Citizen

A work to read in “the Wilderness.”