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.


“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.


A conversation with Duke University’s Kristin Goss (Part 1 of 2)

The professor of public policy and political science talks to Michael E. Hartmann about her career, and the level and nature of academic study and journalistic coverage of policy-oriented philanthropy.

Revisiting our conversation with journalist and author John J. Miller (Part 2 of 2)

As his book on the John M. Olin Foundation is released in paperback, we feature its author talking to Michael E. Hartmann and Daniel P. Schmidt about Olin himself, his decision to “sunset” the foundation, the reasons for its success, and whether—and if so, how—other conservative givers could replicate that success now and in the future.


Revisiting our conversation with journalist and author John J. Miller (Part 1 of 2)

As his book on the John M. Olin Foundation is released in paperback, we feature The College Fix founder talking to Michael E. Hartmann and Daniel P. Schmidt about the benefits of a long-term philanthropic outlook in ambitious projects like transforming the media.