William A. Schambra

William A. Schambra

The Giving Review co-editor William A. Schambra is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He directed Hudson’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal from 2003 to 2014. Prior to joining Hudson in ’03, he was Director of Programs at the The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee. At Bradley, among other things, he spearheaded creation in 1997 of the National Commission on Philanthropy and Civic Renewal.

Before joining Bradley in 1992, Schambra was a senior advisor to and speechwriter for U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Constance Horner, and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Louis Sullivan. He was also Director of Social Policy Programs for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Co-Director of AEI’s “A Decade of Study of the Constitution.”

From 2003 to 2006, Schambra served on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service. From 1984 to 1990, he served as a member of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, to which he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University.

Schambra has written extensively on the Constitution, the theory and practice of civic revitalization, and philanthropy, including in The Wall Street Journal, The Public Interest, Public Opinion, Policy Review, RealClearPolicy, The Christian Science Monitor, Philanthropy, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Philanthropy Daily, Nonprofit Quarterly, First Things, and Crisis. He has edited several books, including As Far as Republican Principles Will Admit: Collected Essays of Martin Diamond, and is a Philanthropy Daily contributing editor.

The NonProfit Times named Schambra among its 2013 Power & Influence Top 50, complimenting him for “consistently sticking his finger in the eye of the sector’s elite” and raising questions “designed to broaden the idea of philanthropy’s role in America today.” When he retired from running the Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal in 2014, Adam Keiper lauded it in National Review for being “a think tank project like no other, since the subjects it focuses on rarely get the kind of thoughtful intellectual attention that Schambra and his colleagues have devoted to them.” Keiper concluded that “[i]f there is any consolation to be had in the fact that the Bradley Center is winding down its work in the next few months, it is that Bill still has a great deal of youthful vim, and will hopefully now have more time to pick up his pen and write.”


Ford Foundation’s Walker wavers on the Whitney’s Kanders crisis

A (merely) diversity-minded progressive donor should indeed venture with utmost caution into the unsettled new world of cultural philanthropy.

Activists and critics to conservative supporters of elite cultural institutions: drop dead

Conservatives should rethink their giving and look elsewhere.


A conservative appreciation of labor unions

On Labor Day, remembering Penn Kemble … and Robert Nisbet.


Professionalized “nonprofit management’s” ability to strengthen America’s invaluable voluntary sector: be very skeptical

Are management training and statistical measurement really the keys to solving our deepest social problems?


Probing more into the persistent myth of “the Powell Memo”

Too tidy and convenient an explanation for today’s conservative policy activism.

To calls for constitutional literacy, a caveat

And for conservative philanthropy, a small measure of comfort.


Overstating the role of philanthropy in education reform

In Milwaukee, it didn’t start with any grantmaker. The indispensable groundwork was laid by parents concerned about the education of their children.

Further thoughts on “other-side” giving

Searching for isolated, but incredibly powerful voices of authentic experience with utopian progressivism, who can speak about its excesses with an authority that scholars and activists don’t possess.