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.”


Getting lost on the way to root causes

In any real-life revision of the parable so often cited by philanthropists, there’s a strong likelihood that the philanthropists forging their way upstream to the source of the problem will never get there. As with the challenge of homelessness in L.A., they will instead become hopelessly entangled in the real-world obstacles that invariably complicate the drive for simplistic, root-cause solutions.


Conservatives should applaud—not fight—efforts to change philanthropic giving rules

Conservatives would be wise to push for a bolder plan that addresses the conflation of political and charitable causes—and clearly defines what constitutes legitimate charitable goals. That’s the only way to ensure philanthropy doesn’t lose all credibility and become completely politicized. Let’s focus on what really matters.

The price of nonprofits’ political activism, and who pays it

Theda Skocpol and Caroline Tervo tell the story of Indivisible and its donor-driven succumbing to the siren call of “the DC-based nonprofit industrial complex.”


Carnegie’s midnight confession

The appropriate context within which its eugenic past should be considered.

Pitching the blue tent

And wondering about the red cocktail umbrella.


Darren Walker’s apology and “woke” discourse

The arcane, demanding jargon of strategic philanthropy is being replaced by an equally arcane, demanding jargon of social justice.

Secular progressive elites’ ignorance about, and aversion to, the faith lives of millions

The reaction to Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination shows how the notion of God presents a challenge for the liberal intelligentsia, the cutting-edge moral and philosophical doctrines of which raise serious questions about any form of transcendent truth. For conservatism, a religious understanding of brokenness can only better it.


The other side of “both-sidism”

Assessing the adverse implications of intellectual intransigence.