People & Projects

T. Boone Pickens dies at 91, and the response is encouraging

As the public and the media respond to the passing of T. Boone Pickens, it is interesting to reflect on his broad and generous giving, and how this conduces to a healthy civil society.

love and philanthropy effective altruism
Breaking news: we are not attracted to effective altruists

A study conducted at the Crockett Lab at Yale University suggests that in our search for spouses and friends, we rather distrust utilitarians.


strategic philanthropy and social change
Nudging, Incentivizing, and Penalizing: A Review of “Money Well Spent”

In “Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy” authors Paul Brest and Hal Harvey offer a vision of strategic philanthropy that is more concerned with social change than selfless love.

james b simons billionaire mega donor active philanthropy
A look at how one mega-donor chooses to be actively involved in his giving

Billionaire donor James Simons is an interesting example of active and engaged philanthropy: a mathematician actively involved in advancing research through his Institute.


bill and melinda gates foundation billionaire philanthropy
My students see giving money away as a good thing but they’re getting leery of billionaire donors

People are growing wary of billionaire donors and their outsized influence in civil society and the nonprofit sector. The author looks at objections to, and defenses of, billionaire philanthropy, showing the complexity of giving.

The real story behind Alabama’s return of $26m gift to law school donor

Donors and colleges can learn a few things from this philanthropic kerfuffle.


“Time banks” build economies and communities without using money

People are giving the gift of time through “time-based currencies” that strengthen voluntarism and civil society.

Back row America: the fascinating work of Chris Arnade

Bond trader-turned-writer and photojournalist of the “down-and-out,” Arnade has insightful lessons to share with philanthropists who are serious about helping the poor.


How can funders support scholars with an alternative point of view?

Funders interested in supporting intellectual diversity should pay attention to the ideas of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, and academic organizations doing their part to encourage alternative points of view.

“Art of the Steal” raises tough questions about donor intent

A documentary that details the fight over the stewardship of a $25-billion art collection raises enduring questions of donor intent.




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