People & Projects

Looking closely at “back row America”: a review of Chris Arnade’s “Dignity”

Chris Arnade’s book “Dignity” does a fine job of meeting—and introducing readers to—America’s poorer class. It fails, however, to ask the right questions about addressing poverty.

Barron Hilton dies age 91, leaving his fortune to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Prior to his death, Barron Hilton and the Hilton Foundation took measures to protect Conrad Hilton’s donor intent. These are important measures for ensuring donor intent, and time will tell the foundation board’s commitment to these measures.


Bernie Marcus plans to sunset his foundation after his death

In order to protect donor intent, Bernie Marcus, Home Depot founder and Atlanta mega-donor, plans to give away 90 percent of his fortune—within 30 years of his death.

The Kochs and the Pews

Similarities and differences between the two philanthropic brother duos.


Newly unearthed documents reveal heiress Cordelia Scaife May’s philanthropic legacy

The legacy of a mid-century environmentalist socialite whose laser-focused philanthropy helped sow the seeds of anti-immigration policy

Legal battle over Kurtis Froedtert’s wishes, a warning to donors everywhere

A legal battle developing in Milwaukee over the wishes of philanthropist Kurtis Froedtert ought to remind donors everywhere to be very careful in how their wills are phrased.


400 years of black giving: From the days of slavery to the 2019 Morehouse graduation

Billionaire Robert F. Smith made a big splash when he told Morehouse grads he would pay off their student debt. Yet his generosity adheres to a long African American tradition.

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.




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