Politics & Giving

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.

higher education philanthropy and scholarships first-generation students
Want to help first-gen students? Think beyond scholarships

We often operate under the misconception that scholarships are the only—or at least best—way to support first-generation college students. That’s not the case, and there are several alternative ways to support first-gen students instead.


university of missouri donor intent philanthropy
Schemes to protect donor intent gone awry

A questionable donor-intent protection scheme is resulting in a lawsuit of Hillsdale College against the University of Missouri.

What Do Confederate Flags Have to Do with Notre Dame?

In the wake of the fire damaging the Cathedral of Notre Dame, philanthropic elites pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in support of restoration. Is this a good use of philanthropic funds?


Observations and recommendations on education grantmaking

Education grants tend to go primarily to liberals, with little diversity in goals—and little success in achieving those goals. The second in a two-part series.

Improving schools requires diverse grantmaking

The Annenberg Challenge didn’t work to improve public schools, and educational grantmaking continues to flounder when it’s too monolithic. The first in a two-part series.


The assault on generosity and voluntary action

Enemies of private giving and voluntary action insist that only government should be allowed to improve the common good, and that alternatives to state power must be shut down, or taxed away.

Philanthropy should be localist

A localist viewpoint can help give shape and purpose to our philanthropic giving.


Conservative policy funders have become as impatient as liberal donors

Restoring a more patient philanthropy means backing away from the obsession with immediate policy and political outcomes.

What went wrong (and right) with conservative philanthropy

The story of conservative policy philanthropy from Barry Goldwater to Donald Trump.




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