Martin Morse Wooster

Martin Morse Wooster is senior fellow at the Capital Research Center. He is the author of three books: Angry Classrooms, Vacant Minds (Pacific Research Institute, 1994), The Great Philanthropists and the Problem of ‘Donor Intent’ (Capital Research Center, 1994; revised 1998, 2007, and 2017), and Great Philanthropic Mistakes (Hudson Institute, 2006; revised 2010). His monographs about philanthropy include Should Foundations Live Forever? (Capital Research Center, 1998), The Foundation Builders (Philanthropy Roundtable, 2000), Return to Charity? (Capital Research Center, 2000), By Their Bootstraps (Manhattan Institute, 2002), and Games Universities Play (Pope Center, 2011). His articles and reviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, American Spectator, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Commentary, Elle, Air and Space, Esquire, Philanthropy, Policy Review, Reader’s Digest, Reason, and Washingtonian.

Wooster frequently comments on philanthropic issues for newspapers, magazines, and television in the U.S. and Great Britain. He has contributed to the Encyclopedia of Philanthropy, the Encyclopedia of Civil Rights, and Notable American Philanthropists.

Wooster was formerly an editor at The American Enterprise, Reason, the Wilson Quarterly, and Harper’s Magazine. He was graduated from Beloit College with degrees in history and philosophy.

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.

Teach for America and charter schools: an unholy alliance?

Do funders supporting Teach for America and charter schools wield too much power to determine where teachers are placed?

How pervasive is extreme poverty in America?

It’s a common complaint that vast swathes of Americans live on less than two dollars a day. But is this research accurate?

call center philanthropy and scam PAC
Donors: be wary of “scam PACs”

Lightly-regulated “scam PACs” are known to use extensive telephone fundraising and dishonest claims in order, ostensibly, to raise money for political campaigns. In reality, the majority of the money raised is not making it to the politician or the campaign, but instead paying extravagant salaries and consultant fees.

meow wolf a new approach to arts and philanthropy
The Meow Wolf art collective funds its work without controversial mega-donors

Recent criticisms of major donations from donors like the Sackler family raise questions about the future of funding the arts. The Meow Wolf art collective models a new approach.

capitalism and moral purpose philanthropy
Capitalism and moral purpose

While not all companies and corporations care about more than profit, some do. OE Custom is a furniture company that uses downed trees to create high-end wood furniture.

civil society political discord and philanthropy
A YouGov poll indicates a dramatic “Perception Gap”

Political polarization is getting worse in America. A poll by YouGov points to some ways we might reduce polarization and promote civil society.

donor intent university of missouri hillsdale college
Hillsdale College sues University of Missouri over neglect of donor intent

After University of Missouri apparently neglected to follow the clear stipulations of a $5M gift to the business school, Hillsdale College sues to defend the donor’s intent.

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.

rising cost of higher education philanthropy and government
Higher education: government funding and philanthropic involvement

Federal funding helps drive up the cost of higher education. A recent study helps to see where federal higher education dollars go, in order to inform how philanthropists might best support higher education.