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.

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.

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 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.

What can government do to increase America’s social capital?

The latest report from Congress’ Social Capital Project lays the foundation for strengthening families, communities, and civil society.

What can funders do to support localism and decentralization?

Philanthropists can help locally minded government officials by providing advice, evaluation, and using their own grantmaking to strengthen civil society.

“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.