Michael E. Hartmann

Michael E. Hartmann is senior fellow and director of the new Center for Strategic Giving at the Capital Research Center. For more than 18 years, he served on the program staff of The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee, including as its director of research. He assisted Bradley’s vice president for program in administering the foundation’s grantmaking in K-12 education, employee rights, economic growth and prosperity, energy and the environment, law and legal reform, equal opportunity and individual liberty, and family and society. He is a past visiting fellow of the Philanthropy Roundtable in Washington, D.C., where he researched and wrote Helping People to Help Themselves:  A Guide for Donors. Before joining Bradley in 1998, he was director of research at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

A graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, Hartmann has published law-review articles on the constitutionality of school vouchers and aspects of welfare reform, as well as on the First Amendment and intellectual-property rights. He has also been a consultant to other foundations and education-reform organizations.

Trust in nonprofits down since 2020, according to Independent Sector survey

High trust in nonprofits and philanthropy correlates with high socioeconomic status. Democrats trust philanthropy appreciably more than the general population.

Philanthropy in The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order

Historian Gary Gerstle’s new book on America in what he considers the bygone free-market era includes a role for philanthropy in its narrative—well, at least in its purportedly “Powell-ian” rise, anyway.

“It all needs to stop”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s promise that any efforts to “clean up” the politicization of nonprofits will be pursued regardless of various practical effects on those engaging in it may present an opportunity.

Senate Finance Committee subcommittee to hold hearing on tax-exempt nonprofits and politics

Congressional interest in sector’s activities seems to be increasing.

A conversation with Know Your Enemy’s Sam Adler-Bell (Part 2 of 2)

The writer, analyst, and podcast co-host talks to Michael E. Hartmann about how conservative philanthropy was caught flat-footed by the political ascendancy of conservative populism in 2016 and progressive and populist discontent with elites, potentially including nonprofit and philanthropic ones.

A conversation with Know Your Enemy’s Sam Adler-Bell (Part 1 of 2)

The writer, analyst, and podcast co-host talks to Michael E. Hartmann about ideas, why we believe in the ones we do, and how sophisticated argumentation can better help us know that. “It’s perfectly all right with us to not find agreement,” he says.

A conversation with Duke University’s Kristin Goss (Part 2 of 2)

The professor of public policy and political science talks to Michael E. Hartmann about how policy plutocrats actually go about trying to get their way, the effects of this plutocracy, critiques of it from both progressives and populist conservatives, and whether there could be some overlap in those critiques as philanthropy reforms might be proposed and considered in the future.

A conversation with Duke University’s Kristin Goss (Part 1 of 2)

The professor of public policy and political science talks to Michael E. Hartmann about her career, and the level and nature of academic study and journalistic coverage of policy-oriented philanthropy.

Revisiting our conversation with journalist and author John J. Miller (Part 2 of 2)

As his book on the John M. Olin Foundation is released in paperback, we feature its author talking to Michael E. Hartmann and Daniel P. Schmidt about Olin himself, his decision to “sunset” the foundation, the reasons for its success, and whether—and if so, how—other conservative givers could replicate that success now and in the future.