Our History of Philanthropy project aims to better understand the role that philanthropy, as opposed to other factors, played in various historical episodes that some people have identified as "philanthropic successes." We've described our plans for this project at greater length in this blog post.
We have done the following so far:
- Hired Benjamin Soskis to work with us as a consultant. Dr. Soskis holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, with a focus on philanthropy. He is fellow at the Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy and Policy at George Mason University. Dr. Soskis has completed the following:
- Annotated bibliography: books he selected as possibly helpful and looked at a bit and wrote a paragraph or two about what they cover.
- Longer bibliography: a full list of books he looked at (included in the above link); he considered (but didn't look at); and books he would look at if he spent more time.
- Process and findings: The process he used to identify and select books for consideration and his preliminary conclusions about the state of the literature.
- Reviews of available literature regarding 4 cases of claimed philanthropic impact:
- Healthcare reform (.docx): literature on the impact of Atlantic Philanthropies and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Tobacco reform (.docx): literature on the impact of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- The Healthcare for the Homeless program (.docx): literature on the impact of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trust
- The Nunn-Lugar Act (.docx): literature on the impact of the Carnegie Corporation
- Case study on the Healthcare for the Homeless Program:
- Case study on the impact of philanthropy on the passage of the Affordable Care Act:
- Hired Tamara Mann Tweel to work with us as a consultant. Dr. Tweel holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University where she specialized in the history and ethics of philanthropy, health care, and aging. She is currently the Associate Director of the Freedom and Citizenship Program at Columbia University. She has completed a case study on the Pew Charitable Trust's drug safety legislation program:
- Recommended that Good Ventures make a $50,000 grant to the Center for Global Development for support of its Millions Saved update: full GiveWell write-up.
- Hired Bentley Allan to compile an annotated bibliography on the emergence of climate change as a governance issue. We also published conversation notes with him discussing the implications of the history of climate change governance for the potential governance of geoengineering.
- In August 2014, Good Ventures made a $25,000 grant to the Rockefeller Archive Center (www.rockarch.org/) to support a workshop of scholars interested in the history of philanthropy. Lightly edited notes from that workshop are available here.
- Made a $2,000 grant to the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA, www.arnova.org) to support a prize for publications on the history of philanthropy in memory of Peter Dobkin Hall, a leading historian of philanthropy.