Stories from the History of Philanthropy
RE:source is a publication of the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC), where a team of archivists, educators, and historians share stories, photo essays, timelines, educational resources, and updates on new research in RAC collections.
Subscribe to our email newsletter to learn about new content.
New in our RAC Research Reports Series
The latest RAC New Research series highlights reports from archival research by stipend recipients, covering diverse subjects from prison plastic surgery policies in the Civil Rights era to Indian art fellowship impacts and the roots of Thai nursing education. It includes discussions on the effects of patronage on video art and Thai-Filipino-American healthcare interactions, revealing the historical role of Rockefeller and Ford Foundations in enabling progressive social and cultural studies.
Black History is Philanthropy History
How a charismatic community activist from Watts challenged a foundation’s civil rights strategy through a jobs training program.
A foundation struggled to make one of America’s oldest youth organizations more racially inclusive. But it only got so far under Jim Crow.
A story recounting many accusations, from rigged elections to the meddling of big private money in grassroots organizing.
In 1968, the Ford Foundation began to make social investments using a new tool borrowed from the for-profit world, the Program-Related Investment.
Applying a vast fortune to the American race problem, but with decades of false assumptions and well-intended approaches that fell short.
Against a backdrop of white, establishment concepts of literary excellence, one foundation struggled to appreciate Black voices.
In the years before Brown v. Board, a philanthropic fund hoped research and data would turn the tide on attitudes toward segregation.
In Case You Missed It
The Irish Language Debate: Nationalism and Rockefeller Foundation Medical Education Reform in the Irish Free State
Ireland’s independence revived the nationalist campaign for mandatory Irish language. The debate discouraged Rockefeller Foundation funders.