Stories from the History of American Philanthropy
Welcome to RE:source, the Rockefeller Archive Center‘s storytelling platform. We are a team of historians, archivists, and educators working from the idea that philanthropy has impact on everyday life, sometimes in ways that many of us don’t realize.
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Confronting Racism: Changing Structures or Treating Symptoms?
How a new foundation helped one of America’s oldest youth organizations become more racially inclusive.
In the years before Brown v. Board, a philanthropic fund hoped research and data would turn the tide on attitudes toward segregation.
How a foundation provided the final ingredient to an era-defining novel.
How philanthropy helped carve out a public space for the expression of race, culture, and critical perspectives.
Epidemics, Vaccines, and Health Systems
How a meeting of scientists and health experts sparked a new international campaign to find a way to prevent AIDS.
A hundred years ago, hookworm disease was an epidemic across the US South. Northern philanthropy tried to help.
Century-old tips to prevent infection still make sense today.
Philanthropy, Justice, and Social Movements
How the largest US foundation began supporting market-based projects in the late 1960s.
How a charismatic community activist from Watts challenged a foundation’s civil rights strategy.
In 1968, the Ford Foundation began to make social investments using a new tool borrowed from the for-profit world, the Program-Related Investment.