Decade: 20th Century

“Investment Philanthropy” Investing for Social Good, a Century Ago

An early twentieth-century foundation tried using its endowment to support for-profit projects that also would achieve a social goal.

The “Insulin Gift”

In 1923, a wealthy philanthropist’s funding helped make life-saving treatment for diabetes available to patients and doctors.

Insanity Defense illustration in Harper's Weekly, February 27, 1859. Library of Congress.

The Commonwealth Fund and the “Insanity Defense”: Unexpected Outcomes

Our understanding of the insanity defense relies on a book that was an unintended outcome of a Commonwealth Fund grant.

Supporting Economic Justice? Ford’s 1968 PRI Experiment

How the largest US foundation began supporting market-based projects in the late 1960s.