Decade: 20th Century

Evolution of a Foundation: an Institutional History of the Rockefeller Foundation

One of the first large-scale philanthropic foundations in the United States was created out of industrial wealth and came to reach around the globe.

“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? The Ford Foundation’s 1968 Experiment in Program Related Investments

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