Large-scale, organized American philanthropy has long been driven by an awareness of racial and economic inequality. From wealthy individuals’ concern about the US South to organized philanthropic engagement with civil rights and social justice issues throughout the twentieth century, these concerns have shaped programs in education, democratic engagement, public health, and beyond.
How did a US foundation manage to work under apartheid?
How philanthropy helped carve out a public space for the expression of race, culture, and critical perspectives.
How a new foundation helped one of America’s oldest youth organizations become more racially inclusive.
How a foundation provided the final ingredient to an era-defining novel.
How a charismatic community activist from Watts challenged a foundation’s civil rights strategy.
The Program-Related Investment (PRI), a financial tool invented in the late 1960s, aimed to broaden the scope of recipients that philanthropic funds could help. The Ford Foundation unveiled this new mechanism with $10 million of support to market-based projects in minority enterprise, housing, manufacturing, and community development…
During the height of the US civil rights movement, the Rockefeller Foundation supported the Princeton College Summer Program, aiming to increase the number of minority students going on to college. Despite raising admissions rates successfully, the program also raised larger questions about philanthropy’s capacity to address systemic inequality…
A fundraising appeal from the United Negro College Fund in 1962 prompted the Rockefeller Foundation to design and launch a full-blown Equal Opportunity program, the first in its history. How a simple request come to have such a broad impact…
In 1968, the Ford Foundation began to make social investments using a new tool borrowed from the for-profit world, the Program-Related Investment.
In the years before Brown v. Board, a philanthropic fund hoped research and data would turn the tide on attitudes toward segregation.