Stream: Issues in Philanthropy

From Populist Crusade to Comprehensive Regulation: the Tax Reform Act of 1969

Is private wealth an obstacle to democracy? Fifty years ago, Congress thought so.

Ted Watkins and the Rockefeller Foundation: An Unlikely Partnership

How a charismatic community activist from Watts challenged a foundation’s civil rights strategy.

“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.

Photo Essay: Supporting Minority Enterprise in the late 1960s

In 1968, the Ford Foundation began to make social investments using a new tool borrowed from the for-profit world, the Program-Related Investment.

The “Insulin Gift”

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

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Creates a National Park

Who defines the public good? The showdown caused when a wealthy philanthropist bought land and tried to give it to the American people.

The Origins of the Rockefeller Foundation Equal Opportunity Program

How a simple grant request seeded the launch of a full program addressing inequality.

Photo Essay: The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission and the South

How battling hookworm on rural farms laid the groundwork for a global public health system.

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.

Timeline: Foundations and the Walker Art Center

Decades of foundation involvement has helped this American cultural organization to grow, thrive, and innovate.