Topic: Grant-Making

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Rural Reconstruction Program in 1930s China

In the 1930s, an ambitious program to reshape China was cut short by war, but offered a model for community development.

Documenting Injustice: Recording the Histories of the Japanese American Incarceration

The origins and legacy of a research project conducted in the American concentration camps for Japanese Americans.

Legitimizing the Social Sciences: The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial in the 1920s

What began as a philanthropic fund to honor its namesake became an early force in the social sciences.

Building Global Understanding: Area Studies, Language, and History

Encouraging cross-cultural knowledge in an interconnected postwar world by shaping new interdisciplinary programs and retooling traditional academic fields.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Role in Creating the Atomic Bomb

In the aftermath, Foundation staff struggled to rectify their organization’s involvement with this weapon of mass destruction.

Margaret Mead’s Call for Less “Orthodox” Grantmaking

How a famous anthropologist challenged her own funder to take more risks.

Profiles of Women in Philanthropy

In honor of Women’s History Month, we highlight thirteen individuals from our collections to show the range of contributions women have made in the field of philanthropy and in the world at large.

“Highest Standards”: Elite Philanthropy and Literary Black Voices during the Civil Rights Era

Against a backdrop of white, establishment concepts of literary excellence, one foundation struggled to appreciate Black voices.

Funding a Social Movement: The Ford Foundation and Civil Rights, 1965-1970

A story recounting many accusations, from rigged elections to the meddling of big private money in grassroots organizing.

Black Education and Rockefeller Philanthropy from the Jim Crow South to the Civil Rights Era

Applying a vast fortune to the American race problem, but with decades of false assumptions and well-intended approaches that fell short.