A Versatile American Institution: The Changing Ideals and Realities of Philanthropic Foundations

A Versatile American Institution: The Changing Ideals and Realities of Philanthropic Foundations

by David C. Hammack, Helmut K. Anheier

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America's grantmaking foundations have grown rapidly over the course of recent decades, even in the face of financial and economic crises. Foundations have a great deal of freedom, enjoy widespread legitimacy, and wield considerable influence. In this book, David Hammack and Helmut Anheier follow up their edited volume, American Foundations , with a comprehensive historical account of what American foundations have done with that independence and power.

While philanthropic foundations play important roles in other parts of the world, the U.S. sector stands out as exceptional. Nowhere else are they so numerous, prominent, or autonomous. What have been the main contributions of philanthropic foundations to American society? And what might the future hold for them?

A Versatile American Institution considers foundations in a new way. Previous accounts typically focused narrowly on their organization, donors, and leaders, and their intentions—but not on the outcome of philanthropy. Rather than looking at foundations in a vacuum, Hammack and Anheier consider their roles and contributions in the context of their times and their economic and political circumstances.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815721949
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 02/26/2013
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 273
Sales rank: 1,344,676
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

David C. Hammack is the Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a past president of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). Helmut K. Anheier is dean of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany, serves as academic director of the Center for Social Investment at Heidelberg University, and is senior fellow at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Policy. Anheier and Hammack are the coeditors of American Foundations: Roles and Contributions (Brookings, 2010).

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Foundations in the United States 1

2 Remarkable Nineteenth-Century Foundations 19

3 The Classic Institution-Building Period, 1900-50 43

4 After World War II: Readjustment and Redefinition 75

5 Variety and Relevance: American Foundations at the Start of the Twenty-First Century 117


A What Is a "Foundation"? 157

B On Sources 162

Acknowledgments 173

Notes 177

References 217

Index of Foundation Names 249

Index of Subjects 255

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