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Philanthropy and other forms of giving have a profound relationship with and effect on American policymaking, politics, civil society, and culture, among other things. Funders help set agendas and shape opinion, directly and indirectly. Their money and its consequences deserve even more attention, and critical scrutiny.

With our “Philanthropy and Giving” section, we at RealClearPolicy aim to provide a regularly updated overview of the normally narrow discourse about these and related matters. The section compiles links to—and sometimes publishes original — research into, journalism about, analysis of, and commentary on grantmaking and the nonprofit sector. It consciously “casts a wide net,” featuring authors from across the ideological spectrum, with differing worldviews. Its content covers both the animating ideas underlying and the everyday practicalities of giving.

Michael E. Hartmann and his colleagues at The Giving Review help us edit and curate “Philanthropy and Giving.” Hartmann is a senior fellow at the Capital Research Center and director of its Center for Strategic Giving. His two Giving Review co-editors are mentors of his from when they served on the program staff of Milwaukee’s Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. The Giving Review is part of Philanthropy Daily.


Backlash: A Sharp Right Turn by the Philanthropy Roundtable, Phil Buchanan, Center for Effective Philanthropy

Henry Ford and the Ford Foundation: Have the Right Lessons Been Learned?, Debi Ghate, Philanthropy Roundtable

The Fall of the House of Gates?, Tim Schwab, The Nation

How Zuckerberg Millions Paid for Progressives to Work with 2020 Vote Officials Nationwide, Steve Miller, RealClearInvestigations

Liberal Hegemony in Public-Policy Spending, Shane Devine, American Conservative

Why the FEC is Kneecapping Crypto Campaign Donations, Roger Sollenberger, Daily Beast

Digital Dollars and Donor Demands, Michael E. Hartmann, Giving Review

Conservative Author and Venture Capitalist J. D. Vance: Eliminate All Special Tax Privileges for Foundations, Giving Review

White-Focused Philanthropy Is on the Way Out, Rachel D’Souza-Siebert, Community-Centric Fundraising

Philanthropic Wokeism Undermines Free-Market Principles, Richard Graber, RealClearMarkets

Free of the Burden, Jane Tanner, Alliance

The Specter of Big Philanthropy, Gerard Alexander, Law & Liberty

Charitable Donations Are a Form of Influence-Peddling, and They Should Be Stopped, Los Angeles Times

States Banning “Zuck Bucks,” Sarah Lee & Hayden Ludwig, Capital Research Center

How a $1 Million Donation on Behalf of Newsom Was Hidden in Plain Sight, Melody Gutierrez, LA Times

We Agree, Foundations Should Be Held Accountable for High Salaries and Staggering Expenses, Craig Kennedy and William A. Schambra, Chronicle of Philanthropy

So You Want to Tax the Rich? Okay, Let’s Start with Universities and Foundations, Henry Olsen, Washington Post

Razorback Foundation Settles Lawsuit with Brett Bielema, Matt Jones, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A Conversation with The New Class War Author Michael Lind, Michael E. Hartmann & Daniel P. Schmidt, Giving Review

Are Foundations Willing to Give Up Power?, Alliance magazine

#CrappyFundingPractices and Why We Need to Name and Shame More Often, Vu Le, NonprofitAF

Getting Lost on the Way to Root Causes, William A. Schambra, Giving Review

Harris Meets with Foundation Heads on Root Causes of Migration, Brett Samuels, The Hill

The Dark-Money Tipping Point, Sheldon Whitehouse & Hank Johnson, Project Syndicate

“Generous” Billionaires Are Part of the Problem, Luke Savage, Jacobin

Philanthropy in the Empire of Pain, Ben Soskis, HistPhil

Banks Have No Business Advising Individual Philanthropy, Jessica Dean, Philanthropy Daily

How a Feud Between Two Tea Party Leaders Helped Lay the Groundwork for the Capitol Insurrection, Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones

Charitable Foundations Captured by Left Fuel American Division, Elise Westhoff, National Review 

A Bipartisan Opportunity to Help Those in Need: Charity Reform, Dean Zerbe, Forbes

Fundraising Surged for Republicans Who Sought to Overturn Election, Luke Broadwater, Catie Edmondson, & Rachel Shorey, New York Times 

Pro-Impeachment Republicans Outraise Pro-Trump Challengers, Karl Evers-Hillstrom & Krystal Hur, OpenSecrets.org 

Not My Party: We’re Doomed! Send Us Money, Tim Miller, The Bulwark 

Should Pennsylvania’s Elections Be Privatized?, Scott Walter, Capital Research Center 

Defining Whiteness & Autonomy, Cyndi Suarez, Nonprofit Quarterly

How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines, Alexander Zaitchik, New Republic

A Conversation with Hoover Institution Senior Fellow John H. Cochrane, Michael E. Hartmann, Giving Review

S.F.’s Free Summer Program for Thousands of Students to Win Funding After Delay, Mallory Moench, S.F. Chronicle

Arizona Governor Messages Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Outlines New Election-Funding Laws, Howard Fischer, KAWC

Conservative Donors Catching on to Benefits of Coordinating Generosity, James Piereson & Naomi Schaefer Riley, City Journal

State of American Philanthropy: Giving for Housing and Homelessness, Nicholas Williams with Holly Hall, Inside Philanthropy

American Jewish Philanthropy and Continuity, David E. Bernstein, Times of Israel

Plan to Regulate Grantmakers Opens Door to Burdensome Government Intrusion, Rick Graber & Elise Westhoff, Chronicle of Philanthropy

Charitable Giving is Broken—Here’s How to Fix It, Chris Stadler, Forbes

Zuckerberg’s Election-Rigging Group Sends VP to Be Biden’s Tech Director, Natalie Winters, National Pulse

A Conversation with Philanthropy Journalist Marc Gunther, Michael E. Hartmann, Giving Review

What Americans Really Think About Billionaires During the Pandemic, Theodore Schleifer, Vox

Capital Research Center Defends Donor Privacy as Sheldon Whitehouse Demands Disclosures, Joe Schoffstall, Free Beacon

Elite Philanthropy in the Age of Inequalities, International Journal of Management Reviews

Conservatives Should Applaud—Not Fight—Efforts to Change Philanthropic Giving Rules, Craig Kennedy & William A. Schambra, Chronicle of Philanthropy

Should a Billionaire Run Arizona’s Elections?, Scott Walter & Aimee Yentes, Arizona Capital Times

Trumpworld’s Next Target: Building a Dark-Money Machine, Alex Isenstadt, Politico

Hoover Economist John H. Cochrane: A Lot of Nonprofit Status Just “a Cover,” Michael E. Hartmann, Giving Review

Navigating the Financial, Political, and Economic Constraints on Large-Scale Philanthropy, Jay P. Greene, American Enterprise Institute

Well-Meaning Efforts to Fund Civic Education May Help Create Roadmap for Progressivism, Mark Bauerlein, City Journal

Donor Intent and Family Trust, Fred Smith, The Gathering

What’s Wrong with the Supreme Court: The Big-Money Assault on Our Judiciary, Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action and Federal Rights, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

A Conversation with the Federalist Society’s Eugene B. Meyer, Michael E. Hartmann and Daniel P. Schmidt, Giving Review

Donor-Advised Funds Must Stop Supporting Hate, Mark Hurtubise, Sludge

How Mark Zuckerberg’s Election Money Helped an Out-of-State Democrat Get His Hands on Wisconsin’s 2020 Vote, M. D. Kittle, The Federalist

ActBlue Fined for Facilitating Nearly $44,000 in Illegal Contributions, Joe Schoffstall, Free Beacon

How Big Money is Dividing American Catholicism, Katherine Stewart, New Republic

Tennis Player Marcus Daniell Shares His Passion for Philanthropy, Nina Pantic & Irina Falconi, Tennis.com

Norms and Narratives That Shape Giving

How Mark Zuckerberg Meddled in Battleground-State Elections, Hayden Ludwig, Capital Research Center

Facebook Helped Fund David Brooks’ Second Job, and Nobody Told New York Times Readers, Craig Silverman & Ryan Mac, BuzzFeedNews

Supreme Court’s Chance to Rule for Donor Privacy, Elizabeth McGuigan, Philanthropy Roundtable

Top “Dark-Money” Groups Working to Elect Democrats, Will Greenberg, Blue Tent

Neera Tanden’s Tweets and the Proper Role of Nonprofit Think Tanks, Giving Review

Movement Capture or Movement Strategy? A Critical Race History Exchange on the Beginnings of Brown v. Board, Megan Ming Francis & John Fabian Witt, Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities

Should Foundations Have to Give More?, Glenn Gamboa, Associated Press

Joe Biden is a Dark-Money Puppet, Adam Laxalt, Washington Times

Pro-Trump Black Group That Solicited Foreign Donations Under FBI Investigation, Roger Sollenberger, Salon

Largest Higher-Education and Grantmaker Endowments in America, Michael E. Hartmann, Giving Review

New $65 Million Push From Progressives to Compete With Conservative Media, Theodore Schleifer, Vox

Where Did Millions of Dollars in Donations to Black Lives Matter Go?, Katie Pavlich, Townhall

Project Grants Need Not Be the Enemy, Rodney Christopher, Center for Effective Philanthropy

How Big Hospital Donors and School-Board VIPs Are Skipping the Vaccine Line, Kate Briquelet, Daily Beast

The Price of Nonprofits’ Political Activism, and Who Pays It, William A. Schambra, Giving Review

Donor Who Gave $2.5M to Voter-Fraud Investigation Wants His Money Back, Shawn Boburg & John Swaine, Washington Post

“Givers, Doers, & Thinkers” Podcast with Elise Westhoff, Philanthropy Daily

When Philanthropy is Uncivil, Chiara Cordelli, HistPhil

How Community Organizations Mitigate the Downsides of Collaborating with Unions, Brad R. Fulton & Marc Doussard, Journal of Urban Affairs

Lessons for Successful Place-Based Philanthropy in Rural Communities, Juliet Squire, American Enterprise Institute

The Culture of Philanthropy is Too Polite, Marc Gunther, Nonprofit Chronicles

Election Board Investigates Warnock and New Georgia Project, Mark Niesse, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott, and Michael Bloomberg Top List of America’s 50 Biggest Charity Donors, Maria Di Mento & Ben Gose, Chronicle of Philanthropy

How Indivisible’s National Advocates and Grassroots Activists Have Pulled Apart, Theda Skocpol & Caroline Tervo, American Prospect

COVID is Changing the Future of Philanthropy, Jamie Goodwin, Thad Austin & Maryruth Davis, Christianity Today

A Man Who Gives, Eric Chevlen, National Review

How to Practice Philanthropy to Create a Lasting Impact, Adam Milstein, Jerusalem Post

Open Letter to Community Foundations From Concerned Executive Director, Jami Duffy, NPQ

Dan Schmidt on Faith, Trust, Passion, Neighborhoods, and Philanthropy, Michael E. Hartmann, Giving Review

Bill to Protect Donor Privacy Brings Together Conservatives, Progressives, Kathie Obradovich, Iowa Capital Dispatch

Gates Foundation Gives Millions to Persuade Ultra-Wealth to Give More, Mark Harris, GeekWire

Philanthropy Roundtable Leads Coalition Against Charitable-Giving Mandates, Philanthropy Roundtable

“Dark Money” Helped Pave Joe Biden’s Path to White House, Bill Allison, Bloomberg

Mitigating Power Dynamics While Evaluating Philanthropic Initiatives, Gabrielle Plotkin & Shannon Stagman, Arabella Advisors

What Big Liberal Philanthropy Can No Longer Afford to Ignore, Eric K. Ward, Alliance

How Corporate Boycott of GOP Could Backfire, Charles Fain Lehman, Washington Free Beacon

Corporations Rethinking PACs Leave “Dark-Money” Door Open, Anna Massoglia, OpenSecrets.org

Busting the Myth of Conservative “Dark Money,” Scott Walter, Daily Signal

Conservative Groups Funded by Google Oppose Antitrust Action, Eric Lendrum, American Greatness

AEI’s “Near-Death Experience,” Steven Teles & Jessica A. Gover, Johns Hopkins University

Bill Bergeron’s 25 Years of Managing Knowledge and Wisdom, The Editors, Giving Review

Carnegie’s Midnight Confession, William A. Schambra, Giving Review

Democrats Ask Treasury to Probe Nonprofits Tied to Capitol Riot, Letter to Sec. Steven T. Mnuchin

Koch Network Pledges to “Weigh Heavy” Lawmakers’ Actions in Riots, Maggie Severns, Politico

The New New Organizing Institute, Hayden Ludwig, Capital Research Center

Georgia Senate Runoff Shows Philanthropy’s Power to Shape Elections, Alex Daniels, Chronicle of Philanthropy

Five Funders That Played a Role in the Georgia Senate Runoffs, Philip Rojc, Inside Philanthropy

“Dark Money” Funneled Millions to Groups Pushing Voter-Fraud Claims, Brian Schwartz, CNBC

Lessons About Community-Driven Efforts to Deal with Social Ills, Craig Kennedy, Giving Review

Democracy Threatens White Supremacy, and That’s Causing Our Crisis, Darren Walker, Ford Foundation

Foundations Should Do More in Times of Crisis, John Palfrey, Stanford Social Innovation Review

Who’s Behind the Big Election Money in Georgia?, Sarah Lee, Capital Research Center

The Corporations Funding the End of Democracy, Osita Nwanevu, New Republic

Philanthropy Favors Traditional Public Schools Over Public Charter Schools, Michael Theis, Chronicle of Philanthropy

Larry David and the Game Theory of Anonymous Donations, Brian Gallagher, Nautilus

Pros and Cons of Small Donors, Harry Cheadle, Blue Tent

Mellon Foundation Goes Woke, George Liebmann & Andrew Balio, American Conservative

Gates Foundation Leads Green Counterrevolution in Africa, Jan Urhahn, Jacobin

Bill Gates is Trying to Dim the Sun, Jeremy Beaman, Washington Examiner

MacKenzie Scott Shows Peers How to Do Philanthropy, Michael Mechanic, Mother Jones

Religious Nonprofits Scramble for Support to Match Needs, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post

Ruth McCambridge Hands Off Baton, Ruth McCambridge, Nonprofit Quarterly

“Philanthropy 100” List of Those Making Positive Difference, Philanthropy Unbound

“Dark-Money” Group Supporting BLM Got $16M in Government Grants, Joe Schoffstall, Free Beacon

How to Donate Effectively to BLM, Dylan Matthews, Vox

Chuck Grassley Releases Results of Investigation of Nonprofit ISRA, Office of Sen. Chuck Grassley

Celebrate MacKenzie Scott’s Gifts, But Also Consider Reparations, Edgar Villanueva, Washington Post

Foundation President Challenges Wealthy Foundations, Jerry Mitchell, Mississippi Clarion Ledger

A Visual History of Mutual Aid, Ariel Aberg-Riger, Bloomberg CityLab

Congress Should Investigate Power of Big Foundations, Arthur Bloom, The American Conservative

DAFs Come to Israel—with Time Limits and Payout Requirements, Simone Ellin, Inside Philanthropy

Reid Hoffman Linked to Support for Fusion GPS’s Legal Fund, Chuck Ross, Daily Caller

Securing the Future of U.S. Elections, Vanessa Tucker, Hewlett Foundation

Sixteen Thirty Fund Deluged Election with “Dark Money,” Hayden Ludwig, Capital Research Center

“Dark Money” Backing “Big Oil’s Favorite Democrat” Came From Big Oil, Donald Shaw, Sludge

Towards Greater Foundation Flexibility, Naomi Orensten, Center for Effective Philanthropy

Can Philanthropy Help Society Move Past Neoliberalism?, Philip Rojc, Inside Philanthropy

The Blue Tent and the Red Cocktail Umbrella, William A. Schambra, The Giving Review

Five Book Recommendations to Wrap Up 2020, Bill Gates, GatesNotes

Give to Charity Over Political Campaigns, Naomi Schaefer Riley & James Piereson, National Review

Questions Linger About Private Money in Elections, Emil Moffatt, WABE

Environmental Philanthropy Should Learn From Wall Street Investors, Mark Tercek, The Instigator

Hawaii Remote-Work Program: Airfare for Nonprofit Volunteering, Shannon McMahon, Washington Post

Charitable Purpose in the 21st Century, Gene Takagi, Nonprofit Law Blog

From History, a Defensive Response to Scrutiny of Philanthropy, Michael E. Hartmann, The Giving Review

Why Study the History of Philanthropy?, Rhodri Davies, CAF

Diversity Mandates From Foundations Hurt Nonprofits, Debi Ghate, Chronicle of Philanthropy

San Francisco is Mad at Mark Zuckerberg, Theodore Schleifer, Vox

A Better Way for Billionaires to Benefit Society, Andrew J. Hoffman, The Conversation

Georgia Nonprofit Advocacy Groups Ready for Special Election, Beth Couch, Nonprofit Quarterly

Conservatism, the Imperial City, and the Wilderness, Michael S. Joyce, The Giving Review

George Soros Looms Large Over Biden Transition, Joe Schoffstall, Washington Free Beacon

Donors and Foundations Are Increasingly Supporting Movements, Aaron Dorfman, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Sheldon Whitehouse’s Hypocrisy on “Dark Money” Isn’t Fooling Anyone, Hayden Ludwig, Capital Research Center

19 Philanthropic Families Who Are Investing in a Better Future, Gotham

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