Since the dawn of the republic, faith in social equality, religious freedom, and the right to engage in civic activism have constituted our national creed. In this bracing history, Kathleen D. McCarthy traces the evolution of these ideals, exploring the impact of philanthropy and volunteerism on America from 1700 to 1865. What results is a vital reevaluation of public life during the pivotal decades leading up to the Civil War.
The market revolution, participatory democracy, and voluntary associations have all been closely linked since the birth of the United States. American Creed explores the relationships among these three institutions, showing how charities and reform associations forged partnerships with government, provided important safety valves for popular discontent, and sparked much-needed economic development. McCarthy also demonstrates how the idea of philanthropy became crucially wedded to social activism during the Jacksonian era. She explores how acts of volunteerism and charity became involved with the abolitionist movement, educational patronage, the struggle against racism, and female social justice campaigns. What resulted, she contends, were heated political battles over the extent to which women and African Americans would occupy the public stage.
Tracing, then, the evolution of civil society and the pivotal role of philanthropy in the search for and exercise of political and economic power, this book will prove essential to anyone interested in American history and government.
Robert H. Bremner University of Chicago Press, 1988 Library of Congress HV91.B67 1988 | Dewey Decimal 361.70973
In this revised and enlarged edition of his classic work, Robert H. Bremner provides a social history of American philanthropy from colonial times to the present, showing the ways in which Americans have sought to do good in such fields as religion, education, humanitarian reform, social service, war relief, and foreign aid. Three new chapters have been added that concisely cover the course of philanthropy and voluntarism in the United States over the past twenty-five years, a period in which total giving by individuals, foundations, and corporations has more than doubled in real terms and in which major revisions of tax laws have changed patterns of giving. This new edition also includes an updated chronology of important dates, and a completely revised bibliographic essay to guide readers on literature in the field.
"[This] book, as Bremner points out, is not encyclopedic. It is what he intended it to be, a pleasant narrative, seasoned with humorous comments, briefly but interestingly treating its principal persons and subjects. It should serve teacher and student as a springboard for further study of individuals, institutions and movements."—Karl De Schweinitz, American Historical Review
"[American Philanthropy] is the starting point for both casual readers and academic scholars. . . . a readable book, important beyond its diminutive size."—Richard Magat, Foundation News
Alongside the architectural splendor and intellectual brilliance of early Renaissance Florence there existed a second world of poverty, misery, social despair, and child abandonment. The Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents), designed and built between 1419 and 1445 by the renowned architect Filippo Brunelleschi, united these disparate worlds. Christian charity and compassion, as well as the humanist commitment to social perfection, family values, and love for children, were intertwined with a civic pride in which charity curried God's favor and invoked God's blessings on the city's fortunes.
Based on a close and attentive reading of archival material from the hospital and from the Florentine State Archives, Charity and Children in Renaissance Florence both chronicles the concerns and ambivalence of parents who abandoned children and follows the lives of the hospital's inhabitants from childhood to death. The book also demonstrates how hospital officials deliberately duplicated the structure and values of the Florentine family within the hospital walls. Gavitt's research shows that early modern foundling hospitals were not charnel houses where parents knowingly and impersonally abandoned their unwanted children to certain death. Charity and Children in Renaissance Florence provokes reflection on the contrast between our own views on the care of homeless children and those of the Italian Renaissance.
Winner of the Society for Italian Historical Studies 1988 Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript.
Challenges conventional views of medieval piety by demonstrating how the ideology of charity and its vision of the active life provided an important alternative to the ascetical, contemplative tradition emphasized by most historians
Using the Amsterdam Municipal Orphanage as a window through which readers
can see the start of profound social and economic changes in early modern
Amsterdam, Civic Charity in a Golden Age explores the connections
between the developing capitalist economy, the functioning of the government,
and the provision of charitable services to orphans in Amsterdam during
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the period of the city's greatest
prosperity and subsequent decline.
Anne McCants skillfully interprets details of the orphanage's expenditures,
especially for food; its population; the work records of those who were
reared there; and the careers of the regents who oversaw it. The establishment
of the orphanage itself was called for by the changing economic needs
of rapidly expanding commercial centers and the potential instability
of a government that depended on taxes from a large, politically powerless
segment of the population.
Cultures of Charity
Nicholas Terpstra Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress HV295.B6T47 2013 | Dewey Decimal 362.557094541109
Renaissance debates about politics and gender led to pioneering forms of poor relief, devised to help women get a start in life. These included orphanages for illegitimate children and forced labor in workhouses, but also women’s shelters and early forms of maternity benefits, unemployment insurance, food stamps, and credit union savings plans.
To her contemporaries Amy Brown Lyman was a leader, admired for her dynamic personality, her inspiring public addresses, and especially for her remarkable vision of what Mormon women in the Relief Society could achieve. Yet today her name is barely known. This volume brings her work to light, showing how the accomplishments of Lyman and her peers benefitted their own and subsequent generations.
Placing Lyman’s story within a local and national context, award-winning author Dave Hall examines the roots and trajectory of Mormon women’s activism. Born into a polygamist family, Lyman entered the larger sphere of public life at the time when the practice of polygamy was ending and Mormonism had begun assimilating mainstream trends. The book follows her life as she prepared for a career, married, and sought meaning in a rapidly changing society. It recounts her involvement in the Relief Society, the Mormon women’s charity group that she led for many years and sought to transform into a force for social welfare, and it considers the influence of her connections with national and international women’s organizations. The final period of Lyman’s life, in which she resigned from the Relief Society amidst personal tragedy, offers insight into the reasons Mormon women abandoned their activist heritage for a more conservative role, a stance that is again evolving.
Winner of the Mormon History Association's Best First Book Award.
In the Dutch Republic, charitable collections, which formed the financial backbone of many poor relief institutions, were regularly organised by both religious and secular authorities. This book examines both the policies of church boards and town councils in organising these charitable appeals, as well as the general population's giving behaviour. Using archival sources from the towns of Delft, Utrecht, Zwolle, and 's-Hertogenbosch, Daniëlle Teeuwen shows how these authorities deployed organisational and rhetorical tactics-including creating awareness, establishing trust, and exerting pressure-to successfully promote fundraising campaigns. Not only did many relief institutions manage to collect large annual sums, but contributions came from across the socioeconomic spectrum.
Believing that charity inadvertently legitimates social inequality and fosters dependence, many international development organizations have increasingly sought to replace material aid with efforts to build self-reliance and local institutions. But in some cultures—like those in rural Uganda, where Having People, Having Heart takes place—people see this shift not as an effort toward empowerment but as a suspect refusal to redistribute wealth. Exploring this conflict, China Scherz balances the negative assessments of charity that have led to this shift with the viewpoints of those who actually receive aid.
Through detailed studies of two different orphan support organizations in Uganda, Scherz shows how many Ugandans view material forms of Catholic charity as deeply intertwined with their own ethics of care and exchange. With a detailed examination of this overlooked relationship in hand, she reassesses the generally assumed paradox of material aid as both promising independence and preventing it. The result is a sophisticated demonstration of the powerful role that anthropological concepts of exchange, value, personhood, and religion play in the politics of international aid and development.
Men of amazing entrepreneurial genius, like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford, built commercial empires larger than the world had ever seen; they produced astronomical returns on investment and were rarely tricked out of their money in business deals. But when they turned to giving that money away, they failed. And as Martin Morse Wooster so finely reports in this book, many other persons of somewhat smaller wealth have also had their charitable plans go awry.
Wealthy and prestigious colleges, Wooster documents, have treated donors shamefully. The donors’ own staff and assistants have betrayed the vision of the men and women who gave them the money they now abuse. Even family members have utterly disregarded how their ancestors wanted the fruits of their labor to be used. Billions upon billions of dollars that were earned in the American marketplace by titans of industry are now in the hands of treacherous philanthropic elites who use that wealth to attack the very system that generated it.
So if you’re a donor contemplating how to structure your giving, I suggest you skim some of the detailed history in Part I of this book, which lays out the leading horror stories of American philanthropy. Then you may want to skim more slowly through Part II, where Wooster tells the stories of luckier families, who have achieved better results through careful planning and hard work.
Lastly, you should focus your attention most keenly on the final chapter, which features practical advice based on the histories in Parts I and II—because you must face the brutal fact that it is not easy to give well, even while you’re living. After you’re gone, the odds of successful giving are stacked even higher against you.
Scholars of philanthropy, on the other hand, will want to savor every word of Wooster’s fascinating history, which unearths so many little-known details of this critical aspect of American giving. Perhaps those scholars will also have a pang of guilt at their own neglect of this topic, because only four books have ever been written on this history: namely, the first, second, third, and now fourth edition of this work.
“Diversity” has become a mantra in corporate boardrooms, higher education, and government hiring and contracting. In Identifying Talent, Institutionalizing Diversity, Jiannbin Lee Shiao explains the leading role that large philanthropies have played in establishing diversity as a goal throughout American society in the post–civil rights era. By creating and institutionalizing diversity policies, these private organizations have quietly transformed the practice of affirmative action. Shiao describes how, from the 1960s through the 1990s, philanthropies responded to immigration, the recognition of nonblack minority groups, and the conservative backlash against affirmative action. He shows that these pressures not only shifted discourse and practice within philanthropy away from a binary black-white conception of race but also dovetailed with a change in its mission from supporting “good causes” to “identifying talent.”
Based on three years of research on the racial and ethnic priorities of the San Francisco Foundation and the Cleveland Foundation, Shiao demonstrates the geographically uneven impact of the national transition to diversification. The demographics of the regions served by the foundations in San Francisco and Cleveland are quite different, and paradoxically, the foundation in Cleveland—which serves an area with substantially fewer immigrants—has had greater institutional opportunities for implementing diversity policies. Shiao connects these regional histories with the national philanthropic field by underscoring the prominent role of the Ford Foundation, the third largest private foundation in the country, in shaping diversity policies. Identifying Talent, Institutionalizing Diversity reveals philanthropic diversity policy as a lens through which to focus on U.S. race relations and the role of the private sector in racial politics.
Research reveals a clear connection between the legal and social status of the Jews in Palestine in the 18th century and their ties with the Diaspora. The Jews who had immigrated to Palestine in that period were mostly poor and elderly. The country was economically backward and politically unstable, which made it impossible for the immigrants to support themselves through productive work. Therefore they lived off the contributions of their brethren overseas. Taxes and fees imposed by the Ottoman rulers increased the financial desperation of the Jews in Palestine. Prohibitions against young unmarried immigrant men and women made for an unstable population largely of old men, many of whom died shortly after immigrating. Families succumbed to disease, earthquakes, and famine, but in the face of these problems, the Jewish communities in Palestine persevered.
When financial support ceased at the beginning of the 18th century, it caused a sever crisis in the Yishuv (the Jewish settlement in Palestine). The Jews were unable to repay their debts to the Moslems, and many left the country. In 1726, a central organization was established in Istanbul to coordinate the Diaspora financial support of the Jews in Palestine. This Istanbul Committee of Officials oversaw the collection of support money for the Yishuv, managed the Palestine community’s budget, established regulations for governing the communities, and settled disputes between the Jews and the gentiles. The importance of the Yishuv in the spiritual life of the Diaspora alone could not ensure the continuation of the Istanbul Officials was crucial.
Fortunately, a registry containing copies of 500 letters written by the Istanbul Committee in the mid-18th century was preserved in the archives of the Jewish Theological Seminary. These letters reveal the extensive activity involving the Istanbul Committee and the Ottoman authorities, the Jews of Palestine, and the Diaspora.
In this English translation of the original 1982 volume published in Hebrew, Barnai has updated his research to take into account recent scholarship. He concludes that during the period under review, the number of Jews in the Yishuv was actually very small, but they were completely dependent upon the charitable financial support of their brethren overseas, as well as the goodwill of the country’s rulers.
Today’s celebrity charity work has deep historical roots. In the 1880s and 1890s, the stars of fin-de-siècle London’s fashionable stage culture—particularly the women—transformed theatre’s connection with fundraising. They refreshed, remolded, and reenergized celebrity charity work at a time when organized benevolence and women’s public roles were also being transformed. In the process, actresses established a model and set of practices that persist today among the stars of both London’s West End and Hollywood.
In the late nineteenth century, theatre’s fundraising for charitable causes shifted from male-dominated and private to female-directed and public. Although elite women had long been involved in such enterprises, they took on more authority in this period. At the same time, regular, high-profile public charity events became more important and much more visible than private philanthropy. Actresses became key figures in making the growing number of large and heavily publicized fundraisers successful. By 1920, the attitude was “Get an actress first. If you can’t get an actress, then get a duchess.” Actresses’ star power, their ability to orchestrate large events quickly, and their skill at performing a kind of genteel extortion made them essential to this model of charity. Actresses also benefited from this new role. Taking a prominent, public, offstage position was crucial in making them, individually and collectively, respectable professionals.
Author Catherine Hindson reveals this history by examining the major types of charity events at the turn of the twentieth century, including fundraising matinees, charity bazaars and costume parties, theatrical tea and garden parties, and benefit performances. Her study concludes with a look at the involvement of actresses in raising funds for British soldiers serving in the Anglo-Boer War and the First World War.
A Nickel and a Prayer
Jane Edna Hunter, Edited by Rhondda Robinson Thomas, with a foreword by Joycelyn Moody West Virginia University Press, 2010 Library of Congress HV3181.H8 2011 | Dewey Decimal 362.8496073092
Virtually unknown outside of her adopted hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Jane Edna Harris Hunter was one of the most influential African American social activists of the early-to mid-twentieth century. In her autobiography A Nickel and a Prayer, Hunter presents an enlightening two-part narrative that recollects her formative years in post-Civil War South and her activist years in Cleveland. First published in 1940, Hunter’s autobiography recalls a childhood filled with the pleasures and pains of family life on the former plantation where her ancestors had toiled, adventures and achievements in schools for African American children, tests and trials during her brief marriage, and recognition and respect while completing nursing training and law school. When sharing the story of her life as an activist, Hunter describes the immense obstacles she overcame while developing an interracial coalition to support the Phillis Wheatley Association and nurturing its growth from a rented home that provided accommodation for twenty-two women to a nine-story building that featured one hundred and thirty-five rooms.
This new and annotated edition of A Nickel and a Prayer includes the final chapter, “Fireside Musings,” that Hunter added to the second, limited printing of her autobiography and an introduction that lauds her as a multifaceted social activist who not only engaged in racial uplift work, but impacted African American cultural production, increased higher education opportunities for women, and invigorated African American philanthropy. This important text restores Jane Edna Harris Hunter to her rightful place among prominent African American race leaders of the twentieth century.
Exhorting people to volunteer is part of the everyday vocabulary of American politics. Routinely, members of both major parties call for partnerships between government and nonprofit organizations. These entreaties increase dramatically during times of crisis, and the voluntary efforts of ordinary citizens are now seen as a necessary supplement to government intervention.
But despite the ubiquity of the idea of volunteerism in public policy debates, analysis of its role in American governance has been fragmented. Bringing together a diverse set of disciplinary approaches, Politics and Partnerships is a thorough examination of the place of voluntary associations in political history and an astute investigation into contemporary experiments in reshaping that role. The essays here reveal the key role nonprofits have played in the evolution of both the workplace and welfare and illuminate the way that government’s retreat from welfare has radically altered the relationship between nonprofits and corporations.
The Poor Belong to Us
Dorothy M. BROWN Harvard University Press, 1997 Library of Congress BX2347.8.P66B76 1997 | Dewey Decimal 361.7508822
Between the Civil War and World War II, Catholic charities evolved from volunteer and local origins into a centralized and professionally trained workforce that played a prominent role in the development of American welfare. Dorothy Brown and Elizabeth McKeown document the extraordinary efforts of Catholic volunteers to care for Catholic families and resist Protestant and state intrusions at the local level, and they show how these initiatives provided the foundation for the development of the largest private system of social provision in the United States.
It is a story tightly interwoven with local, national, and religious politics that began with the steady influx of poor Catholic immigrants into urban centers. Supported by lay organizations and by sympathetic supporters in city and state politics, religious women operated foundling homes, orphanages, protectories, reformatories, and foster care programs for the children of the Catholic poor in New York City and in urban centers around the country.
When pressure from reform campaigns challenged Catholic child care practices in the first decades of the twentieth century, Catholic charities underwent a significant transformation, coming under central diocesan control and growing increasingly reliant on the services of professional social workers. And as the Depression brought nationwide poverty and an overwhelming need for public solutions, Catholic charities faced a staggering challenge to their traditional claim to stewardship of the poor. In their compelling account, Brown and McKeown add an important dimension to our understanding of the transition from private to state social welfare.
Table of Contents:
1. The New York System 2. The Larger Landscape 3. Inside the Institutions: Foundlings, Orphans, Delinquents 4. Outside the Institutions: Pensions, Precaution, Prevention 5. Catholic Charities, the Great Depression, and the New Deal Conclusion
Sources Notes Index
Reviews of this book: [The Poor Belong to Us] raise[s] important questions about American social welfare history. [It] is particularly significant in that it restores Catholic charity to its rightful place at the center of that history. As the authors point out, Catholics represented the majority of dependent and delinquent children in most American cities for much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Their book convincingly demonstrates that Catholic charities' massive efforts to aid their own needy had long-term ramifications for the entire modern American system of welfare provision...The book is an impressive achievement and should be required reading for all social welfare historians. --Susan L. Porter, Journal of American History
Reviews of this book: Brown and McKeown provide a richly documented narrative that incorporates the insights and scholarship of American Catholic history and social history...The Poor Belong to Us represents an ambitious foray into territory within the history of Catholic social activism that has been neglected for too long. It provides an important counterpoise and supplement to the burgeoning scholarship on individual congregations of women religious and the Catholic Worker movement, two area adjacent to this study that have received considerable attention in the past three decades...In The Poor Belong to Us, readers gain a new understanding of the complexities and internal tensions within the world of Catholic social welfare during the century of growth and change chronicled by Brown and McKeown...They show us how, for most American Catholics of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, questions of class and social and economic responsibility can only be understood with reference to the faith, a pervasive yet elusive presence that Brown and McKeown illuminate for us in carefully pruned, contextualized examples from archival sources. --Debra Campbell, Church History
Reviews of this book: This book documents the role of Catholics in the development of American welfare and shows strong parallels between situations and attitudes prevalent in the 19th century and those common today...Following the enactment of the 1996 welfare reform law, some of these same questions are being raised afresh today...That situation makes Brown and McKeown's historical account timely and relevant...Brown and McKeown neither try to sugarcoat nor to dramatize the role of Catholic charities in American welfare. The story is interesting enough in itself...This is an excellent work...For anyone wanting to better understand the role of Catholic charities in the American welfare system or even the development of charities and welfare in general, it is invaluable. --Diana Etindi, Indianapolis Star
Reviews of this book: Thoroughly researched and meticulous in its reasoning...[this book] shows how Catholic charities helped poor people in America between the 1870s and 1930s...[It] remind[s] us how 'Catholic' poverty seemed for half a century, and how effectively a generation of more prosperous Catholics reacted to it. It also shows how the idea of caring for the poor, for centuries a religious duty, was rapidly secularized in America...The Poor Belong to Us takes its place as a study and reference work of permanent value. --Patrick Allitt, Books and Culture
Reviews of this book: An interesting history of Catholic charitable institutions in the 20th century. The Poor Belong to Us traces the development of Catholic charities from a collection of ill-funded volunteer organizations in the 19th century into the largest private provider of social services in the country. Crisp writing and a keen eye for relevant detail carries the story along nicely...The authors display a deft hand in assembling their material, and impress the reader with their grasp of the large picture as well as the detail. This is a highly readable account of an important element of the history of the Church in America. --Robert Kennedy, National Catholic Register
Reviews of this book: This institutional history is valuable for underscoring the importance of the private sector in American welfare and for adding a Catholic dimension to recent welfare scholarship. --S.L. Piott, Choice
Reviews of this book: Historian Dorothy Brown and theologian Elizabeth McKeown analyze the evolution of Catholic Churches between the Civil War and World War II from its local volunteer origins to a centralized and professionalized workforce that played a prominent role in the development of the American welfare system that is now under attack. In this fascinating contribution to contemporary welfare scholarship, the authors' study is grounded in concerns and care for the children of the poor. --Dorothy Van Soest, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
Political, intellectual, and academic discourse in the United States has been awash in political correctness, which has itself been berated and defended -- yet little understood. As a corrective, Nelson and Greene look at a more general process: adopting political positions to enhance one's reputation for trustworthiness both to others and to oneself.
Phillip Nelson and Kenneth Greene are Professors of Economics in the Department of Economics at the State University of New York, Binghamton.
The philanthropic landscape is changing dramatically as a new generation of wealthy donors seeks to leave its mark on the public sphere. Peter Frumkin reveals in Strategic Giving why these donors could benefit from having a comprehensive plan to guide their giving. And with this thoughtful and timely book, he provides the much-needed framework to understand and develop this kind of philanthropic strategy.
After listening for years to scores of individual and institutional funders discuss the challenges of giving wisely, Frumkin argues here that contemporary philanthropy requires a thorough rethinking of its underlying logic. Philanthropy should be seen, he contends, as both a powerful way to meet public needs and a meaningful way to express private beliefs and commitments. He demonstrates that finding a way to simultaneously fulfill both of these functions is crucial to the survival of philanthropy and its potential to support pluralism in society. And he goes on to identify the five essential elements donors must consider when developing a philanthropic strategy—the vehicle through which giving will flow, the way impact will be achieved, the level of engagement and profile sought, the time frame for giving, and the underlying purpose of the gift. Frumkin’s point is that donors must understand strategic giving as the integration of these five critical dimensions to giving.
Essential reading for donors, researchers, and anyone involved with the world of philanthropy, Strategic Giving provides a new basis for understanding philanthropic effectiveness and a promising new way for philanthropy to achieve the legitimacy that has at times eluded it.
This accessible study examines all the major elements of the nonprofit sector of the economy of the United States —health services, educational and research institutions, religious organizations, social services, arts and cultural organizations, and foundations—describing the institutions and their functions, and then exploring how their benefits are distributed across various economic classes. The book's findings indicate that while few institutions serve primarily the poor, there is no evidence of a gross distribution of benefits upward toward the more affluent. The analysis of this data makes for a book with profound implications for future social and tax policy.