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
In Civic Gifts, Elisabeth S. Clemens takes a singular approach to probing the puzzle that is the United States. How, she asks, did a powerful state develop within an anti-statist political culture? How did a sense of shared nationhood develop despite the linguistic, religious, and ethnic differences among settlers and, eventually, citizens? Clemens reveals that an important piece of the answer to these questions can be found in the unexpected political uses of benevolence and philanthropy, practices of gift-giving and reciprocity that coexisted uneasily with the self-sufficient independence expected of liberal citizens Civic Gifts focuses on the power of gifts not only to mobilize communities throughout US history, but also to create new forms of solidarity among strangers. Clemens makes clear how, from the early Republic through the Second World War, reciprocity was an important tool for eliciting both the commitments and the capacities needed to face natural disasters, economic crises, and unprecedented national challenges. Encompassing a range of endeavors from the mobilized voluntarism of the Civil War, through Community Chests and the Red Cross to the FDR-driven rise of the March of Dimes, Clemens shows how voluntary efforts were repeatedly articulated with government projects. The legacy of these efforts is a state co-constituted with, as much as constrained by, civil society.
The United States is distinctive among Western countries in its reliance on nonprofit institutions to perform major social functions. This reliance is rooted in American history and is fostered by federal tax provisions for charitable giving. In this study, Charles T. Clotfelter demonstrates that changes in tax policy—effected through legislation or inflation—can have a significant impact on the level and composition of giving.
Clotfelter focuses on empirical analysis of the effects of tax policy on charitable giving in four major areas: individual contributions, volunteering, corporate giving, and charitable bequests. For each area, discussions of economic theory and relevant tax law precede a review of the data and methodology used in econometric studies of charitable giving. In addition, new econometric analyses are presented, as well as empirical data on the effect of taxes on foundations.
While taxes are not the most important determinant of contributions, the results of the analyses presented here suggest that charitable deductions, as well as tax rates and other aspects of the tax system, are significant factors in determining the size and distribution of charitable giving. This work is a model for policy-oriented research efforts, but it also supplies a major (and very timely) addition to the evidence that must inform future proposals for tax reform.
Habitat for Humanity®, a grassroots house-building ministry founded in 1976 by evangelical Christians, is one of the best-known and most widely popular nonprofit organizations in operation today. With approximately 1500 local Habitat affiliates in the United States and more than 85,000 homes primarily by mobilizing concerned citizens, who include about 250,000 American volunteers each year.
The author tells the story of Habitat's development and the special fervor it evokes among volunteers and those for whom it builds houses. Through interviews with staff, he also provides a look into the organizational dynamics of Habitat, a non-profit whose religious mission for social change is inevitably affected by the instrumental, bottom-line orientation of the state and the market.
Baggett argues that Habitat is an examine of a particular social form of religion, the paradenominational organization, that is uniquely adapted to the climate of the modern world. It is one of the vital forms that voluntarism takes today.
Alexis de Tocqueville was among the first to draw attention to Americans’ propensity to form voluntary associations—and to join them with a fervor and frequency unmatched anywhere in the world. For nearly two centuries, we have sought to understand how and why early nineteenth-century Americans were, in Tocqueville’s words, “forever forming associations.” In The Making of Tocqueville’s America, Kevin Butterfield argues that to understand this, we need to first ask: what did membership really mean to the growing number of affiliated Americans?
Butterfield explains that the first generations of American citizens found in the concept of membership—in churches, fraternities, reform societies, labor unions, and private business corporations—a mechanism to balance the tension between collective action and personal autonomy, something they accomplished by emphasizing law and procedural fairness. As this post-Revolutionary procedural culture developed, so too did the legal substructure of American civil society. Tocqueville, then, was wrong to see associations as the training ground for democracy, where people learned to honor one another’s voices and perspectives. Rather, they were the training ground for something no less valuable to the success of the American democratic experiment: increasingly formal and legalistic relations among people.
Individuals who are civically active have three things in common: they have the capacity to do so, they want to, and they have been asked to participate. New Advances in the Study of Civic Voluntarism is dedicated to examining the continued influence of these factors—resources, engagement, and recruitment—on civic participation in the twenty-first century.
The contributors to this volume examine recent social, political, technological, and intellectual changes to provide the newest research in the field. Topics range from race and religion to youth in the digital age, to illustrate the continued importance of understanding the role of the everyday citizen in a democratic society.
Contributors include:Molly Andolina, Allison P. Anoll, Leticia Bode, Henry E. Brady, Traci Burch, Barry C. Burden, Andrea Louise Campbell, David E. Campbell, Sara Chatfield, Stephanie Edgerly, Zoltán Fazekas, Lisa García Bedoll, Peter K. Hatemi, John Henderson, Krista Jenkins, Yanna Krupnikov, Adam Seth Levine, Melissa R. Michelson, S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Dinorah Sánchez Loza, Kay Lehman Schlozman, Dhavan Shah, Sono Shah, Kjerstin Thorson, Sidney Verba, Logan Vidal, Emily Vraga, Chris Wells, JungHwan Yang, and the editor.
More than one million nonprofit or voluntary organizations have been incorporated in the United States, and there are countless others throughout the world. Although they range in size and purpose from small social clubs to large and complex organizations such as universities and hospitals, they all have one thing in common: a board of directors of some type. What these boards do varies as much as the organizations themselves.
The New Effective Voluntary Board of Directors provides clear answers, illustrated with graphics, to previously ambiguous and bewildering questions, such as definitions of policy, the function of boards, the role of board members, and many other issues.
Dealing with the delicate balance in nonprofit organizations, the legal implications of serving on a board, the nonprofit leadership and management model, and other matters of concern, William Conrad applies his lifelong experience to providing a comprehensive, practical, and concise tool for those involved in the unique challenges associated with the leadership and management of nonprofit and voluntary groups.
With nearly 30,000 copies of earlier editions of this work in print, Swallow Press is pleased to publish the new, updated, and revised edition of this classic in its field.
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.
State of Giving is at once an authoritative overview of Oregon’s toughest challenges and a
much-needed manifesto for greater civic engagement. Chaillé and Anderson highlight the crucial
role that nonprofits play as pillars of Oregon’s civic structure through their engaging profiles of
the charismatic civic leaders, grassroots organizations, donors, and volunteers who are working
to combat some of Oregon’s most enduring problems, including:
• Education Inequity
• Environmental Conservation
• Social Inequity and Discrimination
• Hunger and Homelessness
• The Urban/Rural Divide
• Arts, Culture, and Heritage Funding
Traversing the state from a remote Great Basin field station to an intercultural center in north
Portland, State of Giving shows the many faces of public engagement in people like education
activist Ron Herndon, volunteer historians Gwen Carr and Willie Richardson, and Wallowa
County philanthropist and rancher Doug McDaniel. Their stories reveal that there are ways
in which we all—regardless of wealth, location, age, or background—can give back to our
In addition to introducing Oregon’s key areas of need and demonstrating diverse pathways
into civic engagement, the book provides extensive resources for prospective volunteers and
donors. Rousing, accessible, and enlivened by photographs of its people and places, State of Giving
is an essential reference for anyone interested in building a better Oregon, starting today.
The rise and decline of American civic life has provoked wide-ranging responses from all quarters of society. Unfortunately, many proposals for improving our communities rely on renewed governmental efforts without a similar recognition that the inflexibility and poor accountability of governments have often worsened society's ills. The Voluntary City investigates the history of large-scale, private provision of social services, the for-profit provision of urban infrastructure and community governance, and the growing privatization of residential life in the United States to argue that most decentralized, competitive markets can contribute greatly to community renewal.
Among the fascinating topics covered are: how mutual-aid societies in America, Great Britain, and Australia provided their members with medical care, unemployment insurance, sickness insurance, and other social services before the welfare state; how private law, known historically as the law merchant, is returning in the form of arbitration; and why the rise of neighborhood associations represents the most comprehensive privatization occurring in the United States today.
The volume concludes with an epilogue that places the discoveries of The Voluntary City within the theory of market and government failure and discusses the implications of these discoveries for theories about the private provision of public goods. A refreshing challenge to the position that insists government alone can improve community life, The Voluntary City will be of special interest to students of history, law, urban life, economics, and government.
David T. Beito is Associate Professor of History, University of Alabama. Peter Gordon is Professor in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development and Department of Economics, University of Southern California. Alexander Tabarrok is Vice President and Research Director, the Independent Institute.