July 8, 2015
From the President

Summer 2015 Reading for Philanthropists

By Hilary Pearson

As you head off for summer holidays, or simply clear your desks for a little catch up reading on philanthropy issues and topics that you have not had time for in the busy season, I offer some timely suggestions for summer philanthropy reading. Enjoy the break!

  • The Summer 2015 Issue of Lapham’s Quarterly is devoted to Philanthropy. A challenging and diverse set of essays, conversations, historical quotes, charts, maps and miscellany on philanthropy, in the unique and iconoclastic style of this magazine.
  • HistPhil – A new and very thoughtful American blog site on the history of organized philanthropy, with a particular emphasis on how history can shed light on contemporary philanthropic issues and practice. The editors note that in founding and editing this blog, they hope to “foster discussion and debate on the sector with a more humanistic orientation than is often found in much of the current discourse.” Starting in mid-June with a discussion of the state of the field, the editors will continue on to discuss such topics as “philanthropy and democracy,” “philanthropy and education,” “the African American experience and philanthropy,” and “philanthropy and the environment.”  This month, the site features a dialogue with Larry Kramer, president of the Hewlett Foundation, on the role of philanthropy in a democracy.
  • Strategic Philanthropy and its Discontents – if you didn’t get a chance to read this very long essay by Paul Brest on barriers to the practice of strategic philanthropy, as reprinted in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, now is your opportunity. I particularly recommend reading the responses to this piece by some of the most thoughtful American commentators writing on philanthropy today
  • Time to Review the Top Ten Philanthropy Blogs? We gave you a list of top philanthropy blogs back in February. If you have been waiting for the right time to spend an hour or two working through them, here is our list again.
  • Don’t forget The Philanthropist, Canada’s own philanthropy journal, featuring right now a thoughtful and timely series on philanthropy and indigenous peoples in Canada. scroll back to see posts and articles on cross-border philanthropy, and philanthropy focused on children and youth.
  • Finally, others also have the summer reading list in mind. Project Streamline from the Grant Managers Network (GMN) has put together a rerun of its “golden oldies” – helpful ideas, practices and tips to make grantmaking and grantseeking better and more efficient.

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