How Philanthropy Has Developed in the USA

A paper written by The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) and published by the Kaifeng Foundation explains how philanthropy has developed in the USA, highlights lessons learned and gives insights into the current context of giving.

In the USA there are over 76,000 foundations. Their combined assets are worth over half a trillion dollars and they give away around 47 billion dollars each year. The paper suggests that philanthropy is intrinsic to American DNA and that the roots of today’s wealthy foundations are linked to the attitudes of American society in its earliest days of colonization.

The paper divides the evolution of American philanthropy into four eras:

  1. 19th century – sectarian and narrow purpose;
  2. 1900-1950 – secular and institution building
  3. 1950-1990 – search for strategy and relevance;
  4. 1900-today – diversity, innovation and effectiveness;

And finally the link to the entire report.

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How Philanthropy Has Developed in the USA

by Rogier Want time to read: 1 min