Philanthropy, Politics, and Democracy


“Charitable giving” is often seen as an unmitigated good—but a lot of foundation giving can also be a subsidized way for wealthy individuals to influence politics. Are foundations good for democracy? What are some of the greatest successes of philanthropy, and why? How does philanthropic giving differ between conservatives and progressives, and how has that shaped American politics? How does the system of philanthropy in America compare to the way philanthropy has developed in other countries? How is American political giving changing with the increasing role of small donations? This seminar will discuss these questions and others, and will also feature some practitioners as guest speakers.

Please visit the Office of the Registrar for more information about this course.