How Does History Inform Current Philanthropic Practice?

Monday, April 2, 2012 -
2:45pm to 5:00pm EDT
Philanthropy New York, 4th Floor, 79 Fifth Avenue, NYC.
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What can 21st-century practitioners learn from the annals of American philanthropy? As the Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Ford foundations celebrate 100, 99, and 75 years of service respectively, pausing to reflect upon the role and practice of philanthropy seems especially apt.
In Philanthropy in America: A History*, Olivier Zunz chronicles the evolution of philanthropic practice over the last century and examines the cultural, social,  and historical underpinnings of modern philanthropic practice. With his focus on the close relationship between private giving and public affairs, the social initiatives of the past emerge as a foreshadowing of contemporary philanthropic interests.
Join Professor Zunz and a panel of eminent practitioners as they critically assess the past in search of insights for the present. 


  • How a globalized philanthropic world has changed the nature of cooperation and collaboration
  • How foundation staff roles have changed over the years and how program staff-grantee relations have developed
  • A variety of ways in which historical documents offer contemporary insights
Part of Philanthropy New York's Thought Leader Series.


Daniel M. Fox, President Emeritus, Milbank Memorial Fund
David Morse (Moderator), Senior Fellow with Civic Ventures, retired Vice President for Communications, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Patricia L. Rosenfield, Carnegie Scholar in Residence, Rockefeller Archive Center
Barbara Shubinski, Rockefeller Foundation Centennial Research Fellow
Olivier Zunz, Commonwealth Professor of History at the University of Virginia

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All interested funders.