Two Cheers for Philanthropy

Leslie Lenkowsky, "Two Cheers for Philanthropy," Philanthropy, Winter 2010.


In philanthropy as in much else of American life, however, the 1960s challenged older patterns. For foundations, this meant that efforts to change public policy, empower minorities, and foster judicial activism, among other causes, became more attractive. They began to view themselves as a “third sector,” independent of both business and government. (As Kristol admonished his audience, “You’re not above the private sector, by God, you’re in it.”) An influx of staff drawn from an increasingly radicalized academia buttressed this stance. When the Council on Foundations moved its headquarters from America’s business center, New York, to its political center, Washington, in 1979, it seemed to reflect the change in self-perception.