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Sweet Charity: American Giving Viewed from Abroad

A recent speaking trip to Australia reminds us how unusual U.S. philanthropy is

Sweet Charity: The Backlash Against School Reform

Enemies of innovation have got the upper hand right now. Here’s a Throwback Thursday reminder of why that’s not good—and won’t last.

Sweet Charity: Some Common Criticisms of Philanthropy Part 2

Some common criticisms of philanthropy…and a few quick answers. Part 2 of three podcasts.

Sweet Charity: Albert Lexie and the Power of Small Givers

What can a shoeshiner teach us about philanthropy? Lots. Including that little gifts accumulate into big effects.

Sweet Charity: Gem of a Donation

A great natural wonder and object of beauty is preserved by a generous couple.

Sweet Charity: Medical Progress and Private Money

Wherever the health sciences are progressing fastest today, it’s often donated money that is pushing the frontier.

Sweet Charity: Secret Codes & Philanthropy

America’s world-leading expertise in code-making and code-breaking grows out of a charitable project, believe it or not.

Sweet Charity: Reinventing Public Universities

Philanthropy can have a leading role in pulling state-run colleges away from bureaucracy and low standards.

Sweet Charity: Arts Philanthropy in the North Woods Part II

Is giving money to art elitist, even irresponsible, in a world with many pressing needs? (Part TWO of two podcasts)

Sweet Charity: Arts Philanthropy in the North Woods Part I

Is giving money to art elitist, even irresponsible, in a world with many pressing needs? (Part ONE of two podcasts)

Sweet Charity: Magical Fountains

When Pierre DuPont created one of the great public gardens in America, he—and then, later, his philanthropic successors—installed the most magical fountains of the age.

Sweet Charity: Questions About Overseas Giving

Part Two from a recent Carnegie Corporation forum—answering questions about donations to foreign lands.

Sweet Charity: Big Questions in Philanthropy and Politics

A recent forum of the Carnegie Corporation asked about philanthropy and politics. Here are some responses.

Sweet Charity: Donors Anonymous

There are efforts afoot to end unnamed giving. That would crimp charity and damage personal freedom.

Sweet Charity: Land Trusts Preserve Nature by Nurturing Owners

Using respect and cooperation instead of confrontation has made nonprofit conservancies the fastest growing part of the conservation movement.

Sweet Charity: Inventing a New Kind of City

Henry Segerstrom used a high mix of philanthropy and business to turn lima-bean fields into an urban village.

Sweet Charity: The SPLC Calls Names

The Southern Poverty Law Center hasn’t contributed anything to law or poverty for a generation. Instead it’s become a political attack group and fundraising scam.

Sweet Charity: Our Parks Bloom

We're in the midst of a huge renaissance of urban parks--which is in turn feeding the return to city life. Thank philanthropic invention.

Sweet Charity: The Getty Museums

Even flawed donors can make brilliant gifts. Here’s a magnificent example.

Sweet Charity: Animating Character

Sometimes a gift takes you to an unexpected place. Even into a cartoon world.

Sweet Charity: Cottage Industry

Without any public money, a group of donors took it upon themselves to revive a crucial site of American history—the cottage where Abraham Lincoln lived and labored for a quarter of his Presidency.

Sweet Charity: Presidential Homes

Mount Vernon, Montpelier, Monticello. Completely apart from the fact that they were homes of Presidents, these three historic properties have one crucial thing in common. Come find out what it is.

Sweet Charity: Lifting The Kidney Death Sentence

It was a grocery-store fortune that brought dialysis and kidney transplants to the public. For the 700,000 Americans currently alive despite kidney failure, that was a very big gift.

Sweet Charity: To Create a Mockingbird

A true-life Christmas story about how some very personal philanthropy gave America one of its most beloved books.

Sweet Charity: The Dinosaur Discoverer

The iconoclastic paleontologist Jack Horner has a perfect partnership with the independent-minded donors who have made his freewheeling discoveries possible.

Sweet Charity: Franklin Olin College of Engineering

An industrialist’s fortune was used to invent a remarkably different kind of school.

Sweet Charity: Art Prize

If I told you that the art exhibition receiving the highest attendance in the world takes place every year in America's 123rd largest city, what would you say?

Sweet Charity: Tiffany Treasures

Guess where the greatest trove of stained glass and other masterpieces created by America’s superb craftsman Louis Comfort Tiffany is located? No, it’s not his hometown of New York. And there’s a reason for that.

Sweet Charity: Donation of Philmont Scout Ranch

One of the pioneers of our oil and gas industry loved the mountain wilderness so much he gave away a big chunk of it so young American Boy Scouts could test themselves at high altitudes.

Sweet Charity: Great Telescopes

The next generation of super-instruments is also being sparked today by private giving.

Sweet Charity: Founding Funders

Sometimes donors create something bigger than a program or new institution. On the occasion you’re about to hear described, they helped create a new nation.

Sweet Charity: Science in the Living Room

Listen to how private funders are making science more flexible and productive.

Sweet Charity: Don't Cripple Vets With "Help"

We all know you can do more harm than good by handing things to people. You may not realize, though, that one group seriously at risk in this area today is veterans.

Sweet Charity: Anti-Slavery Philanthropists Got Bullied, But Persevered

Within hours of founding a national charity to battle American slavery, the major donors became targets of a huge riot. They refused to back down.

Sweet Charity: Millions Go Back to College

A large army of donors have made colleges and universities America’s second-favorite charitable cause. Alumni are only a minor part.

Sweet Charity: Giving Helps the Giver

We all know charity helps recipients. Did you know it also helps the donor?

Sweet Charity: Books for the Blind

For most of history, the enormous repository of human knowledge represented by books was out of reach for the blind. But a pair of donors changed this forever.

Sweet Charity: Taking on America’s Drinking Problem

The temperance crusade against alcohol abuse is commonly viewed as a giant puritanical failure. The common view is wrong. Learn why.

Sweet Charity: Anyone Can Be a Philanthropist

Oseola McCarty’s life had a raw beginning, but this humble washerwoman knew how to work and how to save, and had a generous heart that taught all Americans that anyone can give.

Sweet Charity: Saving the Whooping Crane

By transporting eggs, breeding new generations, and teaching birds how to migrate, philanthropists are bringing America’s largest birds back from the brink of extinction.

Sweet Charity: Don't Discount the Ice Bucket Challenge

Did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge actually accomplish anything? A prominent researcher decided to set the record straight—on the same day he announced a major breakthrough in understanding the disease, and clinical trials for new treatments.

Sweet Charity: Lifting Robert Goddard Into Space

Robert Goddard was one of the geniuses of the twentieth century, and the man who more than anyone is responsible for the U.S. being today’s leader in aeronautics and space. But he almost got lost to history.

Sweet Charity: Saving Negro Spirituals

Edward “Ned” McIlhenny helped save an endangered species: the Negro spiritual.