“Conservatism & the Future of Tax-Incentivized Big Philanthropy: A Symposium”

Report of the Giving Review's online symposium in February 2023

All contributions to The Giving Review online symposium, which have been published here during the past weeks, are now compiled in one printable document, “Conservatism and the Future of Tax-Incentivized Big Philanthropy.”

The symposium is meant to earnestly and meaningfully explore conservatism’s past and future relationships with the country’s philanthropic establishment, which is overwhelmingly predominantly progressive, in our view.

Its contributors include some from squarely within conservatism and others who have respect for it. They are Jeffrey Cain, Joanne Florino, Craig Kennedy, Joel Kotkin, Julius Krein, and Michael Lind.

The exercise raises what we think are hard questions, sometimes uncomfortably including self-critical ones. Implicitly or explicitly, in fact, various contributions criticize the grantmaking of the foundation for which we all once worked, this website that we all now co-edit, and a nonprofit organization of which one of us was once a visiting fellow.

It begins to offer what is maybe a little bit wider range of proposed potential answers than heretofore considered. We hope others may expand upon and develop them even more—as conservatism itself undergoes its continuing, uncomfortable redefinition and refinement—moving forward.

We think and hope the “Conservatism and the Future of Tax-Incentivized Big Philanthropy” effort will help better inform ongoing debate and discussion about what Big Philanthropy is doing in, and to, America—and what could and should perhaps be done, including by enlivened conservatives, about it.

This article originally appeared in the Giving Review on February 23, 2023.

Michael E. Hartmann

Michael E. Hartmann is CRC’s senior fellow and director of the Center for Strategic Giving, providing analysis of and commentary about philanthropy and giving. He…
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