On Philanthropy & Civic Engagement

Listen & Watch

  “The Battle Over Guns in America: What’s Changed?” + Short Take. Ways & Means podcast, September 2020. (Discusses role of big donors in gun violence prevention movement.)

“The Promise and Peril of Philanthropy in a Polarized World.” Opening Plenary, ARNOVA Annual Conference, San Diego, November 2019.

The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age. In Conversation with David Callahan, New America Foundation, Washington, April 26, 2017.

Money Talks: Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture & Scholarly Symposium (January 2015)

Thoughts After Serving as Panelist for U.S. Senate Debate, October 2014.


“Our Policy Plutocrats.” franknews, May 25, 2021.

“Foundations and Their Interests” (with Jeffrey M. Berry). HistPhil, November 14, 2018.

“Are Foundations Part of the Resistance? Challenges to Elite Donors in a Neo-Populist Age” (with Jeffrey M. Berry). HistPhil, May 26, 2017. 

In an Age of Populism and Government Failure, Elite “Policy Plutocrats” Are Playing an Increasing Role in Remaking Society” LSE US Centre Blog, April 1, 2017.

“Picking Up the Pieces: What Bush Needs to Do Now – Restore Faith in Civic Action” (with Robert D. Putnam), Newsday, December 17, 2000. 

It’s About Time: Who has time to enjoy family life, connect with the community or be an active citizen? In this work-driven society, it’s everyone for themselves” (with Robert D. Putnam), San Francisco Chronicle, September 24, 2000.

In The News

 “Can Philanthropy’s Anti-Democratic Strains Be Tamed?” Nonprofit Quarterly, November 22, 2019.

“The Koch Foundation Is Flooding Colleges With Money.” Buzzfeed, February 6, 2018.

“Beware the Bearer of Big Gifts.” The Chronicle of Philanthropy, February 7, 2017.

In a New Golden Age of Philanthropy Scholarship Dawning? Don’t Count on It,” Inside Philanthropy, July 29, 2016. (Kudos for our Symposium.)

“The Tricky Thing About Studying the Politics of Philanthropy,” MonkeyCage blog, The Washington Post, July 26, 2016. (On the PS: Political Science and Politics Symposium that I edited.)

League of Women Voters Lauded for Student Outreach,” InsideNOVA/Sun Gazette (Arlington), June 24, 2016.

Arlington to Host Naturalization Ceremonies for Thousands of New U.S. Citizens,” ArlNow, August 17, 2012.

Public Talks & Briefings

“How American Women’s Groups Gained, Lost…& Are Regaining their Public Voice.” Panelist, Women’s Empowerment and Leadership, Junior Leagues of NC, March 16, 2021.

 “How American Women’s Groups Gained, Lost…& Are Regaining their Public Voice.” Keynote Address. “Since Suffrage” Symposium, Auburn University, October 23, 2020.

 “Donors for Democracy: If Elites Are the Problem, Can They Be a Solution?” American Politics Workshop, University of Chicago, December 10, 2019.

 “The Promises and Perils of Philanthropy in a Polarized World.” Plenary (with Erica Kohl-Arenas and Rob Reich), 48th  Annual ARNOVA Conference, San Diego, November 21, 2019.

“The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.” In Conversation with David Callahan. New America Foundation, Washington. April 26, 2017.

“Movements & Women: Complexities, Challenges, Opportunities.” Symposium on Women, Philanthropy, and Civil Society. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Chicago. March 14, 2017.

“Empowerment in Practice: Influencing Public Policy.” US Department of State/Mongolia, Washington, January 5, 2012.

“Altruism & Ambivalence: How America Celebrates, Channels, and Constrains Its Benevolent Spirit.” Invited plenary address before the Conference on Contemporary European Perspectives on Volunteering, Ersta Skondal University College, Stockholm, 10 September 2008