DAVID CALLAHAN is founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy. He has written extensively on trends in philanthropy, as well as American culture, public policy and business. David is author, most recently, of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.
Before launching Inside Philanthropy in 2014, David co-founded Demos, the national think tank, where he held various leadership positions and conducted research on a wide range of issues related to economic and political inequality, as well as writing on moral values, professional ethics and business. Previously, David was a resident scholar at the Century Foundation and managing editor of the American Prospect, the public policy journal.
In addition to The Givers, David is the author of seven widely reviewed books on domestic and international issues, including The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead. He has appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs, including major networks and national NPR shows. He has published numerous op-ed and feature articles, including in the New York Times and Washington Post. He has spoken at over 150 universities and associations around the U.S., frequently as a keynote speaker.
David is a graduate of Hampshire College and received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he studied American politics and international relations. David lives in Santa Monica, California.
As another foundation swings behind impact investing in a big way, there are some good reasons to fret about where things are going. Here are a few questions that still need to be worked out.
Trumpism is anathema to the values of philanthropy's first couple, while the administration's policies are a wrecking ball that threatens their foundation's gains. So why aren't they speaking out more forcefully?
A year into Donald Trump's presidency, we take a stock of how this political earthquake has affected the world of philanthropy.
Last week, we looked at what foundations are doing wrong in the fight against rising economic stratification. Now, we turn the spotlight on a foundation that's been doing everything right.
Even as new wealth flows for medical research and name-brand hospitals, basic care for low-income communities tends to fall through the cracks. We explore this disparity in the context of a big grant in L.A.
Does a big gift for "Dreamers" by Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos mark the start of their emergence as active major philanthropists? There are a few reasons to suspect that it does.
In recent years, many foundations have put equity front and center in their work. But economic stratification only seems to be getting worse in America. Here's where funders have gone wrong.
There's a lot going on in philanthropy right now. We cast an eye forward, offering predictions about what lies ahead for the world of giving in 2018.
For years, donors have been complaining that it’s hard to find nonprofits that can absorb very large grants. Now, MacArthur hasn't just made its own $100 million bet. It's teed up a whole bunch of other well-vetted ideas.
It's not just that the bill will increase the dominance of wealthy donors over civil society by reducing giving by ordinary Americans. It will also lead to more government cuts, with private givers filling the void left behind.
Two years after the founding of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, there's a lot to like about the couple's giving, including their risky push into advocacy. Less appealing is their embrace of an uncritical techno-optimism.
By now, it's a familiar story: funders feeling compelled to change tactics by the rise of Donald Trump. For some, like Propel Capital, that's meant backing hard-hitting grassroots activism in new and bolder ways.
Amid a fresh onslaught of attacks on the Clinton Foundation, it's a good moment to look at how the shadowy world of elite philanthropy often draws suspicion—and what dangers may lie ahead for the sector.
The House tax reform bill is the most sweeping attack on private charity in decades. To understand it, you need to look at how a tribal and libertarian right has come to view the nonprofit sector as an enemy.
Top donors are mainly guided by their relationships and instincts as opposed to research or metrics. These are among the findings of a new must-read study about this elite group.
News of a hidden $8 billion foundation based offshore in Bermuda underscores just how opaque the world of big philanthropy really is. What other surprises may be coming?
A new academic journal on education and philanthropy, launching this week, stands out in a field with little peer-reviewed scholarship. But will it be able to win respect in the ivory tower?
While few top U.S. foundations are paying attention to a campaign of genocidal violence in Myanmar, a cadre of small and determined grantmakers are deeply engaged in this crisis.
Giving by the wealthy is growing even as ordinary Americans are giving less, a trend that mirrors broader patterns of inequality in the U.S. How does this imbalance affect civil society?
Improving America’s schools has been something of a Holy Grail for funders—as well as a graveyard for ambitious philanthropic schemes. Lately, this funding field has been changing at warp speed.
Six weeks after the New America Foundation ousted a project that criticized Google, it's an open question whether dissenting voices that challenge the power of big tech can find the funding they need.
In a major shift, the Gates Foundation will focus on supporting locally driven K-12 solutions—embracing an idea that animated the Annenberg Challenge of the 1990s. Is the era of top-down K-12 reform coming to a close?
A large country like the U.S. will always have people with fringe viewpoints. But given the way that money can now buy influence and access, it's easier for extremists to shape public life. Robert Mercer is Exhibit A.
While a massive infusion of new wealth into OSF isn't expected to change its grantmaking in the near-term, the news underscores the earthquake in modern philanthropy as living donors write (much) bigger checks.
The giant bank has become a surprising leader in philanthropy's push for inclusive economic growth. We take a deep dive into the backstory—and what JPMorgan brings to the table that's new.
With the news that Zuck will soon begin to sell off millions of shares in Facebook, billions of dollars are set to flow to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. How will these funds be used?
It’s been cool to see a top foundation throw open its doors to any and all ideas, as MacArthur has done with its offer of a single $100 million grant. But this drawn out competition has also sent a wrong message.
The Facebook co-founder and his wife are expanding their policy agenda, moving into new and controversial issues, including criminal justice reform and housing. Where's the money flowing?
Ted Turner's $1 billion pledge to U.N. causes in 1997 ushered in a new era of big philanthropy. Twenty years later, we look at what this gift achieved.
Chris Stone is out as president of OSF. What led to his departure from one of the world's largest foundations? And what challenges, internal and external, does OSF face as it confronts a new era of authoritarianism?