American Foundations

Roles and Contributions

Helmut K. Anheier,

American Foundations: Roles and Contributions
"American Foundations" represents the most comprehensive effort to date to assess the impact and significance of philanthropic foundations in the United States. Unlike operating charities such as schools, hospitals, and museums, grantmaking foundations enjoy exceptional independence. They also control substantial assets, amounting in 2007 to nearly $500 billion. Yet relatively little is known about their effect on American life. This book fills that void. Is American society different because of the existence of foundations? If so, why? What roles have foundations played in the course of U.S. history? What distinctive roles do they fill today, and what roles will foundations play in the future? How are rising incomes, the expansion of government, the growth of nonprofit organizations, changing religious and public values, and globalization shaping foundations' efforts?

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