The Crusading Newsman Who Taught Americans to Give to the Poor

In the 1890s, Louis Klopsch’s Christian Herald Insisted That Philanthropy Was Not Only for the Elite, but Was a Duty for Everyday Citizens

On May 10, 1900, the Navy steamship Quito sailed from Brooklyn, New York, to deliver 5,000 tons of corn and seeds to the “starving multitudes” of India. This “great work of rescue” was the brainchild of Louis Klopsch, proprietor of the Christian Herald—the most influential religious newspaper in the United States. Since his purchase of the publication in 1890, the enterprising Klopsch and his editorial partner, the charismatic Brooklyn preacher Thomas De Witt Talmage, had combined scriptural injunctions about charity with emerging technologies of modern journalism—gripping headlines, heartrending reporting, …

The Fabulous Fable of Fabiola’s Scholarship Fund | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Fabulous Fable of Fabiola’s Scholarship Fund

While Rich Californians Paid Bribes to Get Their Kids Into College, a Struggling Sophomore Shares Her Small Windfall

This spring—as federal prosecutors announced a major college admissions scandal that had ensnared wealthy movie stars and prominent Californians, who paid millions in bribes to get their kids into elite …

Frank Capra’s Formula for Taming American Capitalism

It’s a Wonderful Life Prescribed Community and Empathy as the Remedy to a Callous Economic System

From the Gilded Age and until well into the Great Depression, Americans engaged in one of the most consequential debates in the country’s history: how best to address the economic …

The Jewish Immigrant Philanthropist Who Didn’t Like the Word “Charity”

Julius Rosenwald Made Sears a Retail Giant and Used His Wealth to Give the Poor Tools for Upward Mobility

The biography of Julius Rosenwald, one of the most thoughtful and transformative philanthropists in American history, parallels the life experiences of many Jewish immigrant families of the mid-19th century—women and …

We Are the World. We Are the Charity Single.

After the Orlando Shooting, the Musical Staple of 1980s Philanthropy Makes a Comeback

A few years ago I took on a research challenge: to listen to every charity single released in the United Kingdom between December 1984 and the end of 1995. I …

I Dish Out the Food Your Supermarket Can’t Use

My Neighbors Were Going Hungry, So I Got My Local Trader Joe’s to Donate Carloads of Groceries

In the spring of 2009, my teenage daughter and I attended a memorial service in Pasadena, California, followed by a family-style luncheon. After the service, the retired clergyman who had …