Comments and Reviews
- Philanthropy Reconsidered was for me one of the most delightful reading experiences in quite a long time. McCully offers a unique combination of humanist scholarship as a European historian and the realism of a seasoned practitioner who founded and led the Massachusetts Catalogue for Philanthropy for the past dozen years. The book reflects this dual perspective and is a unique and useful combination of scholarship and practical insight. Grounding philanthropy not only in the usual historical and religious reference points, he brings in recent research on the Greek mythology of Prometheus in a most fascinating and convincing way. His treatment of the American revolution in philanthropic terms as a gift to the world is simply stunning in its originality. Reading the future is always risky, but his account of the rebirth/renaissance of a 21st century paradigm of philanthropy has the ring of plausibility and will offer the reader a generous gift of wisdom, insight and practical guidance.
- Roger Lohmann, Prof. Univ. W. VA,
- Former Editor, Journal for Non-Profit Management & Leadership
- I really appreciated this book because rather than claiming that philanthropy should just be about love (as some people claim when they dismiss metrics) or just about results (as some people do when they dismiss the role of emotion) George charted the compelling history of philanthropy in a way that reconciled the two most important aspects of this field—values and benefits.
- Sean Stannard-Stockton, Tactical Philanthropy Blog
- This is a very thoughtful and inspiring book about the culture of philanthropy in the United States. McCully's discussion on the radical roots of philanthropy found in the American Revolution and what he convincingly describes as a paradigm shift in philanthropy today are especially important contributions. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the nature of philanthropy in the United States past and present.
- Angela M. Eikenberry, Managing Editor, Administrative Theory & Praxis
- Assistant Professor, School Public Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha
- Armed with a formidable historical perspective, McCully distills the new paradigm of philanthropy (which he says is still emerging) with a clarity and completeness that will enlighten and energize readers.
- Peter Lowy, Editor, massnonprofit.org
- An extremely thought-provoking book for any current or aspiring philanthropist. Whether you are a scholar, a student, a donor, a board member, a politician, or an employee of a nonprofit, you will certainly come away with a much better understanding of the philanthropic sector. The history of philanthropy is extremely interesting, as are the sections where he explains how we got stuck in the "Old Paradigm" way of thinking. There are also practical implications for the future of philanthropy, for the philanthropic sector, and for our nation. This is a 'must-read' for anyone interested in this subject.
- Heather Jack, Mass Nonprofit Support Services
- Whether you work in the world of philanthropy or are considering philanthropy's role in your life, this book presents an historical perspective that is insightful and instructive, along with a new paradigm to better understand the future of charitable giving in our culture.
- Joe Bergantino, New England Center for Investigative Reporting
- Boston University
- Philanthropy Reconsidered is one of the most beautiful monographs on what it means to be human that I have ever read.
- Tyler Emerson, Long Hope Project, San Francisco, CA
About The Book
Private Initiatives | Public Good | Quality of Life
A Catalogue for Philanthropy Publication (2008)
"A re-interpretation and strategic overview of philanthropy—its meaning and values, greatest accomplishments, current transformations, and future directions—based on close analysis of historical sources, and 25 years' practical experience in all aspects of philanthropy."
“Philanthropy Reconsidered” Table of Contents
- Chapter I:
- Promethean Fire: the Archetype
- From its first coinage in ancient Greece, in Prometheus Bound, philanthropia meant "the love of humanity", or of what it is to be human, an educational and cultural ideal
- Chapter II:
- Philanthropy's Finest Hour: the American Revolution
- The Revolution as philanthropy in action—how Classical philanthropy working through voluntary associations produced a "purportedly philanthropic nation," a gift to mankind, to improve the human condition, created by and for philanthropy
- Chapter III:
- Philanthropy Yesterday and Today
- How 20th-century growth and professionalization made philanthropy paradigmatic, but neglected Classical values, and how we are now in a paradigm-shift, in which philanthropy is being thoroughly transformed
- Chapter IV:
- The Future of Philanthropy
- How the paradigm-shift analysis illuminates issues facing Old Paradigm institutions, and current trends suggesting a probable future
- Chapter V:
- Philanthropy Reborn
- How a possible New Paradigm, uniting Classical ideals with Internet-based operations, might benefit donors, grantmakers, philanthropic advisors, trustees, executive directors, scholars, media journalists, teachers and students, as well as civic, religious and political leaders
- Appendix I:
- Case Study: the Catalogue for Philanthropy in Massachusetts
- Exemplifies the current paradigm-shift
- Appendix II:
- A Taxonomic Tree of Philanthropy
- A donor-friendly presentation of how the fields of philanthropy constitute a coherent whole
- Appendix III:
- Bibliographical Notes
- Suggested further readings