Conservative Unorthodoxy

…very few of the substantial conservative foundations today are governed by anything like the broad, encompassing vision that characterized its leaders three decades ago, or are moved to act by a careful, balanced, thoughtful survey of the full range of economic, cultural, political, moral and religious factors that must work together for the conservative movement to prosper over the long term.

So writes Conversations on Philanthropy contributing editor William Schambra today at Philanthropy Daily.   Schambra laments that conservative foundations, toeing closer to the tight delineation of donor intent are less free “to experiment with daring, unorthodox initiatives or institutions that might advance conservatism broadly understood.”    Schambra also alludes to the problem of the increasing professionalization of philanthropy, a topic on which he has long been a leading voice and with which I have also been concerned.

If any donors out there want to prove him wrong:  The Philanthropic Enterprise has several initiatives underway exploring these and similar matters, and we are on the market for philanthropic supporters. We also have a substantial journal, published annually since 2004, that we are working to expand.   These projects were initiated a decade ago by a visionary supporter who shared the broad interests, insightfulness, and experimental ethos Schambra attributes to those who were the chefs during the “salad days of the Olin/Scaife/Bradley/Smith Richardson foundations.”    We’ll welcome your inquiries!