Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


America has a unique tradition of philanthropy. Wealthy benefactors have created some of our most notable institutions for health, education and the arts. The level of philanthropic giving has been consistently high yet the tradition of giving has taken many shapes and assumes several forms today. One of the most interesting and currently debated forms of charitable giving is money directed towards social change or the achievement of a certain social agenda. Money is given today to support or stall legal abortions, racial integration, and a host of other social issues. This paper will examine the tradition of giving in the United States, compare current controversy to concerns of the past, and uncover the method, and morality of leadership in contemporary giving. We will see that philanthropic leadership has shifted from an elitist and authoritarian model of the late 19th century to a more inclusive and participative contemporary model.