Philanthropic Foundations, U.S.

Philanthropic foundations and other large grantmaking agencies have had a substantial impact on the development of higher education in the U.S. Indeed, donors and their foundations have provided needed resources and conferred legitimacy to the sector, directing investments used for establishing entirely new colleges and universities, promoting standardization in administrative practices, broadening postsecondary access for disenfranchised and underrepresented groups, and providing critical support for new areas of inquiry. Philanthropic organizations are unique social actors in higher education with relative freedom, and are able to develop their distinct strategies while promoting the public good.

Throughout the history of U.S. higher education, philanthropists have supplemented and expanded traditional services offered by colleges and universities, usually by providing grants for general operating support, fellowships, scholarships, research, and capital investments. ...

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