Conscience & Community: The Legacy of Paul Ylvisaker

About this collection: This Content Collection shares several examples of Paul Ylvisaker's most well-known and instructive writings on the practice and privilege of private philanthropy.

Paul Ylvisaker has been described as the heart and soul of organized philanthropy. He made a profound contribution to the American people through his service in philanthropy and public service. Conscience and Community: The Legacy of Paul Ylvisaker is a collection of his essays, speeches, and articles on philanthropy, education, urban issues, and community, covering the early 1960s to shortly before his death in March 1992. They represent a chronology of the times documenting the War on Poverty, the environmental movement, education reform, and the role of America’s philanthropic sector, to name just a few. But more important, they show the vision and timelessness of Paul Ylvisaker’s writings – a tribute to an extraordinary man.

This Content Collection shares several examples of Paul Ylvisaker’s most well-known and instructive writings on the practice and privilege of private philanthropy.

Spirit and ethics in family philanthropy

Family Foundations: High Risk, High Reward

Book Chapter
Foundations are a remarkable human invention. They provide private persons a free-wheeling opportunity to be socially and publicly influential. Without having to meet the tests either of the market or the ballot box, private persons can independently determine what the needs of society are and how best to go about …

The Spirit Of Philanthropy And The Soul Of Those Who Manage It

Book Chapter
Philanthropy is not just another institution. It stands for something distinctive and special, with a tradition and necessarily a spirit which represent to society the nobler motives of altruism and the more humane considerations so characteristically missing in the worlds of business and politics. "

Paul Ylvisaker: Ethics and Philanthropy

Book Chapter
This chapter is excerpted from “Philanthropy: The High Estate,” part IV of Conscience & Community: The Legacy of Paul Ylvisaker, which was edited by NCFP Founder and President Virginia Esposito and published by Peter Lang Publishing in 1999. Questions addressed in this chapter include: Is there an ethical requirement to give, …

Grantmaking strategy and social justice

Small Can Be Effective

Book Chapter
Foundations do not need a lot of money to be effective. If, indeed, they were to exploit only a fraction of the strategies available to them, their individual and collective impact on American life would be vastly and beneficially expanded.

Social Justice And The Role Of Philanthropy

Book Chapter
Philanthropy [must] move out of fixed and safe positions into more independent, flexible, and far more exposed stances between the contradictory forces that are generating tension, and without the resolving action of some agent such as philanthropy, will otherwise tear nations and neighborhoods apart.

Philanthropy and government

Philanthropy In A Favorable Climate

Book Chapter
My concern is whether philanthropy may be straying too far from its humanists and altruistic origins. The trend toward more professionalized philanthropy has in most respects been a goof thing, but not when it stiffens into bureaucracy and loses the spontaneity and compassion of the one-to-one.

The Filer Commission in Perspective

Book Chapter
Philanthropy will not be free, or open, or accessible, or accountable, or in touch unless it has those qualities of caring and nurturing and persevering. But also (it must have) a sense of humor.