As he introduced an interesting webinar on philanthropy and higher education last month, National Association of Scholars chairman Keith Whitaker wondered whether, in the context of higher education, there is “an opening for a truly conservative philanthropy: to arrest further decline, and return to a better, more solid ground, in pursuing human excellence.”
The webinar’s two guests then offered a quite clear-headed assessment of the overall situation, but noted the high stakes for conservative givers. One of us, retired Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation vice president for program Daniel P. Schmidt, described Bradley’s higher-ed grantmaking during a decades-long tenure there. At core, it was all based on “the importance of excellence and merit,” according to Schmidt, who advised others to think about any grantmaking in the area that way, too. We should “understand the stakes involved here,” he said, which ultimately include that which undergirds Western civilization itself.
Given those high stakes, and those odds, for those nonetheless courageously willing and able to explore higher-ed giving, some potential grantmaking options are overviewed in this Giving Review document, “Higher-Education Institutions, Organizations, and Projects.” It is necessarily partial, we fully realize, and may be revised periodically. We think the options are worth considering and would be willing to discreetly and more specifically discuss them with anyone interested in doing so.