Understanding how people have used money to do good in the past may help donors to do more good in the future. For this reason, the Open Philanthropy Project has commissioned several reports on the history of philanthropy. Their research suggests that it may be more effective to be ambitious, to found new organizations, and to build movements advocating for policy change.
Karnofsky, Holden (2012) Philanthropy’s success stories, Open Philanthropy, March 1.
A summary of OpenPhil's main takeaways from the casebook for The Foundation: A Great American Secret, by Joel Fleishman, Scott Kohler and Steven Schindler.
Open Philanthropy (2021) History of philanthropy, Open Philanthropy.