Bradley Center for Philanthropy & Civic Renewal

Hudson’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy & Civil Renewal aims to encourage foundations and charitable donors to direct more resources toward support of small, local, often faith-based grassroots associations that are the heart of a vital civil society. In its research, writing, and monthly seminars, the Center critically examines the current giving practices of American foundations, which tend to be directed toward large, expert-driven projects that often undercut, rather than support, small civic associations. It aims to provoke conversation about the most important — and seldom discussed — issues before the nonprofit sector. It also provides practical advice and counsel to funders who are interested in designing grant-making programs that support civic renewal.

Directed by Hudson senior fellow William A. Schambra since its founding in 2003, the Center is named both for its longtime principal donor, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and also for the National Commission on Philanthropy and Civic Renewal of 1996-97 — whose groundbreaking final report, Giving Better, Giving Smarter, inspired the Center’s inaugural conference in May 2003, “Giving Better, Giving Smarter, Six Years Later,” and continues to inform and inspire its mission.

Hudson’s Bradley Center is the only place in which more light than heat gets generated on subjects that truly matter to the future of our field.
— Joel Orosz, advisor, Kellogg Foundation

The Bradley Center is one of the very few places in philanthropy, on the right or the left, where there is a genuine debate and discussion that is ideologically diverse, and where people actually kick around in serious ways important societal questions and questions about philanthropy.
— Gara LaMarche, former president, The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Bradley Center at Hudson has been, more than any other philanthropic institution I know, a place where the Left has constructively met the Right, and where reasoned debate has effectively replaced the Frankenthinking endemic to the nonprofit field. Bill Schambra has eloquently championed a style of philanthropy that focuses on providing general operating support, with a minimum of bureaucratic fuss, to organizations and efforts led by visionary individuals. And while I haven’t always agreed with Schambra, I’ve always benefited from his invitation to step outside the liberal echo chamber of mainstream philanthropy.
— Albert Ruegsa, President and CEO, Greater New Orleans Foundation

The Bradley Center is the most open and best forum on philanthropy I know about and we are all grateful to [Bill Schambra and Hudson] you for doing this.
— Stanley Katz, Professor of Public & Intl. Affairs, Princeton University

Bradley Center podcasts are available by clicking here.

Policy Center News

Hudson Institute and Public Citizen’s report on non-profits and political activities cited in New York Times

William Schambra’s work at the Bradley Center examined in National Review Online

William Schambra quoted in The Chronicle of Philanthropy on philanthropic giving strategies

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Release of the Giving USA 2014 Annual Report June 26th event

A Book Discussion of "The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty"

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