Benjamin Soskis is a research associate in the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute, where he develops public-facing content based on the center’s research. His work explores the intersection of historical inquiry with contemporary philanthropic practice. He is especially interested in the relationship between philanthropy and democratic norms and institutions.
A historian and journalist, Soskis is the coeditor of HistPhil, a web publication devoted to the history of the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Previously, he was a fellow at the Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, and Policy at George Mason University. He is also a consultant for the Open Philanthropy Project and a frequent contributor to the Chronicle of Philanthropy and the Atlantic online. His writing on philanthropy has also appeared in the Washington Post, Guardian, New Yorker online, Stanford Social Innovation Review, American Prospect, and the Foundation Review. He is coauthor of The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song that Marches On, which was a finalist for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, coauthor of Looking Back at 50 Years of US Philanthropy (Hewlett Foundation, 2016), and author of The History of the Giving While Living Ethic (The Atlantic Philanthropies, 2017). Soskis has taught at the George Washington University and the University of California, Washington Center. He received his PhD in American history from Columbia University.