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Benjamin Soskis
Senior Research Associate
Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy
  • Profile
  • Outside Affiliations
  • Benjamin Soskis is a senior research associate in the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute. His work explores the ways historical inquiry can inform 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. His writing on philanthropy has also appeared in the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Guardian, the New Yorker online, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the American Prospect, and Boston 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; Looking Back at 50 Years of US Philanthropy (Hewlett Foundation 2016); and “A History of Associational Life and the Nonprofit Sector in the United States,” in The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook (Stanford University Press, forthcoming). 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.

    Research Areas
    Nonprofits and philanthropy

    Outside Affiliations
    GivingTuesday Data Commons
    Member, advisory committee
    National Views on Big Philanthropy project, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
    Advisory council; Member
    Chronicle of Philanthropy
    Advisory council
    ARNOVA’s Peter Dobkin Hall History of Philanthropy book prize
    Selection committee member
    Jewish Philanthropy Research Initiative
    Advisory council

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