William A. Schambra, Further thoughts on “other-side” giving, July 17, 2019 (“The tricky part of ‘other-side’ giving for conservative funders—the dilemma that also faced capitalist funders of socialist trade unions after World War II—is that the grants aren’t going to compliant ideological allies who share the full range of conservative political beliefs. They’re going to groups that may in fact disagree on most issues—but that nonetheless agree on one issue that is judged to be so decisive as to at least momentarily override differences otherwise. Clearly, halting Soviet imperial expansion was just such an issue, justifying support for anti-communist, but socialist labor movements.”)

Daniel P. Schmidt and William A. Schambra, Heroic Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky’s harsh judgment of American philanthropy’s “camp godfathers,” October 28, 2019 (“Imagine if the major American foundations had diverted some of the millions of dollars spent in this period—how much, we have no idea, because an honest, objective accounting would be embarrassing to some very important parties today—to supporting dissidents like Bukovsky.”)

Daniel P. Schmidt, Further thoughts on revolution, remembrance, and the revitalization of civil society, November 12, 2019 (“[W]e thought of the relatively modest resources devoted to the post-Soviet revitalization of civil society in Russia and areas of what had been the Soviet empire in Central and Eastern Europe by the foundation for which we worked … The philanthropic focus was on rebuilding, renewing, and sustaining strong families and community institutions—seeing beneficial economic, social, and cultural impacts. … They remain at work today, and can still be supported, including through the many various church-affiliated and other social-welfare groups.”)

Daniel P. Schmidt, Before the Wall, Westminster; before Schabowske, Sheptytsky, November 18, 2019, (“Instinctively, Reagan declared that what was needed was the enabling of ‘man’s instinctive desire for freedom and self-determination.’ Grassroots empowerment. … Philanthropists and philanthropic institutions could and should learn from Reagan’s intuitive trust in his fellow man. There has been and remains too much top-down management, aimed at addressing ‘larger-than-life’ problems with social-engineering instruments holding the promise of measurable, ‘larger-than-life’ solutions—often with ‘larger-than-life’ grant commitments. … [T]here can be at least as much, or perhaps more, power in the small demonstration of an idea bearing the possibility, the promise, of larger returns.”)

Daniel P. Schmidt, On George Soros’ 90th birthday, again noting some similarities in strategies and tactics, August 12, 2020 (“[T]here are some striking similarities between the strategies and operational tactics of” the Open Society Foundations “in the ’80s and ’90s and some conservative foundations during these years. … Namely, philanthropy should be purposed to benefit others, not be self-serving; it should help encourage individual freedom, not encourage dependence; it should avoid the constant temptations of flattery from applicants; and it should be even more steadfastly aware that program mission is the guiding light of all funding.”)

Daniel P. Schmidt, Memory, St. Elizabeth, and her giving, February 1, 2021 (“Following the Grand Duke’s assassination in 1905, the Romanov Grand Duchess Elizabeth devoted herself to the monastic life. She sold her jewels and created a hospital, health clinic, soup kitchen, a residence for a lay order of nuns (the Sisters of Love and Mercy), and an orphanage for girls. Her charity went beyond the mere founding of these institutions. ‘Hands-on,’ she assisted in the care of patients, helped them in surgery, and was there with them when they died. She received all, especially the poor. The manner in which Elizabeth undertook her philanthropic work should serve as an example to all those who have the capacity to give.”)

Michael E. Hartmann and Daniel P. Schmidt, Kyrgyzstan journal, August 26, 2021 (“as with good domestic giving, grantmakers should actually look much more often to that which is at the periphery of most others’ concerns for good opportunities to leverage their effectiveness. This might especially be applicable to modestly sized foundations with less ability to absorb what would otherwise be considered wasteful expenses. It requires humility, however, along with a recognition of the realistic, so it’s relatively rare.”)

Daniel P. Schmidt, Remembering Memorial, modestly, January 5, 2022 (“Memorial received support far and wide from foreign sources for its work, including from American philanthropies. Their directors and staffs no doubt recognized the tragedies that befell the Russian people. But Memorial’s truth-telling was simply a small piece of a puzzle. Foundations such as Ford and MacArthur, which opened offices in Moscow and elsewhere around Russia, focused on ‘root causes.’ Their programmatic approach to laying the foundations for a free and democratic society was basically to engage with what they thought to be important political, economic and social institutions. The approach was American-style. The philanthropically ambitious goal was really no less than a transformation of human nature. Very difficult, nigh impossible. In contrast, Milwaukee’s smaller Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation—where I worked—pursued a philanthropically much more-modest grantmaking effort in Russia. To Bradley, Memorial was not just a piece of a puzzle, but a large part of the board and almost all of the pieces put together. Bradley considered Sakharov’s mission to be a most-critical one. Memorial called out the atrocities committed in the Soviets’ attempt to create a ‘New Man.’”)