As practiced in the United States, philanthropy is a critical means for enlarging democracy and for engaging a very broad portion of the citizenry in important ideas and big decisions. American philanthropy shapes the ways we become active citizens, acquire knowledge, solve problems, govern our country, and project our image abroad. For these reasons, philanthropic and nonprofit institutions in the United States have been highly visible actors in education, science, social services, the environment, the arts, and public policy. When all the sources of funds are accounted for, the annual philanthropic budget equals that of the Pentagon. In this course, students will study a part of American history rarely discussed in history books or classes and yet present their daily lives.