The Foundation: A Great American Secret

Joel L. Fleishman

January 2007

Purchase Book


The Foundation Book PhotoProfessor Joel L. Fleishman’s critically acclaimed book on the role and impact of foundations in America, titled The Foundation: A Great American Secret—How Private Wealth Is Changing the World, was published by PublicAffairs Books in January 2007. The book shows why foundations matter, why we must continue to support them, and how they can provide a vital spur to the engine of the American economy. Professor Fleishman’s research for the book included interviews with approximately 100 foundation chief executives, program officers, and board chairs, as well as CEOs of selected operating charities. He asked each of them to nominate foundations’ grant successes and failures and to delineate the criteria on which their judgments of success and failure were based.


The paperback edition of The Foundation: A Great American Secret was released in the summer of 2009, with a new Introduction by Professor Fleishman that examines the tumultuous economic events of the past several years and their effects on the civic sector.


As part of the book project, Professor Fleishman supervised two research assistants in writing short case descriptions of 100 foundation initiatives that had produced impact on society at the highest level. Those case studies are available in a volume entitled Casebook for The Foundation, as well as in read-only versions on this website.


The Foundation: A Great American Secret, hardcover and paperback editions, as well as Casebook for The Foundation, may be purchased from AmazonPowells, Barnes and Noble, and other online retailers.


Bulk purchases of The Foundation: A Great American Secret by corporations, institutions, and other organizations may be made in the U.S. through the Special Markets Department at the Perseus Books Group, (800) 810-4145 ext. 5000.


Please also see 

Packard Foundation Preschool Logic Model (PDF)

Casebook for The Foundation

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