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Trottenberg, Arthur, 1974

 Item — Box: 7, Folder: 2

Scope and Contents

From the Collection: The collection consists of the papers of Merrimon Cuninggim from the period of 1939-1996. Because of the complex and inter-relational nature of material in the collection and the multidimensional relationships of the individuals involved, the records are listed in alphabetical order, rather than in series. It should be noted that materials may be found throughout the collection which reflect interest and interaction with one or more of the major topics files. Papers from Cuninggim's professional life form the bulk of the collection and include five major areas of interest: Center for Effective Philanthropy, Danforth Foundation, Ford Foundation, Lilly Endowment, and Southern Methodist University-Perkins School of Theology. The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) was established in 1981 by Cuninggim and 15 other professionals with extensive experience in philanthropic and foundation work. Early support grants came from the Carnegie Corporation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Cuninggim was the first chairman of the group, serving from 1981-1983. He then held the office of president of CEP from 1983 to 1987. Offering its services for little or no charge, the CEP worked with more than a hundred foundations and philanthropic agencies. By 1990 the CEP ceased operations, recognizing that many leading American universities now had training and research programs that provided guidance in philanthropy and nonprofit management. In 1991 the CEP's assets of $35,000 were given to Duke University to establish the Cuninggim Endowed Lectureship. By 1993 it was apparent that Duke was unable to raise the endowment principal to the level needed to maintain the lectureship, and the money was returned.

The CEP files, 1975-1994, consist mostly of correspondence between Cuninggim and individuals connected to the CEP either as associates or as consulting clients.

The Danforth Foundation was begun in 1927 by William H. Danforth, founder of Ralston Purina Co. and his wife, Adda, as a personal Ahip-pocket@ charity, giving scholarships and grants to those students and projects that met with personal favor. By the time Cuninggim came to Danforth Foundation in 1960, it no longer had formal ties to Ralston Purina, although it held a substantial amount of its stock as assets. From its establishment, the foundation focused its efforts on the "support of education for the public good."

In 1972 with the McGraw-Hill publication of his book Private Money and Public Services, Cuninggim warned against private philanthropies being too closely aligned with the original donor or one particular institution, stating Aa foundation is obligated, because of its special tax-exempt status, to serve the broadcast public interest. It should not be a pet project of board members.@ This clearly stated the major areas of contention that culminated in Cuninggim's resignation from the Danforth Foundation in October 1972. They were (1) the composition of the board of directors, (2) making larger grants to fewer institutions, not as support for programs but as operational funds, and (3) focusing more on regional, rather than national interests.

The materials relating to the Danforth Foundation contain Board of Trustees meeting minutes, 1956-1972 (complete), Executive Committee meeting minutes, 1959-1961 and 1968-1972 (incomplete), and the Pake Committee files. The Pake Committee, so named for George E. Pake who was its chair and a member of the Danforth Foundation's board of directors, was formed in February of 1972 by William H. Danforth in response to Cuninggim's concerns regarding the foundation's future direction. Its charge was to Aconsider the implications@ of the grants awarded to Saint Louis University, Washington University, and Webster College, to study the size of gifts and whether to make them from the annual operating budget or from capital. The remainder of the Danforth Foundation files consists of general correspondence, newsletters and materials relating to Cuninggim's resignation.

Dates

  • 1974

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public without restriction.

Extent

From the Collection: 8.6 Cubic Feet (8 record cartons and 3 document cases)

Creator

Repository Details

Part of the Philanthropic Studies Archives Repository

Contact:
IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis IN 46202 USA
317-274-4064