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John J. Schwartz Papers

Identifier: MSS031

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of the papers of John J. Schwartz from the period of 1948-1994. The records have been arranged in alphabetical order and interrelate due to Schwartz’s involvement with several philanthropic endeavors and his service on numerous philanthropic organization boards. The documents chronicle his professional career and accomplishments. For a complete record of Schwartz’s philanthropic work, the records of American Association of Fund Raising Counsel, Inc., the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, and Independent Sector should be consulted. Within these records the materials basically consist of correspondence, meeting minutes, organizational articles of incorporation and by-laws, conference information, committee materials, and fund raising reports in which he had involvement. There is also a substantial amount of research Schwartz collected during the writing of his book, Modern American Philanthropy, (Wiley,1994). This book is a personal account of his experiences in philanthropy. The speech notes also makeup a significant presence within the collection. The speech notes consist of 3 x 5 note cards dated from 1959-1986 on which Schwartz had written his speech notes in outline form as well as the date, place, and organization for which the speech was given.

The majority of the papers are concerned with Schwartz’s career during the 1980's and 1990's. These papers are generally related to Schwartz work while he was president of the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel, Inc. (AAFRC) and as a consultant for the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy.

Schwartz’s work with the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy is also fairly well documented within his papers. The Indiana University Center on Philanthropy was established in 1987 serving as a center for philanthropic research and study. Schwartz worked as a senior consultant beginning in 1988. While at the Center on Philanthropy, Schwartz was involved with such conferences as “To Foster More Effective Philanthropy” in 1992. This conference was to bring philanthropic organizations together for the purpose of discussing the state of philanthropy, ways to improve its conditions and to better achieve the goals of philanthropy. The bulk of the the Center on Philanthropy records consist of correspondence and program information. Also, related to the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy is the Oral History Project directed by Indiana University Oral Research Center. These record the suggested list of interviewees and the questionnaires used, as well as correspondence and project information. In addition, there is the American Foundations Oral History Project Final Report.

As his records indicate, Schwartz was a founding member of the Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations (CONVO). The CONVO papers consist of lists of the Board of Directors, By-Laws, sponsors, merger materials, meeting minutes and correspondence.


  • 1948 - 1994


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or the reproductions of copyrighted material.

Biographical / Historical

John J. Schwartz, fund raising executive and author, was born in New Rochelle, N.Y. to Edwin Benner and Marjorie Helen (James) as his family faced tumultuous times during the Great Depression. He knew first-hand the reality of hardship and the difference that outside assistance could make. Schwartz’s uncle sent him to Mercersburg Academy for his final year of high school. After graduating from Mercersburg Academy in 1938, Schwartz earned his living by parking cars but in 1939 was hired as an “executive trainee” by the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. He was only employed in this position for two years before joining the Seventh Regiment, National Guard in 1940. Schwartz first served in the artillery but was later transferred to the air force in 1941. Shortly thereafter, Schwartz married Katherine Sprackling, January 6, 1942, and this union produced one child, Christopher, an attorney. Schwartz, served as a bomber airplane navigator during WWII in the Pacific, earning the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He served in military capacity for five years, 1940-1945, and utilized his former employment and wartime experiences as the foundation for what he desired to do when he returned to civilian life: to not work for a large company and to help society.

In 1946, he joined the publicity department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a gopher and attended New York University (NYU). During this time, the John Price Jones Co., (JPJ), was handling the museum’s seventy-fifth anniversary campaign. After, a few months at the museum Mr. Jones (JPJ) questioned Schwartz about joining his firm. Following this query, Schwartz joined the staff of John Price Jones, and shortly thereafter became a Campaign Director beginning his lengthy career in philanthropy. Due to the extensive traveling with his job, Schwartz quit attending NYU, ending his formal education.

Employment from 1946-1966

Employment from 1946-1966

Campaign Director, John Price Jones Co.
Director of Public Relations, Travelers Aid Society of New York
Director of Development, Community Service Society
Director of Development, Near East Foundation
Vice President, G.A. Brakeley & Company
Director of Development, Foreign Policy Association
Vice President for Crusade, American Cancer Society
Schwartz was employed by the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel, Inc. (AAFRC), in 1966 and remained with AAFRC for 21 years. AAFRC was founded in 1935 to promote the interest and programs of the nations philanthropic organizations. Schwartz served this organization in various employment positions for twenty-one years. From 1966-1968, he served as the Executive Director, and as Executive Vice President from 1968-1972. He became President in 1972 and remained in this position until 1987. Schwartz also was President of AAFRC's Trust for Philanthropy from 1985‑1987. During his tenure at AAFRC Schwartz worked on several campaigns. In 1967 and 1968 he worked on the East-West Conference on Philanthropy focusing on the theme “The Latest Trends on Raising Money Using the Four Major Methods.” He also worked collectively with several charitable organizations on the 1976 Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs (Filer Commission) in order to develop a permanent committee to study and discuss issues of philanthropy. In 1984, Schwartz worked for the National Association of Attorneys General Solicitations Law Project Committee to help build profitable regulation for funds solicited for charitable causes.

Schwartz utilized his AAFRC position to represent the fund-raising profession on the national level, to assist in the development of standards and ethics for fund‑raising professionals, and to influence and monitor state and national charitable contribution legislation. Schwartz was a founding member of the Coalition for Voluntary Organizations (CONVO), serving as secretary-treasurer in 1976. CONVO was founded in 1976 to compile voluntary organizations to increase their contributions as philanthropic institutions. CONVO later merged with the National Council on Philanthropy to form Independent Sector. Independent Sector was formed in 1980 to help better the relationships between nonprofit organizations and the government. Schwartz was instrumental in the merger and became a founding board member of Independent Sector, (1981-1986). He was also the founding president of Independent Sector's National Center for Charitable Statistics, (1983-1985).

Throughout his philanthropic career Schwartz has served on various committees and boards as a consultant or member. Schwartz served on the boards of the National Charities Information Bureau, the governing board of the World Fund-raising Council and the AARP Andrus Foundation. Other professional affiliations have consisted of Special Consultant, Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs (Filer Commission), 1974-1976, a member of the 501 (c) (3) Group, member Advisory Board, Management Fund-Raising, New York University Certificate Program, and as Chair, Private Advisory Group, National Association of Attorneys General Model Law Project, 1984-1985.

Schwartz has remained active since his retirement from AAFRC on November 12, 1987. He was the Chairperson of National Philanthropy Day in 1988 and serves as a consultant to the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy. In addition, Schwartz was appointed a Senior Consultant of the Community Counseling Service Co. Inc., in 1988. He wrote Modern American Philanthropy: A Personal Account, (Wiley, 1994) which chronicled his philanthropy career. Schwartz continues to maintain a consulting interest in several international philanthropic endeavors and is working on a second book.


3.4 Cubic Feet (3 record cartons, 3 card file boxes)


John J. Schwartz, fund raising executive and author, worked hard to assist in the development of standards and ethics for fund-raising professionals and to influence legislation on the national and state level. During his 41 active years in the field, Schwartz was employed by various philanthropic organizations including John Price Jones, Inc., Fund Raising for Traveler Aid Society of New York, Development for the Community Service Society, G.A. Brakeley & Co., the American Cancer Society, and American Association of Fund Raising Counsel, Inc. (AAFRC). Schwartz spent a majority of his career, 1966-1987, at AAFRC, advancing to become the President of the organization in 1973 until his retirement. Throughout his career, he has served on various boards and committees promoting the understanding of philanthropy and was instrumental in the establishment of Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations (CONVO), Independent Sector, and the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy.

The papers consist of records documenting his involvement with several philanthropic organizations as an employee and as a member of professional organizations. Included are organizational information, correspondence, meeting minutes, project reports, conferences, articles and papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by John James Schwartz, Indianapolis, IN, November 1994. A94-121.

Related Materials

American Association of Fund Raising Counsel, Inc. Records, 1935-1992, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

George A. Brakeley, Jr. Papers, 1928-1995, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Independent Sector Records, 1980-1991, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

The National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE) Records, 1960-1995, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.


  • Jeanne Harrah-Conforth, “Philanthropy: History of Fund Raising- Interview with Jack (John J.) Schwartz, January 28, 1988,” (Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Oral History Research Center, 1988).
  • Who’sWho in America 48th edition, 1994 volume 2, (New Jersey: Reed, 1994), 3080.


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John J. Schwartz Papers, 1948-1994
Connie Hume
Description rules
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Repository Details

Part of the Philanthropic Studies Archives Repository

IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis IN 46202 USA