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The Cheerful Philanthropist Fund

02 Jul 2024 2:48 PM | Eli Benjamin Israel (Administrator)

Dear NAKS Members,

As we announced in the Summer Newsletter, NAKS has received a very generous donation of $41,000 from Henry Allison’s family (his wife Nora and his daughter Renee Nash) in his memory and in honor of his contributions to Kant scholarship.  We thank them again for their beneficence!  In a sign of our appreciation, NAKS is renaming the Senior Scholar Prize the Henry Allison Senior Scholar Prize. 

The Allison family donation constitutes the core of the newly formed Cheerful Philanthropist Fund.  Being good Kantians, we know what you are thinking: acting in conformity with the duty of beneficence will lack moral worth if it is done merely from an inner satisfaction in spreading joy, rather than acting from duty.  But let us assure you that cheerfulness is not incompatible with acting from duty, and we always hope that you will be cheerful! 

The principal of The Cheerful Philanthropist Fund will be preserved and invested, and earnings will be used to fund many NAKS activities and to expand opportunities for NAKS members.  For example, we hope to increase our conference travel stipends for graduate students and junior faculty without their own research funds.

We are now starting a fundraiser to complement the Allison family donation, and we hope that you will contribute whatever you can in order to help promote Kant scholarship, in the spirit of Henry Allison’s many contributions to the field.  NAKS is kicking off the fund drive by transferring $5,000 from its modest current reserves to The Cheerful Philanthropist Fund, for a starting total of $46,000.   Although this is a terrific start, that amount in a safe and responsible investment will not yield overwhelming sums ($2,300 at 5%, for example).  This will definitely help us meet our annual budget, but we hope to raise at least as much again, which will allow us to continue our activities and to expand the support we provide to Kant scholarship and NAKS members. 

We are looking for any size donation, starting from $10, $20, or anything you can afford and feel moved to contribute – with over 500 members, smaller donations add up.  We will also have a NAKS Donor Page to acknowledge larger contributions people have made – $100 or more – noting the level of those contributions.  You can, of course, remain anonymous if you choose.  And you may also dedicate the contribution if you wish – in memory or honor of Henry Allison, or someone else.  But again, we appreciate any and all contributions at any level; all of us together can have a large impact. 

Please contribute to make NAKS stronger and help us promote Kant scholarship throughout North America and beyond! 

You can make your contribution at our donation webpage:

Please specify in the comments section that you would like it to be added to The Cheerful Philanthropist Fund; if it is $100 or more, please let us know if you would prefer it to be anonymous or if you would like to donate in someone’s honor.  If you would like to make a larger donation and would like to discuss it with us, please feel free to contact Daniel Sutherland at his personal email address:

About us

The North American Kant Society (NAKS) was founded to promote Kant scholarship and research, the building of a global and inclusive community, and the exchange of information for all those interested in Kant, whether researchers, teachers, students, or simply Kant enthusiasts, whatever their backgrounds.  While primarily centered in North America, NAKS welcomes members from all areas of the globe.

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