Distinguished scholar and civic leader Claire Gaudiani calls these women social entrepreneurs, arguing that they brought the same drive and strategic intent to their pursuit of the greater good that their male counterparts applied to building the nation's capital markets throughout the nineteenth century. Gaudiani and Burnett tell the stories of these patriotic women, and their creation of America's unique not-for-profit, or social profit sector. She concludes that the idealism and optimism inherent in this work provided an important asset to the increasing prosperity of the nation from its founding to the Second World War. Social entrepreneurs have defined a system of governance by the people, and they remain our best hope for continued moral leadership in the world.
“Daughters of the Declaration will inspire anyone who wants to make a difference in the world. Here is an irresistible history of the brave, brainy, tireless women social entrepreneurs who made all of America a better place. Read this book, then try to emulate them.” —Catharine R . Stimpson, university professor and Dean Emerita, New York University
“Daughters of the Declaration persuasively connects the dots between America’s social entrepreneurs of today and an impressive host of heroic women going back to the Revolutionary War. It spotlights visionary, inventive, and determined black and white women of all creeds who stationed themselves on the front lines of the burning issues of their day and founded what has become America’s ever more dynamic voluntary sector. All who care about America’s social sector are greatly in their debt as well as in debt to the authors of this fascinating book.” —Joel L. Fleishman, professor of law and public policy, Duke University, author of The Foundation, and co-author with Thomas Tierney of Give Smart
“Gaudiani and Burnett explore the fascinating origins of our unique social sector, one of the great secrets of America’s success. America’s wealthy and highly educated forefathers set the stage for robust citizen engagement, but Daughters of the Declaration demonstrates that it was a racially and economically diverse set of entrepreneurial, mostly forgotten foremothers who launched our social sector and made it what it is today.” —Mario Morino, chairman, Venture Philanthropy Partners