New guidebook on Catholic schooling

Something that seemed improbable, if not impossible, a few years ago is now becoming a real prospect: Inner-city Catholic schooling is poised for a renaissance. Our brand-new guidebook describes how savvy givers can take part in this exciting revival of educational opportunity for poor children.

Interview with Bruce Kovner

Trading titan Bruce Kovner has focused his philanthropy on free-market think tanks, arts (especially music organizations), and school-reform advocacy. 

Charity Science Research 2, Death 0

Johns Hopkins ­University scientist Jonathan Ling wanted to set the record straight. He wanted to know whether the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised $115 million for disease research in six weeks back in 2014 (and then tens of millions more in repeat donations since), actually accomplished anything.

Almanac of American Philanthropy video preview

We know that philanthropy in America is a bursting, bubbling impulse that has vital effects on almost every sector of our society. In this lively talk, widely published author Karl Zinsmeister goes even further, arguing that without philanthropy there would be no America as we know it—and explaining why.

Higher Ed, Lower Costs

An e-learning entrepreneur brings cut-rate practical degrees to far-flung corners of the world. 

Asking Tough Questions

The William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership honors David Weekley: homebuilder, charity-grower, and hard-nosed inquisitor

Just released Fall magazine

Twenty years ago a wildly successful homebuilder decided to give half his income and half his own time to philanthropy. Why did he do it? How does it work? In the just-released issue of Philanthropy, get up close with this exercise in hands-on giving. 

Something Out of Nothing

It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. And invention is the father of philanthropy, because it creates the wealth that enables great generosity. Now a dazzling new book uncovers philanthropy’s grandparentage.

Racing Against Cancer

Jockey Victor Espinoza netted about $80,000 when his mount American Pharoah swept the ­Triple Crown of horseracing this year. But Espinoza handed his historic winnings, in their entirety, away to charity. 

From Big Success to Local Succor

How one donor found satisfaction in helping a unique community. 

Donor Privacy is the Focus of Supreme Court Appeal

In early September, The Philanthropy Roundtable filed an amicus brief encouraging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower-court judgment that would strip donor-privacy protections from charitable donations in the state of California.

The Other One Percent

In For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Washington Post associate editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran argue that it is imperative for U.S. citizens to become more engaged with our troops.

Donor Intent Rescued in CT

When Shelby Cullom Davis gave $750,000 to Connecticut’s Trinity College in 1976 to endow a chair to teach private enterprise and entrepreneurship, he specified that there would be “no exceptions whatsoever” in the use of the money. 

Interview with Eric Greitens

A scholar and Navy SEAL shares his secrets for reintegrating vets at home.

Rosenwald in 10 Minutes

Julius Rosenwald has been called the greatest philanthropist you’ve never heard of. With a major documentary film about his life now in theaters, it’s time you learned more. Here’s a vivid short profile.

Nonprofit Spotlight: Birch Community Services

Birch Community Services gives away food and asks for life-change in return. 

Uber-flexible Philanthropy

The constantly evolving flexibility and power of philanthropy is illustrated by a little promotion the app-based car service Uber ran this spring in partnership with Goodwill Industries.

Mapping a Disaster

One of the aid organizations that leapt to respond to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal in April was Team Rubicon, which provides work groups of ex-military volunteers after disasters of any kind.

Changing of the Guard

Where are the old-line veterans’ charities headed?

Interview with Donald Rumsfeld

Our oldest and youngest Secretary of Defense is also a philanthropist. 

In Memoriam: Whitney Ball

The Philanthropy Roundtable mourns the passing of Whitney Ball at age 52. She was a trusted friend to many in the philanthropy world, a staunch champion of freedom, and a pioneer in foreseeing and meeting the need for principle-oriented donor-advised funds.

Why Work Is the Best Charity for the Poor

What if we’re looking in the wrong place for cures to poverty? If we search out what it is that banishes need and fills wants for most people, the answer is obvious: work. Poverty is one part economics, one part psychology—work helps both. 

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Purpose-driven organizations help veterans transition to civilian life. 

Books in Brief

The Paradox of Generosity presents data showing that givers are kinder to their neighbors, find themselves in better health, report having a strong life purpose, and generally describe themselves as “very happy.”

War, Peace, Philanthropy

Following U.S. forces and State Department officers into some of the toughest areas of the world, Spirit of America delivers private assistance intended to complement their work and advance U.S. interests.

Labeled Disabled

A government system rates veterans as incapable, but philanthropy can change that. 

Donors Who Come to the Aid of Their Country

National defense may seem like the last place philanthropy could have a role. Here’s some little-known history to make you think again.

Summer issue of Philanthropy magazine

You thought only government could do defense and help veterans? Think again!

Clearing Obstacles to Work

Cracks are becoming visible in American work habits. This worsens poverty and economic mobility. Any sensible effort to improve American prosperity today must begin by bolstering work.

Major Achievements in Overseas Philanthropy

For more than two centuries, Americans have sought to be helpful to fellow human beings beyond their own borders. Our newest Almanac of American Philanthropy list explores U.S. giving overseas.

Alternatives to ‘College for All’

The skyrocketing cost of higher education, coupled with a tough job market for young people, have some questioning the prevailing “college for all” perspective. Is a four-year college degree really the best fit for every young person?

Juma Ventures

Combining work, school, and play with sports-stadium jobs that earn college tuition. 

Major Achievements in Local Philanthropy

Every one of our hometowns is made better by neighborly giving. In our recent Almanac of American Philanthropy list we examine major achievements in local philanthropy. 

Stronger Together

Donors are increasingly using expert intermediaries to bundle and target their giving.

Policing Philanthropy?

In the Summer issue of Philanthropy magazine, Joanne Florino, The Philanthropy Roundtable's senior vice president for public policy, explains why a new federal bureau for investigating charity is a terrible idea. 

Alms Alchemy

The National Christian Foundation’s ability to turn unusual contributions to gold is creating a new trove of generosity.

Micro Lending, Major Impact

How the maker of SweetTARTS is combining friendship and capital in one tangy dose.

More Than Just Academics

Some might view the decline of Catholic schools as a Catholic problem. In reality it is an urban education problem that should concern everyone. Catholic schools have power and potential beyond book learning.

Giving Made Easy

Donor-advised funds are bringing new convenience to philanthropy.

A New Way to Serve

Venture for America is bringing entrepreneurial vim and vigor to unexpected corners of our country.

President’s Note

One dramatic change in the landscape of charitable giving during the past decade has been an entrepreneurial explosion of philanthropic services. Donors today have more choices, more information, and more analytical tools for making philanthropic decisions.

Stepping into a Breach

Hundreds of migrants attempting to enter Europe have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea when the inflatable dinghies they were packed into by unscrupulous smugglers sunk in storms. Sadly, this happens all the time.

Major Achievements in Religious Philanthropy

Our newest list of philanthropic milestones covers religiously motivated giving. 

Madison Avenue Mercies

The virtues of advertising, overhead, and other wicked ways of doing good.

Business Marries Charity

The hopes and hazards of bringing market mechanisms to philanthropy.

The Slow Boat to Utopia

Ten years in, the ballyhooed Millennium Villages Project is mostly a bust. In Nina Munk’s book The Idealist, Columbia University economist and celebrity academic Jeffrey Sachs, who made a splash with his plan to engineer the end of poverty as we know it, is an ambivalent figure.

Horizon Communities in Prisons

Inmates change their lives with great works of literature. 

Heartland Art

A new exhibit at Alice Walton's Crystal Bridges Museum showcases the full range of American artistry. 

A Tribute to Life

With major support from Tad Taube, the Polin Museum honors a millennium of Jewish history. 

Save the Pawns

Morally neutral approaches to poverty do not exist,” William Easterly writes in his latest book, The Tyranny of Experts. “Any approach to development will either respect the rights of the poor or it will violate them.” Too many aid agencies treat people in developing countries like chess pieces. 


The Almanac
of American

A compendium of the Great Donors, Great Achievements, Great Ideas, and Latest Facts on private giving in the U.S.