Economic Opportunity

Hiring Mentors for Neglected Children

Friends of the Children pairs at-risk children with paid and trained mentors. Duncan Campbell, a philanthropist who founded Friends of the Children in 1993, is interviewed here about the program.

The Center for Urban Families

The Center for Urban Families is helping fathers step up.

The Tangelo Park Model for Transforming a Troubled Neighborhood

A Q&A with Florida hotelier and philanthropist Harris Rosen.

On Creating Productive Work for the Persistently Jobless

George Roberts is co-founder of the KKR leveraged buyout firm, and an active philanthropist with a special interest in building social enterprises. Following is a brief extract interview from our forthcoming book on assisting work as an anti-poverty charitable strategy. 

Achievements in Economic & Social Prosperity

Fighting poverty is one of the oldest charitable imperatives. This in turn often requires battling syndromes that lead to poverty—like family breakdown, alcohol and drug abuse, or unfair bias. Our newest list of Achievements in American Philanthropy collects initiatives that help citizens prosper. 

Hilton Foundation’s $1.5 million Prize

Every year, the Conrad Hilton Foundation awards a $1.5 million humanitarian prize to an organization that is alleviating human suffering. The 2014 winner, Fountain House, brings mentally-ill individuals together in social networks that reinforce good citizenship and independence, and was profiled in a recent Philanthropy Roundtable Q&A. The foundation is now accepting nominations for the 2015 prize.

Work vs. Poverty

At The Philanthropy Roundtable’s recent event “Getting America Back to Work,” donors discussed the importance—and challenges—of expanding work among the poor.

Wielding the Profit Motive Against Poverty

In The Business Solution to Poverty, entrepreneur Paul Polak and marketing guru Mal Warwick turn development upside down by suggesting that multinational businesses shouldn’t think of the poor as victims, but rather as potential customers. 

How to Alleviate Poverty While Respecting Liberty

The Economic Opportunity initiative of The Philanthropy Roundtable held a February 2014 conference on the natural overlaps between philanthropic giving to aid the poor and giving that encourages free markets and economic decentralism. 


How Pete Peterson's donations are helping Washington find budget balance.  

Caring through Community

In this Q&A, The Philanthropy Roundtable asks psychiatric nurse and donor Marlene Mieske about her enthusiastic support of Fountain House, an organization in New York City dedicated to men and women with mental illness.

War on Poverty

The Philanthropy Roundtable's director of economic opportunity, Jo Kwong, weighs in on Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty initiative.  

Work as Priority

In a Q&A, trustee Donn Weinberg describes why work takes priority in the Weinberg Foundation's anti-poverty efforts.

When They Want to Start Over

In a Q&A, the founder of the Life Learning Center shares his vision of transforming the lives of those who hit bottom.

Robin Hood Rules

A new book lays out the details of the data-driven philanthropy of the Robin Hood Foundation.

From Homeless to Employed

The entrepreneurial founder of one of the country’s most effective anti-poverty programs, The Cara Program, answers questions about how the change from lost soul to independent worker takes place.

9 Ways to Support Entrepreneurship

At a Kansas City conference sponsored jointly by the Roundtable and the leading U.S. foundation on philanthropy that encourages business creation, practitioners described how to make America more enterprising.

About the Economic Opportunity Initiative

The Economic Opportunity initiative focuses on philanthropic strategies that advance entrepreneurship and economic growth; economic independence through work and asset ownership; and personal responsibility and life skills. Read more about the program here.

The Philanthropy Roundtable Goes to Prison

Check out the highlights from the Charting a Path from Criminality to Opportunity event in Houston, February 2013, where donors and nonprofit leaders shared innovative solutions to the growing problem of incarceration and recidivism.

Questions on “Economic Opportunity” Philanthropy

What exactly is “economic opportunity”? The Philanthropy Roundtable is asking some committed donors. Our first respondent, Jeanne Bistranin of the Adolph Coors Foundation, zeroes in on one important question: What counts as self-sufficiency?

The Little Red Book: Economic Mobility as Mindset

The Pathways to Economic Mobility conference, sponsored by The Philanthropy Roundtable and co-hosted by Philanthropy New York and Legacy Venture, provided a forum for donors, experts, and practitioners to share stories and strategies on how to revitalize economic opportunity for low-income families in the United States—not just to provide more jobs; but to grant wider access to the American dream.

A Welfare System That Works

Welfare, it is sometimes said, can only be effectively administered by the government. Not so fast. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints runs a vast and effective social welfare system. Read Naomi Schaefer Riley’s article on a how private individuals can administer a large-scale welfare system—that works.

Interview with Andrew Grove

Andrew Grove is angry with philanthropy, and he thinks other donors should be angrier too. The former CEO of Intel uses his anger to fuel his giving, and he recently spoke with ‘Philanthropy’ about his work in vocational education, American philanthropy—and other things that make him angry.

A Model of Self-Reliance

The Philanthropy Roundtable finished our year-long celebration of economic opportunity landmarks at Salt Lake City’s Welfare Square. You can read more about this inspiring event as featured in the Deseret News. Read their special report here.

Building Men

For donors interested in supporting nonprofit technical education, the Roundtable’s 2012 Annual Meeting will feature a panel exploring three models for post-secondary career training. One is the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades, a tuition-free trade school for under-privileged young men that has been teaching craftsmanship and character for over a century. Read all about Williamson in the Spring 2011 issue of Philanthropy.

A Stimulus That Works

In 2009, some of the nation’s top entrepreneurs, experts on entrepreneurship, and donors gathered at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, to explore how philanthropists can advance entrepreneurship as a central growth engine of our economy. Read the special report from this Roundtable meeting here.

Sweet Taste of Success

Michael Holthouse is on a mission to revitalize America—one lemonade stand at a time. Lemonade Day is Holthouse’s innovative program that teaches kids the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurial startups—all while having a great time.


The Almanac
of American

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