Excellence in Philanthropy

Nature Philanthropy

When you think of parks, whether Yosemite or your corner playground, you probably think of them as quintessentially public institutions—as the Ken Burns documentary puts it, “America’s best idea.” And while parks are indeed public institutions, a great many owe their existence, growth, and endurance to the generosity of creative donors.

Eyes on Ospreys

Twenty years ago, D.C.'s Anacostia River had few fish and no ospreys—the big, yellow-eyed fishing birds that often thrill waterside observers. But thanks to local D.C. philanthropy the ospreys are returning to the area, and we're learning more about them. 

Nonprofit Spotlight: Living Lands & Waters

An award-winning nonprofit leader is hauling junk out of our grimiest rivers.

Gas Heat

A small foundation uses focused academic, media, and activist grants to redirect a policy debate.

Philanthropy’s Toehold in China

Though China is home to an estimated 358 billionaires, exactly none have signed the Giving Pledge. But views on charity in China may be evolving.

Interview with Terry and Mary Kohler

The donor couple discusses rescuing cranes and swans, counseling couples, painting Wisconsin red, and more.

New Balance

Training the next generation of conservative journalists. 

Interview with Gerry Lenfest

Gerry Lenfest reflects on $1.2 billion of personal giving. 

Faithful Giving

The latest social science has good news for philanthropists: Giving profits the giver as well as the receiver. This win-win verdict is actually nothing new. It is a central tenet of the three Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—as a new book by Gary Anderson makes clear.

Investigative Philanthropy?

Local news and research journalism as charity causes. 

Alignment of the Stars

Celebrity philanthropy, even if well-meaning, can be rich with pratfalls and posturing. Brad Pitt and Scarlett Johansson are just two illustrations of the classic aphorism that good intentions aren’t enough to solve problems.

Profit and the Free Press

An ink-stained veteran doubts that philanthropy can solve today's crisis in journalism.  

Cycle of Hope

When filmmakers came to Texas health care executive Jon Halbert to pitch a documentary about an unlikely cycling team in genocide-riven Rwanda, he and his wife Linda were hooked.

Nature Philanthropy Achievements

Many of America’s most iconic natural attractions are the products of philanthropy. This list of Major Achievements of American Philanthropy highlights Nature, Animals, and Parks. 

Building Religion IQ in Reporters

A donor-funded conference educates the media on faith. 

Announcing the 2014 William E. Simon Prize winner

The Philanthropy Roundtable is pleased to announce the selection of Jon Huntsman Sr. as the 2014 recipient of the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership. 

From Promising to Proven

The charter school boom ahead. 

Shifting Perspectives

It was in an attempt to create something positive out of senseless loss that Mark Weingard began to think what he could do to help the people of Bali. His own narrow escapes from fate’s wheel changed his outlook on life and inspired his giving.

The Tough Road to Excellence

What educators abroad have to teach American reformers: Reporter Amanda Ripley argues that the debate on education policy should transcend national boundaries, and that we may want to look to education innovators abroad for ideas and inspiration. 

A Man Out of Time

There was a time, and it wasn’t very long ago, when Ted Turner was America’s most famous living philanthropist. This new “authorized biography” explores how Turner's life has changed, and why his philanthropy is still fascinating.  

Interview with Howard Buffett

In a Q&A, Howard Graham Buffett shows his many hats and his effort to take on hunger. 

Nonprofit Spotlight

Volunteers in Medicine is recruiting retired doctors to help the poor. 

President’s Note

Even in a time of great national conflict and political divide, there is a constant: Philanthropy does not shut down. The amazing generosity of the American people is not paralyzed. 

Making Forever Families

Churches and donors lift thousands of children out of the foster-care bureaucracy. 

Anybody Interested in Nation-changing Philanthropy?

Help veterans with disabilities stand on their own. 

Solving the $2 Trillion Problem

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation mixes research and politics to help solve today's public-pension crisis.  

Philanthropy Keeps the Lights on in Detroit

How philanthropists are tearing down problems, building solutions, and stopping bad guys in the Motor City. 

Healthy at Home

Keeping older Americans independent with timely acts of charity.  

A Meteoric Rise

For many, the National Christian Foundation is not a household name—but the meteoric rise of the 31-year-old organization is remarkable.

Philanthropy for the Masses

Student-philanthropists learn how to 'Give With Purpose' with lessons from Buffett.   

Q&A with Timothy Scully

The Reverend Timothy Scully founded the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame in 1993. In a Q&A, Philanthropy spoke with Scully about ACE and the role Catholic education plays in America.

Roundtable Debate on NPR

The Philanthropy Roundtable's 2013 Annual Meeting included an all-star debate on the motion: "For A Better Future, Live in a Red State," featured on NPR. Listen to the recent audio of the debate here.  

Closing America’s Other Achievement Gap

Why donors should help our most talented students reach their full potential.

Where Boys Flounder

Today's schools are inhospitable to many young males. Two books show us that this educational decay will mean worse things to come if we don’t restore excellence in the schooling of both sexes.

Nonprofit Spotlight

Now in its thirteenth year, Birthright is coming of age.

Interview with Charles Bronfman

Handing down heritage in Canada and Israel, spending down by 2016.  

Books in Brief

Reviews on two recent reads about school reform and data-driven philanthropy: Reign of Error and The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving. 

Home, Land, Security

Pierre Omidyar discovers that property rights are the key to helping the poor. 

The Balancing Act

In a Q&A, a Bridgespan leader highlights campaign to help philanthropists walk the fine line between strategy and adaptivity. 

Donating a Motive to Strive

Colorado oilman Tim Marquez and wife Bernadette funnel kids to college with the Denver Scholarship Foundation. 

Playing the Long Game

Meet Eli and Edythe Broad, winners of the 2013 William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership.

Changing the World Through Storytelling

Philanthropist Jeff Skoll is putting money and talent behind silver-screen social reform. 

Citywide Art

Rick DeVos' ArtPrize once again transforms Grand Rapids, Michigan into a city-sized art gallery.  

Mediocrity Be Gone

The Relay Graduate School of Education is revolutionizing teacher training.  

Boston Globe Praises Hall of Fame

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby recently described the Roundtable's Philanthropy Hall of Fame as a "remarkable and inspiring new project."

Person-to-Person Works

A first-of-a-kind study on international child sponsorship from the University of San Francisco shows promising results.

A Road Trip Across Philanthropic America

Saving the winged cheetah. A bubbling introduction to business. The grandaddy of charity marathons. For these tales and much more, ride along on Philanthropy’s transcontinental tour of local giving in all 50 United States.

William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership

The William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership honors living philanthropists who have shown exemplary leadership through their charitable giving. Read more about the Simon prize and past winners here.

Almanac

The Almanac
of American
Philanthropy

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