Excellence in Philanthropy

Interview with Howard Dahl

The founder of Amity Technology discusses his giving to rehabilitate the former Soviet Union and assesses Ukraine.

Champion Givers

A 15-year update on the winners of the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership. 

Beethoven in the Barrio

The Youth Orchestra of the Americas is bringing symphonic beauty to new audience, thanks to Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg

Drug Donors

While some philanthropists fought for decades to legalize marijuana, others are gearing up to address the undesirable consequences. 

Nature Philanthropy, Part 4

The final piece of our Nature Philanthropy journey discovers urban respites and natural waters.

Chopping Textbook Costs

College textbooks are notoriously expensive, but a two-year-old nonprofit is hoping to change that. OpenStax College's goal is to offer texts for the nation’s 25 most-attended college courses—for free. 

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.

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.

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.  

Walk the Line

Rail trails are generating public enthusiasm as rural paths, as creators of green space in tight urban quarters, as ways of boosting health and wellness, as canvases for appealing landscape design and outdoor art, as connectors of communities, and as spurs to city redevelopment.

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. 

Honoring the 2014 William E. Simon Prize winner

Jon Huntsman Sr. was awarded the 2014 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.  


The Almanac
of American

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