In the year 2000, the foundation created by the pioneering philanthropist William E. Simon conceived of a prize for America’s most inspired and effective living donors. In this fifteenth season of the award’s existence, Philanthropy is looking back at its impressive roster of winners. What are they giving to now? With what results? How have their perspectives on donating changed?
We begin with this year’s winner—Utah billion-dollar-donor Jon Huntsman Sr.—then go back to the very first recipient and update you on each of the honorees. Our snapshots reveal an impressive variety of continuing projects and passions: from medicine to the arts, from charter schools to kindness training, from helping retirees launch nonprofits as “second careers” to encouraging young kids to read.
Some of these master donors have a personal connection to the issues they are most invested in; others are simply called by their convictions to help others in need. A few have found a fresh direction since winning the award; others are more dedicated than ever to their first causes. Three winners have passed on, so their children and associates reflect here on their legacies. What unites all of these givers is their generosity, their commitment to excellence, and their insistence that individual citizens, acting on their own in good faith, can make life better for their fellow man.
THIS YEAR'S WINNER: Jon Huntsman Sr., 2014
UPDATES ON PAST WINNERS, 2001-2013
- John Walton, 2001
- Raymond Chambers, 2002
- John Templeton, 2003
- David Robinson, 2004
- Ben Carson, 2005
- Richard & Helen DeVos, 2006
- Frank Hanna, 2007
- Truett Cathy, 2008
- Philip & Nancy Anschutz, 2009
- Roger Hertog, 2010
- Charles Koch, 2011
- Bernie Marcus, 2012
- Eli & Edythe Broad, 2013
Naomi Schaefer Riley, a contributing editor to Philanthropy, is a columnist for the New York Post and the author of, most recently, Opportunity and Hope: Transforming Children’s Lives through Scholarships.