The Philanthropy Roundtable’s vision is to build and sustain a vibrant American philanthropic movement that strengthens our free society.
To achieve this vision, The Philanthropy Roundtable pursues a mission to foster excellence in philanthropy, protect philanthropic freedom, and help donors advance liberty, opportunity, and personal responsibility.
Our Guiding Principles
The following guiding principles serve as the framework within which The Philanthropy Roundtable pursues the fulfillment of its mission.
Private philanthropy is essential to a free society
Philanthropy—the act of giving private funds to serve the common good—is an activity at which Americans have long been unparalleled. Through their exceptional generosity, countless men and women have willingly contributed to the creation of a free and flourishing society built on voluntary associations, strong principles, and conscientious action. Such giving is both an expression of and contributor to a free society and an indispensable component of our American identity.
A vigorous private sector generates the wealth that makes philanthropy possible
A strong private sector, supported by a free enterprise system, is the bedrock for the creation of the private wealth that makes philanthropy possible. Economic freedom and the success it makes possible are essential preconditions for the full exercise of philanthropic generosity, and are worth preserving and defending.
Voluntary private action offers the most effective solutions for many of society’s most pressing challenges
Individuals possess the power to improve their own lives and communities. By supporting civil society efforts, private charitable giving not only helps people, it provides the competition and accountability necessary to improve the performance of government and contain its reach. Further, private philanthropy can be uniquely creative, nimble, discerning, and aggressive in confronting challenges in ways that strengthen communal bonds even while addressing societal ills.
Excellence in philanthropy is measured by results, not good intentions
The worth of a charity, and the philanthropy that supports it, should be gauged not by the purpose of a gift or the motivation of the giver, but rather by the goods it helps realize. To be most effective in achieving these aims, philanthropy must be attuned to human nature and its limits; realistic in its aspirations; clear-sighted about results and the slow nature of change; tolerant of risk and uncertainty; and grounded in approaches that encourage personal motivation and accountability among those served.
Upholding donor intent is essential for philanthropic integrity
The voluntary nature of charitable giving lies at the heart of the American philanthropic tradition. Respecting donors’ original intentions for their gifts leads to a creative diversity of interests and approaches and is an essential prerequisite for continued charitable giving. We believe that the continued flourishing of philanthropy is dependent on honoring the trust of donors before and after their lifetimes; that charitable laws, regulations, and practices should support donor intent; and that those who are charged with carrying out donors’ wishes have an ethical obligation to do so to the best of their ability.
What We Offer
- Opportunities to improve your philanthropy through participation in our conferences and breakthrough groups
- Publications that are clear, practical, and donor-focused
- Education of legislators on the value of philanthropy
- Protection of donor intent
Read about the history of The Philanthropy Roundtable here.