The Annual Meeting is our premier event, gathering hundreds of philanthropic decision makers committed to strengthening our free society and to exploring, collaborating, and solving our nation's greatest problems through meaningful and effective philanthropy. 2019 is the 28th year that donors from across the country met to share ideas, strategies, and best practices, and heard from America's leading experts in private innovation and forward-thinking policy.


8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Investing in a Civic Renaissance
12:00 - 1:15 p.m.
1:30 - 1:45 p.m.
Welcome and opening comments
1:45 - 3:00 p.m.
Opening plenary

Upward Mobility: Stepping Stones to the American Dream

3:00 - 3:15 p.m.
3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
Concurrent sessions
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
7:00 - 7:05 p.m.
7:05 - 8:20 p.m.

Investing in Freedom

8:20 - 9:20 p.m.
Late-night reception
7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Alliance for Charitable Reform Breakfast
7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Breakfast roundtable discussions
8:40 - 10:00 a.m.
Big Ideas

Briefings on timely topics

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.
10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Deep Dive Conversations

Dig deeper into the topic that interests you most

11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
12:00 - 1:45 p.m.
Presentation of the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership
1:45 - 2:15 p.m.
2:15 - 5:15 p.m.
Concurrent Workshops
5:15 - 6:30 p.m.
Break / FIRE Livestream
6:30 - 7:45 p.m.
Reception-style dinner
8:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Evening salons
7:15 - 8:00 a.m.
Continental networking breakfast and coffee
8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Concurrent sessions
9:15 - 10:15 a.m.
Concurrent sessions
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Closing brunch
2:00 p.m.
Optional local activity


Scott Cook

Scott Cook Founder and Chairman, Executive Committee Intuit

Joe Lonsdale

Joe Lonsdale General Partner 8VC

Nadine  Strossen

Nadine Strossen John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law New York Law School

Amity Shlaes

Amity Shlaes Chairman Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation

Robert Doar

Robert Doar President and Morgridge Scholar American Enterprise Institute

Russell Carson

Russell Carson Chairman The Carson Family Charitable Trust

Event Recap

Upward Mobility: Stepping Stones to the American Dream

Is the American Dream as strong as it once was? During this lively and optimistic discussion led by American Enterprise Institute President Robert Doar, panelists described how government and civil society can help Americans strengthen their lives and families. Attendees learned from leading practitioner Carla Javits of the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund how social enterprises are helping people get and keep good jobs; leading donor Scott Cook, founder of Intuit, on how investments in early childhood education are unlocking human potential; and leading scholar John Bailey of AEI on the role government can play in strengthening the economy and improving public policy. 

Watch the full session here. 
Read the full recap here.
Read the full transcript here.

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Robert Doar
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHY G

Investing in Freedom

This dinner featured a conversation with Palantir Co-founder Joe Lonsdale, a highly successful venture capitalist and one of the leading free-market philanthropists in Silicon Valley. Lonsdale is a general partner at 8VC and a champion of free speech on campus and in public discourse. Evan Baehr, founder and CEO of the Teneo Network, served as interviewer for this session.  

Watch the full session here. 
Read the full recap here. 
Read the full transcript here.

Joe Lonsdale speaks at the Wednesday dinner plenary session at 2019 Annual Meeting

Evan Baehr (left) Joe Lonsdale (right)
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHY G

Presentation of the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership

The Philanthropy Roundtable was pleased to administer the 2019 William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership to Russ Carson, chairman of The Carson Family Charitable Trust and co-founder of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. During this lunch presentation, Carson was interviewed by Jim Perry, co-founder and managing director of Madison Dearborn Partners. 

Read the full recap here.
Watch the full session here.
Read the transcript: part 1 or part 2.


Russell L. Carson (left) Jim Perry (right)
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHY G

Resisting Hate with Free Speech, Not Censorship

During the closing session, Michael McConnell of Stanford Law School led the conversation with Nadine Strossen, New York Law School professor and former ACLU president. McConnell noted that Strossen serves a critical role in defending free speech, something that once was supported but now is under extraordinary pressure.
McConnell framed the discussion around the culture of the U.S. as it pertains to freedom of speech. "It has ceased to be a principle and has become a political tool," he explained. Strossen agreed and expounded saying, "It's even worse than that, Michael. If we don't like what someone has to say, then we say it is violence, not speech."

Read the full recap here.
Watch the full session here. 
Read the full transcript here.

Nadine Strossen speaks to Michael McConnell on the plenary stage at the 2019 Annual Meeting

 Michael McConnell (left) Nadine Strossen (right)
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHY G

More event recaps by topic:

K-12 Education

Economic Opportunity

Philanthropic Giving

Civic Education

Additional Topics



The Philanthropy Roundtable extends its most sincere thanks to the following sponsors for their generous support of our 2019 Annual Meeting:




Enroth Family Fund
GMF 2016 Logo


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Sponsor of First Amendment Content




The Ahmanson Foundation

Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation


Thomas S. Kenan III

The Samuel B. and Margaret C. Mosher Foundation

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

The Sunderland Foundation

Taube Philanthropies


For more information on how you can help, please contact Rachel Verdejo at