Over 400 experts and donors gathered in Palm Beach, Florida on October 24-26 for the 2018 Annual Meeting. During powerful debates and practical how-to sessions, attendees discussed the best ways for private individuals to achieve powerful results through their giving. The Annual Meeting covers a broad range of issues and offers exposure to areas beyond where people may usually make grants to help spur new ideas and discussions. 

Event Recap

We Are Stronger Together

Political polarization is stronger than ever, and people are unwilling to argue constructively. Resisting these trends, keynote speakers Rebecca Rimel of The Pew Charitable Trusts and Brian Hooks of the Charles Koch Foundation, discussed their approaches to developing nontraditional philanthropic partnerships. These groups, typically at opposing ends of the philosophical spectrum, have joined forces on criminal justice reform and lowered incarceration rates by 12 percent nationwide. Watch a short excerpt of their remarks here:



Patriotic Philanthropy

David Rubenstein discussed his “patriotic philanthropy” and passion for preserving history as a matter of strengthening democracy. After signing the Giving Pledge and becoming an active philanthropist, Rubenstein purchased a copy of the Magna Carta that he would permanently loan to the National Archives. He described this opportunity as a moment of serendipity that ultimately became his entry into patriotic philanthropy. His efforts since have included donations to George Washington's Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier, the Lincoln Memorial, and the repair of the Washington Monument. Check out this short clip of Rubenstein humorously retelling the story of purchasing the Magna Carta and his theory fueling his philanthropy.



2018 William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership

“I think the way that all philanthropists start is by writing out a check. The path I took from there led me to expand beyond writing out checks to identifying a gap, and if a group addressing that gap doesn’t currently exist, then constructing something new.”
-Paul E. Singer, 2018 Simon Prize recipient

Philanthropist and businessman Paul E. Singerwas presented with the 2018 William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership, highlighting the power of philanthropy to promote positive change and achieve genuine results. In a discussion with 2010 Simon Prize winner Roger Hertog, Singer detailed the creation of Start-Up Nation Central in Israel, one of his most significant philanthropic initiatives. It is based on the premise that functional markets and an innovative economy have been the path to Israel’s prosperity. He has also been an important donor in developing Heterodox Academy, a coalition of professors and graduate students committed to increasing viewpoint diversity on college campuses.

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Roger Hertog (left) interviews Paul E. Singer (right)

Photography by: LILA PHOTO


7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

12:00 - 1:20 p.m.
Buffet Luncheon

1:30 - 1:40 p.m.
Welcome and Opening Comments

Adam Meyerson, President, The Philanthropy Roundtable

1:40 - 2:05 p.m.
Opening Plenary Session

How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy

2:05 - 3:05 p.m.
Two-part Plenary

Forging Philanthropic Partnerships: Conversations with Rebecca Rimel and Brian Hooks

3:10 - 3:40 p.m.
Talkback Sessions
3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Evening Reception

7:00 - 8:45 p.m.

What Washington Can Learn from the States

6:00 - 7:00 a.m.
Workout with InnerCity Weightlifting
7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

7:30 - 8:45 a.m.
Breakfast Buffet

8:45 - 9:00 a.m.

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Morning Plenary Session

The Future of Work in an Age of Artificial Intelligence

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Networking Break

10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions
12:00 - 1:45 p.m.
Presentation of William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership
2:00 - 3:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
3:15 - 3:45 p.m.
Networking Break

3:45 - 4:45 p.m.
Special Sessions
4:45 - 6:00 p.m.

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Reception and Dinner
8:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Evening Salons
7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

7:45 - 8:45 a.m.
Breakfast Roundtable Discussions
8:45 - 9:00 a.m.

9:00 - 10:20 a.m.
Morning Plenary
10:20 - 10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions
12:00 - 12:15 p.m.

12:15 - 2:00 p.m.
Closing Luncheon

Patriotic Philanthropy: A Conversation with David Rubenstein

2:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks

Annual Meeting programming concludes

2:15 - 8:30 p.m.
Mental Health Forum


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg Senior Editor National Review

Brian Hooks

Brian Hooks President Charles Koch Foundation

Andrew McAfee

Andrew McAfee Co-founder and Co-director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and Principal Research Scientist MIT Sloan School of Management

Rebecca Rimel

Rebecca Rimel President and CEO The Pew Charitable Trusts

Brooke Rollins

Brooke Rollins Assistant to the President, Office of American Innovation The White House

David Rubenstein

David Rubenstein Co-founder and Co-executive Chairman The Carlyle Group


Event Newsroom

Facts, Infographics, Social Media Resources


2018 William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership

Paul Singer is the 2018 William E. Simon Prize recipient.



Reimagining Mental Health and Wellness
The network of facilities and providers delivering mental health care is fragmented, underfunded, and regularly fails in its mission to heal and protect. In this forum, expert philanthropists and practitioners addressed philanthropic models to bring to life a vision of mental wellness for everyone.


The Philanthropy Roundtable extends its most sincere thanks to the following sponsors for their generous support of our 2018 Annual Meeting:


Challenge Grant Sponsors: 


New-Berger-Logo (002)


Enroth Family Fund
GMF 2016 Logo (002)


KF_logo-stacked (2)


 Triadlogoname (1)



The Ahmanson Foundation

Barney Family Foundation

Beazley Foundation

Hilda E. Bretzlaff Foundation


Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund

Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Thomas S. Kenan III

Shelter Hill Foundation

Sunderland Foundation


Challenge Grant Sponsors

In 2018, the Roundtable is the recipient of a generous and exciting challenge grant from the JF Maddox Foundation. We were challenged to find at least four other funders to sponsor this year’s Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida at the $30,000 level or above.

Here’s what Bob Reid, CEO of the JF Maddox Foundation, said about this exciting challenge:

“The Philanthropy Roundtable’s Annual Meeting is a significant and highly informative event for foundations and private philanthropists. The Roundtable’s Annual Meeting meaningfully informs our work year after year, and allows us to stay on top of developments that are immediately impacting our field.

The Roundtable consistently performs on the behalf of the field, and their Annual Meeting is just one of the many services they provide on top of an already impressive book of work.

To maintain the existing standard of excellence in content and programming, we must ensure that the Roundtable has the necessary resources specific to this meeting. We urge you to join us in supporting this immensely worthwhile event.”


For more information on how you can help, please contact Cecilia Diem at cdiem@PhilanthropyRoundtable.org.