What is character and how do you shape it? This question has preoccupied parents, teachers, clergy, and leaders since time immemorial. But it takes on vital importance in our era. While the complexity and autonomy of life in the twenty-first century call for character more than ever, the conditions under which such character is forged are in trouble. How do we replenish the store of moral capital in such a diverse, individualistic, consumerist, and stressed society? How do we encourage a shared pursuit of the good?

Philanthropy Roundtable's Character Initiative aims to break open a new path for donors interested in launching a character revival. By building a diverse community of practice out of a shared framework, this Initiative aims to equip donors to strengthen and re-imagine the most effective character-forming institutions for our day. In doing so we hope to better support those organizations that are shaping souls and changing lives. Program director Anne Snyder has just published the Roundtable's latest Wise Giver's Guide, The Fabric of Character, which offers stories of exemplary organizations operating today and a powerful set of 16 questions that you can use to evaluate your own.

Read Chester E. Finn, Jr., distinguished senior fellow and president emeritus of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute's, review of The Fabric of Character here.

Why Character? Why Now?

An introduction to the call for character and philanthropy's role in its formation.

16 Questions to Guide Your Giving

The world is full of organizations that seek to transform character, but how can you tell which ones are successful?

"For the Children's Sake"

Habit Formation and The Oaks Academy

Character Education At Scale

The Positivity Project 


The Fabric of Character

A Wise Giver's Guide to Supporting Social and Moral Renewal

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