Fall 2015 – 25 Ways to Strengthen America

One of the principal services of The Philanthropy Roundtable is to connect donors and foundations with best-in-class strategies, experts, and other funders in the philanthropic fields where they want to make the greatest difference. Here are 25 ways that funders can strengthen our free society through their charitable giving. Please let us know if you would like to expand or strengthen your giving in any of these initiatives, and the Roundtable will be at your service.

Invest in think tanks, litigation centers, and grassroots organizations committed to limited, effective government, a vigorous market economy, a flourishing civil society, a strong national defense, and the protection and advancement of religious, political, intellectual, and economic freedom.

Support human-service providers that offer a hand up, not a permanent handout, helping people to become self-reliant through active participation in work.

Instill greater understanding and appreciation of the lives and principles of our Founding Fathers and other great leaders in middle and high schools, colleges and universities, books, websites, and documentaries, and the creation and growth of outstanding museums.

Encourage multiple models of disruptive innovation in teacher training, building on the dramatic success of philanthropists in supporting diverse charter-school networks where low- income children excel.

Expand character-building institutions such as Scouting, athletic leagues that emphasize sportsmanship, professional associations with a strong ethical foundation, and schools and colleges that integrate character formation into the core of their curriculum.

Invest in the next generation of business, political, academic, and national security leaders who will understand, protect, and advance freedom.

Finance movies and videos that tell great stories of heroism, moral integrity and courage, and the creativity that flourishes in a free society.

Develop new business models for K-12 and higher education, combining online personalized learning, competency-based badges, and apprenticeships with employers, along with the best of traditional classroom instruction and extracurriculars.

Support religious, educational, economic, and cultural organizations in other countries that foster the rule of law and respect for individual freedom and dignity.

Expand the number of high-quality religious and other private schools, especially in states with strong school-choice programs such as Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and Louisiana.

Develop affordable health-care pilot programs that offer low-income families a superior alternative to Medicaid.

At a time of declining defense expenditures, invest in key military R&D initiatives that will keep America and our allies strong and free, building on the crucial leadership of philanthropy in developing radar and cryptography.

Enable veterans to apply their leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills and talents in the workplace rather than become dependent on disability or welfare payments.

Reduce one of the greatest obstacles to upward mobility by reversing the catastrophic collapse of marriage and the family in working-class communities.

Experiment with innovative ideas, and test unconventional hypotheses and lines of inquiry in biomedical and other forms of scientific research.

Sustain the independence of houses of worship, artistic centers, colleges and universities, and other cherished institutions, and enable them to resist the political pressure that comes with over-reliance on government funding.

Move America closer to Martin Luther King’s dream of a country where people are judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

Jump-start our sputtering economy by promoting a revival of entrepreneurship, and the removal of frivolous regulatory impediments to growth.

Strengthen community colleges, apprenticeships, and other career and technical education institutions with a strong track record placing youth and adults in mid-skill jobs.

Welcome with open arms immigrants who respect the rule of law and come to America for freedom and opportunity, not dependence on the welfare state. Help them to become active citizens committed to the Founders’ vision of a free society.

Encourage community activities and law-enforcement policies that strengthen respect for the police and lower both crime and incarceration rates.

Develop models of health-care delivery and insurance that encourage innovation and competition, enable families to make medical choices, and empower nurses and doctors.

Invest in curricula and training programs that will enable American K-12 students to rival or surpass Singapore in math and science achievement.

Support environmental organizations that use the principles of private property, competitive enterprise, and technological innovation to protect the earth and its creatures.

Protect the freedom of donors and foundations to determine how and where to give away their charitable assets, and strengthen America’s tradition as the most charitable country on earth.

Adam Meyerson is president of The Philanthropy Roundtable.

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