Karl Zinsmeister directs an energetic publishing program at The Philanthropy Roundtable in Washington, D.C., and writes extensively himself. He has just completed a novel about the most effective philanthropic culture reformers in U.S. history, for publication in 2019. His 2016 creation, The Almanac of American Philanthropy, is the authoritative 1,342-page reference on America's powerful tradition of solving public problems with private resources. In 2017 he created a Compact Edition of the Almanac. His book What Comes Next? How private givers can rescue America in an era of political frustration, offers a vision for constructive culture change, working around electoral gridlock. Zinsmeister created the "Sweet Charity" podcast (less-than-ten-minute stories about remarkable achievements in giving), available at the Apple Store or SweetCharityPodcast.com. He also founded and advises the Roundtable’s program on philanthropy for veterans and military servicemembers. Karl has authored 13 books, including two different works of embedded reporting on the Iraq war, a book on charter schools, a storytelling cookbook, even a graphic novel published by Marvel Comics. He has also made a PBS feature film and written hundreds of articles for publications ranging from the Atlantic to the Wall Street Journal. Earlier in his career he was a Senate aide to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the J. B. Fuqua Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and editor in chief for 13 years of The American Enterprise magazine. From 2006 to 2009 Karl served in the West Wing as the President's chief domestic policy adviser and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. He is a graduate of Yale University and also studied at Trinity College Dublin.
- The Almanac of American Philanthropy
- 2017 Compact Edition of the Almanac of American Philanthropy
- Less God, Less Giving?
- Religious Liberty—who needs it? A comic book treatment of a serious subject
- Ways Philanthropy Can Reinforce Faith and Its Good Works
- The Calculating Philanthropy of Silicon Valley
- How Private Givers Can Rescue America in an Era of Political Frustration
- The Power of Science Philanthropy
- How Philanthropy Fuels American Success
- From Promising to Proven: The Charter School Boom Ahead
- Donors Who Come to the Aid of Their Country: National Security Philanthropy
- Privacy as a Philanthropic Pillar
- Israel's Founding Funders
- Some People Love to Call Names
- Alfred Loomis Philanthropy Hall of Fame profile
- George Eastman Philanthropy Hall of Fame profile
- Oseola McCarty Philanthropy Hall of Fame profile
- Julius Rosenwald Philanthropy Hall of Fame profile
- Arthur & Lewis Tappan Philanthropy Hall of Fame profile
- 12 Common Criticisms of Philanthropy—and Some Answers, Stanford Social Innovation Review
- Giving Benefits the Giver, Huffington Post
- Wall Street Journal essay on philanthropic support for churches
- Wall Street Journal essay on charter schools
- Wall Street Journal essay on Catholic schools
- Wall Street Journal essay on culture-change through philanthropy
- From Promising to Proven: A Wise Giver's Guide to Expanding on the Success of Charter Schools
- Agenda Setting: A Wise Giver's Guide to Influencing Public Policy
Invite the Author
Philanthropy in America is a bursting, bubbling impulse that has vital effects on almost every sector of our society.
In this lively 30-minute talk, former White House domestic policy adviser Karl Zinsmeister sketches the unappreciated scope of charitable giving, and argues that without it, there would be no America as we know it. Private action to solve public problems is one of the practices that most distinguishes the U.S. from other nations, and it continues to play a crucial role in keeping our communities healthy and our economy burgeoning.
This presentation includes:
Powerful arguments from Zinsmeister's two 2016 books:
To schedule a talk, email Ashley May at amay@PhilanthropyRoundtable.org.
Download the PDF above