The Almanac of American Philanthropy: 2017 Compact Edition

The Philanthropy Roundtable
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 Philanthropy in America is a giant undertaking—every year more than $390 billion is voluntarily given by individuals, foundations, and businesses to a riot of good causes. Donation rates are two to ten times higher in the U.S. than in comparable nations, and privately funded efforts to solve social problems, enrich culture, and strengthen society are among the most significant undertakings in the United States.


The Almanac of American Philanthropy was created to serve as the definitive reference on America's distinctive philanthropy. Upon its publication it immediately became the authoritative, yet highly readable, 1,342-page bible of private giving—chronicling the greatest donors in history, the most influential achievements, the essential statistics, and summaries of vital ideas about charitable action.


Now there is this new Compact Edition of the Almanac. It offers highlights of the crucial information and fascinating arguments contained in the full-length Almanac, in a condensed format. All updated to 2017!

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About the author

 Karl Zinsmeister is the author of 13 books ranging from embedded reporting to encyclopedic references to a storytelling cookbook to a Marvel graphic novel. 


In 2016 he published What Comes Next? How Private Givers Can Rescue America in an Era of Political Frustration. Earlier that same year he released the fascinating Almanac of American Philanthropy that brings to life 300 years of great donors and great achievements in charitable problem-solving in America. In 2017 he created a Compact Edition of that work, which had quickly become the authoritative source on private giving in the U.S. Other recent work includes a 2015 book on how public policy is changed by savvy givers (Agenda Setting), and a 2014 examination of the rise of charter schools (From Promising to Proven). Before that he created a storytelling cookbook (Finger Lakes Feast) chronicling one of America's new hotspots for great local food, in collaboration with his co-author daughter and photographer son.


Previous books included the first book of Iraq war reporting to be published by an embedded reporter (Boots on the Ground), the first book of embedded reporting on the U.S. counterinsurgency effort (Dawn Over Baghdad), even a Marvel non-fiction comic book. He has also written for national publications like the Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. He and his wife produced a feature documentary film entitled Warriors that aired nationally on PBS in 2007, with major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


For nearly 13 years Zinsmeister was editor-in-chief of The American Enterprise, a national magazine of politics, business, and culture based in Washington, D.C. Author and former Cabinet Secretary William Bennett called it "one of America's finest magazines.... intellectually interesting, well-written, lively, wide-ranging, and above all useful."



From 2006 to 2009 Zinsmeister served in the West Wing as President George W. Bush's chief domestic policy adviser and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. Earlier in his career he was an assistant to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He has testified before Congressional committees and Presidential commissions, and holds the highest U.S. security clearance.



A graduate of Yale University, Zinsmeister did further studies at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. During college he won rowing championships in both the U.S. and Ireland. 


He has appeared often on a wide variety of national television and radio programs. He has lived, worked, or traveled in 40 countries, and nearly every U.S. state. 


Zinsmeister is married and has three children. An avid biker, photographer, outdoorsman, and renovator of old houses, he currently lives on a houseboat in Washington, D.C.

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Additional Information

Publisher
The Philanthropy Roundtable
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Published on
Oct 17, 2017
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Pages
463
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ISBN
9780997852608
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Reference
Social Science / Philanthropy & Charity
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Charitable giving is on the rise in America. Despite the lingering effects of the economic downturn, Americans continue to give generously of their time, talent, and money – more than $335 billion in 2013, a 4.4% increase from 2011. What’s more, the bulk of that charitable giving – 72% – came not from large foundations or corporations, but from individuals making small gifts. For those with passion for a cause and a generous spirit, it’s vitally important that they leverage their gift in the right way in order to have the greatest impact possible.

In her first book EVERY GIFT MATTERS (Greenleaf; May 2015), Carrie Morgridge shares inspiring stories of powerful gifts in action showing readers how to turn the act of giving into a vehicle for positive change. Drawing on 15 years of experience supporting causes that align with her passions through gifts, Morgridge demonstrates how a smart strategy, high expectations, a deep network, and hands-on personal involvement will ensure that one’s gift is compounded over time to have the biggest impact possible.

“Each person and every gift can make a difference,” writes Morgridge. “Whoever you are, no matter how much or how little you have, your gift matters. The smallest, seemingly unimportant, donation can transform a life. And the best news is that giving transforms two lives: the one who receives and the one who gives.”

Through her role as Vice President of The Morgridge Family Foundation, Morgridge has learned what works – and what doesn’t – when it comes to giving. She argues that in order to ensure meaningful and lasting change, a gift must be more than simply a grant of money. The giver must assess whether the program is the right fit, work hand-in-hand with the key leaders on strategy, develop a plan for making the endeavor sustainable, and ensure that their gift can be leveraged to have a bigger impact on the community. By sharing real-life stories of how this hands-on approach to giving has transformed lives – including her own – Morgridge inspires others to believe that they can also make a difference in their community, no matter the size of their gift.
The world of the golden donors - the rich and influential philanthropic foundations - is quite likely the least known and yet most pervasive of all the invisible money and power networks in America. Nielsen explores the 36 largest of the 22,000 currently active foundations. He takes the reader inside each of the giants to analyze its people, policies, and performance. From the most famous, Ford and MacArthur, to the most obscure, Mabee and Moody, the author lets in daylight and lets out the bats as well as the butterflies. Golden Donors is a journey through 36 flefdoms, each of which controls upwards of $250 million dollars, beyond the reach of the IRS, in order to encourage medical research, support cultural and artistic endeavors, and not least, to buttress immensely expensive educational institutions. Which of the great foundations in recent years have been spectacular successes and which are failures? Is today's leadership in the third-stream economy equal to the task? Are foundations, seedbeds or killing grounds of new social and political ideas? And what is the federal government, and a variety of administrations, doing to help or harm this new economy? Nielsen provides many surprising and some quite startling answers for the millions of Americans whose lives the golden donors directly or indirectly affect. When Golden Donors first appeared, A. Bartlett Giamatti praised it as an historical guide, a shrewd critique, and an impassioned warning. "This remarkable book on the nation's largest foundations must be ready by anyone concerned with America's unique not-for-profit sector and the quality of our national life." Kingman Brewster saw the book as "a revealing mirror held up to the faces of big philanthropy...a must book for foundation creators and leaders." Thornton F. Bradsahw said, "Golden Donors describes the large American foundations, what they are how they got that way, and wherein lies their strength and their potential. The book is wise, witty, and perceptive - indispensable reading."
"It is a delight to seen an anthology on nonprofit history done so well."—Barry Karl, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"This is a volume that everyone concerned about nonprofits—scholar, practitioner, and citizen—will find useful and illuminating."—Peter Dobkin Hall, Program on Non-Profit Organizations
Yale Divinity School

"A remarkable book."—Robert Putnam, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

[One to come from John Simon, School of Law, Yale University by Jan. 13th and others are being solicited.]

Unique among nations, America conducts almost all of its formally organized religious activity, and many cultural, arts, human service, educational, and research activities through private nonprofit organizations. Though partially funded by government, as well as by fees and donations, American nonprofits have pursued their missions with considerable independence. Many have amassed remarkable resources and acquired some of the most impressive hospital, university, performing arts, and museum facilities in the world. While some have amassed large endowments, many that surpass one billion dollars, there are also hundreds of thousands of small nonprofits, most with no tangible resources at all.

How did the United States come to rely so heavily on nonprofits? Why has it continued to do so? What purposes do Americans seek to advance through nonprofits? How have Americans sought to control them? How have nonprofits been effected by the growth of government in the twentieth century? These questions suggest the complexity of the history of nonprofits in the United States. To help explore that history, this reader presents some of the classic documents in the development of the nonprofit sector along with important interpretations by recent scholars. The selections can be considered a representative part of a single extended conversation by the men and women who have taken part in the effort to define America and the American dream, even as they shaped what we now call the nonprofit sector. The statements by participants in the growth and development of the nonprofit sector are accompanied by essays written by historians and social scientists that provide concise surveys of important issues and periods. The essays give voice to those whose contributions to the American debate about voluntary associations and private institutions would otherwise be difficult to find or comprehend.

The selections can be considered a representative part of a single extended conversation by the men and women who have taken part in the effort to define America and the American dream, even as they shaped what we now call the nonprofit sector. The statements by participants in the growth and development of the nonprofit sector are accompanied by essays written by historians and social scientists that provide concise surveys of important issues and periods. The essays give voice to those whose contributions to the American debate about voluntary associations and private institutions would otherwise be difficult to find or comprehend.

Each selection has been chosen to define or illuminate important questions in the development of the nonprofit sector in the United States. Many include criticisms of particular nonprofit efforts, or of nonprofit activity in general. The intention is to provoke thought, not to establish an official list of readings. Though not every point of view could be included, the reader does reflect a general understanding of the nature of the nonprofit sector and its significance in the development of the United States.

Philanthropic Studies—Dwight F. Burlingame and David C. Hammack, general editors

Includes 32 color photos taken by the author during the month he was embedded with the 82nd in Kuwait and Iraq.

This is a riveting account of the war in Iraq moving north with the 82nd Airborne. Units of the 82nd depart Kuwait and convoy to Iraq's Tallil Air Base en route to night-and-day battles within the major city of Samawah and its intact bridges across the Euphrates. Boots on the Ground quickly becomes an action-filled microcosm of the new kinds of ultramodern war fighting showcased in the overall battle for Iraq. At the same time it remains specific to the daily travails of the soldiers. Karl Zinsmeister, a frontline reporter who traveled with the 82nd, vividly conveys the careful planning and technical wizardry that go into today's warfare, even local firefights, and he brings to life the constant air-ground interactions that are the great innovation of modern precision combat.

What exactly does it feel like to travel with a spirited body of fighting men? To come under fire? To cope with the battlefield stresses of sleep-deprivation, and a steady diet of field rations for weeks on end? Readers of this day-to-day diary are left with not only a flashing sequence of strong mental images, but also a notion of the sounds and smells and physical sensations that make modern military action unforgettable.

Ultimately, Boots on the Ground is a human story: a moving portrayal of the powerful bonds of affection, trust, fear, and dedication that bind real soldiers involved in battle. There are unexpected elements: The humor that bubbles up amidst dangerous fighting. The pathos of a badly wounded young boy. The affection openly exhibited by many American soldiers--love of country, love of family and hometown, love of each other. This is a true-life tale of superbly trained men in extraordinary circumstances, packed with concrete detail, often surpassing fiction for sheer drama.

Twenty-five years ago, charter schools hadn’t even been dreamed up. Today they are mushrooming across the country. There are 6,500 charter schools operating in 42 states, with more than 600 new ones opening every year. Within a blink there will be 3 million American children attending these freshly invented institutions (and 5 million students in them by the end of this decade). 

It is philanthropy that has made all of this possible. Without generous donors, charter schools could never have rooted and multiplied in this way. And philanthropists have driven relentless annual improvements—better trained school founders, more prepared teachers, sharper curricula, smarter technology—that have allowed charter schools to churn out impressive results.

Studies show that student performance in charter schools is accelerating every year, as high-performing models replace weaker ones. Charter schools as a whole already exceed conventional schools in results. The top charters that are now growing so fast elevate student outcomes more than any other schools in the U.S.—especially among poor and minority children.

Charter schooling may be the most important social innovation of our age, and it is just beginning to boom. Philanthropists anxious to improve America have more opportunities to make a difference through charter schools than in almost any other way. This book provides the facts, examples, cautionaries, inspiration, research, and practical experience that philanthropists will need as charter schooling shifts gears from promising experiment to mainstream movement bringing improved opportunity to millions of students.
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