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
527
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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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Available on Android devices
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Karl Zinsmeister
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.
Karl Zinsmeister
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.

Kate Harvey
John J. Miller
Donating money to modify public thinking and government policy has now taken its place next to service-centered giving as a constructive branch of philanthropy. Many donors now view public-policy reform as a necessary adjunct to their efforts to improve lives directly.

This is perhaps inevitable given the mushrooming presence of government in our lives. In 1930, just 12 percent of U.S. GDP was consumed by government; by 2012 that had tripled to 36 percent. Unless and until that expansion of the state reverses, it is unrealistic to expect the philanthropic sector to stop trying to have a say in public policies.

Sometimes it’s not enough to build a house of worship; one must create policies that make it possible for people to practice their faith freely within society. Sometimes it’s not enough to pay for a scholarship; one must change laws so that high-quality schools exist for scholarship recipients to take advantage of.

Yet public-policy philanthropy has special ways of mystifying and frustrating practitioners. It requires understanding of governmental practice, interpretation of human nature, and some philosophical perspective. Public-policy philanthropists may encounter opponents operating from different principles who view them as outright enemies. Moreover, public-policy struggles never seem to end: victories one year become defeats the next, followed by comebacks, then setbacks, and on and on.

This book was written to help donors navigate all of those obstacles. It draws on deep history, and rich interviews with the very best practitioners of ­­public-policy philanthropy in America today. Whatever your aspirations for U.S. society and governance, this guide will help you find the best ways to make a difference. 

Kate Harvey
Karl Zinsmeister
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.

John J. Miller
Donating money to modify public thinking and government policy has now taken its place next to service-centered giving as a constructive branch of philanthropy. Many donors now view public-policy reform as a necessary adjunct to their efforts to improve lives directly.

This is perhaps inevitable given the mushrooming presence of government in our lives. In 1930, just 12 percent of U.S. GDP was consumed by government; by 2012 that had tripled to 36 percent. Unless and until that expansion of the state reverses, it is unrealistic to expect the philanthropic sector to stop trying to have a say in public policies.

Sometimes it’s not enough to build a house of worship; one must create policies that make it possible for people to practice their faith freely within society. Sometimes it’s not enough to pay for a scholarship; one must change laws so that high-quality schools exist for scholarship recipients to take advantage of.

Yet public-policy philanthropy has special ways of mystifying and frustrating practitioners. It requires understanding of governmental practice, interpretation of human nature, and some philosophical perspective. Public-policy philanthropists may encounter opponents operating from different principles who view them as outright enemies. Moreover, public-policy struggles never seem to end: victories one year become defeats the next, followed by comebacks, then setbacks, and on and on.

This book was written to help donors navigate all of those obstacles. It draws on deep history, and rich interviews with the very best practitioners of ­­public-policy philanthropy in America today. Whatever your aspirations for U.S. society and governance, this guide will help you find the best ways to make a difference. 

Karl Zinsmeister
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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