Thomas Meyer is the program director for veterans services at The Philanthropy Roundtable, and co-founder of the Independence Project. He authored Serving Those Who Served, a 2013 guidebook to philanthropy for veterans, and has published articles in Philanthropy and Security Studies, and been quoted on this subject in the New York Times and elsewhere. Before joining the Roundtable, he completed research with U.S. and U.K. army officers focused on counterinsurgency work in Iraq and Afghanistan. He graduated with distinction in sociology from Yale University, and completed a Fox Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. Thomas grew up in an Army family and currently lives in Washington, D.C.
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.
It’s quite likely that politics and public policy will be sources of frustration for many Americans for years to come.
But even if Washington, D.C., remains frozen tundra for people who want to improve the nation, powerful culture change is within reach. As you are about to read, we’ve been in this position before. And the clear lesson of history is that there are many paths to progress other than those that run along the Potomac. There are precedents and prior triumphs we can copy, and many places we can productively invest to make our country better.
This short book explains how citizens have repeatedly used voluntary action, private giving, and the processes of civil society to dramatically elevate our society. In eras when our national prospects were considerably bleaker than they are now, Americans found effective ways to solve their problems. It can happen again.
This book offers inspiration and a practical roadmap for the next generation of patriotic philanthropists willing to organize, spend, and act to refine the United States of America, even in an era of political frustration.