March 10, 2020
New York, New York
What is the role of philanthropy in society? There is a long history in the United States of generosity on the part of those with significant resources, and many have long argued that private philanthropy lies at the heart of civil society. Without individual giving, we would lose important institutions that make our country unique and we would have missed out on many of the important innovations that result from private philanthropy. But others are concerned that giving in the United States is increasingly dominated by the “super rich” and that this poses many dangers. In particular, there is concern that charitable giving is simply a method of maintaining the status quo and reinforcing the power structure that enables those who are wealthy to remain so.
In this conversation, we’ll discuss the role of philanthropy in the United States. We will examine different perspectives on the issue and bring our personal experiences into dialogue with authors and practitioners who have given much thought to the topic. One dinner will not resolve all of the questions these materials raise, but we hope that guests will leave with a greater understanding of the issue and of the various perspectives on philanthropy’s place our society.