February 11, 2013 – New York University Kimmel Center
|5:00-7:00pm||Reception and Dinner|
|7:00-8:30pm||Why I Do It: Prominent Donors Discuss Why and How They Participate Philanthropically and Politically
An After-Dinner Dialogue
What motivates Americans from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to passionately contribute to both philanthropy and politics? In this after-dinner conversation, journalist and civic advocate David Gergen interviews high-profile philanthropists and political donors on why they give, what has motivated their actions, how they give, how they know they’ve been successful or not and what they intend to do differently in light of their experiences in the last several political cycles.
February 12, 2013 – New York University Kimmel Center
|8:30-9:30am||The Uneasy Relationship between Philanthropy and Politics: What A Century of History Suggests for the Future of Our Field—and Democracy
American philanthropists from Carnegie to Rockefeller to Gates have long engaged in social change activities, advocacy and politics. Congress and other institutions have as well, often investigating and acting on philanthropy’s tax exemptions, political prerogatives and freedom to advocate. Relationships have been both acrimonious and cooperative, sometimes both at the same time. Princeton historian Stanley Katz ties together the events in politics and philanthropy over the past century, highlights where the old and the new align, diverge or clash and what this suggests for the future.
|9:45-11:15am||Exercising Philanthropy’s Political Muscle: What’s the Role of Philanthropic Investment?
Three discussions take place around subjects where philanthropy is deeply engaged, affected, challenging and challenged.
Activist funders have sought to reform education. But to what end? Have outside funders and their agendas made things better or worse? Where do educators and governments come in? Are we in a place of perpetual experimentation and conflict offering few scalable and sustained benefits to students, families and communities? Where are the new opportunities for philanthropy—and society?
Notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s narrow decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the outcome of the 2012 elections, the ACA’s implementation remains in question and subject to continued public debate and legal and funding challenges at the state and federal level. What lessons do past philanthropic efforts tell us about how philanthropy might promote better health policy and more effective health systems? What constructive role can philanthropy play in implementation and service delivery? How will the new environment of politics, power and influence affect foundation grantmaking and the providers and consumers of care?
Poverty, Equity and Access
What can foundations do on their own, in new types of collaborations and jointly with government, to expand equity and access and shrink the economic divide? Are there coalitions to be fostered? Can we finally talk about race and class? To what end?
|11:30am-12:45pm||The Changing Political Landscape: Is Philanthropy Keeping Up?
Philanthropy’s role in civil society has shifted dramatically over the last 30 years. In a world with three television networks as gatekeepers to the news, traditional philanthropy used to be able to forge consensus on key policy agendas. Like the old media environment, or the bipartisan comity that often reigned in DC and most statehouses, that world is gone. Except to the extent that the sector’s direct interests are involved, philanthropy’s voice is relatively absent from many key policy debates, while other funders, from super PACs to mega donors, have become more active and engaged. What is at stake if philanthropists do not become more effective policy players? How can old and new funders improve their policy game?
In this session, speakers and the audience will engage in a dialogue about how philanthropy can better impact policy change within America’s increasingly polarized political culture. Bring your cell phone and participate electronically in this interactive discussion.
|2:00-3:30pm||Philanthropy in Post-Election America: What’s Next?
Rapid-Fire Observations and Closing Discussion
Inspiring leaders with philanthropy experience—but not philanthropy insiders—will offer 10-minute rapid-fire talks intended to spur new thinking on movement building, technology and communications, political engagement and other critical issues that may well alter philanthropy in the near future. Speakers will share 10-minute provocative talks on what philanthropy should look like in our next political cycle, including how donors should (or should not) strengthen political and governmental relationships for the common good. An interactive, facilitated conversation will follow, pulling together highlights from the presentations and, with audience participation, focus on philanthropy’s ability and willingness to leverage its money and power.