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Economic Opportunity

A Gateway to Peace and Prosperity

A Texas couple create a new community to help women exit cycles of abuse.

Beware of Blind Spots

Two veteran social reformers encourage the Ford Foundation not to overlook the tough elements that are essential to the success of tough love in combating economic inequality.  

Why Work Is the Best Charity for the Poor

What if we’re looking in the wrong place for cures to poverty? If we search out what it is that banishes need and fills wants for most people, the answer is obvious: work. Poverty is one part economics, one part psychology—work helps both. 

Alternatives to ‘College for All’

The skyrocketing cost of higher education, coupled with a tough job market for young people, have some questioning the prevailing “college for all” perspective. Is a four-year college degree really the best fit for every young person?

Hiring Mentors for Neglected Children

Friends of the Children pairs at-risk children with paid and trained mentors. Duncan Campbell, a philanthropist who founded Friends of the Children in 1993, is interviewed here about the program.

The Center for Urban Families

The Center for Urban Families is helping fathers step up.

The Tangelo Park Model for Transforming a Troubled Neighborhood

A Q&A with Florida hotelier and philanthropist Harris Rosen.

On Creating Productive Work for the Persistently Jobless

George Roberts is co-founder of the KKR leveraged buyout firm, and an active philanthropist with a special interest in building social enterprises. Following is a brief extract interview from our forthcoming book on assisting work as an anti-poverty charitable strategy. 

Achievements in Economic & Social Prosperity

Fighting poverty is one of the oldest charitable imperatives. This in turn often requires battling syndromes that lead to poverty—like family breakdown, alcohol and drug abuse, or unfair bias. Our newest list of Achievements in American Philanthropy collects initiatives that help citizens prosper. 

Hilton Foundation’s $1.5 million Prize

Every year, the Conrad Hilton Foundation awards a $1.5 million humanitarian prize to an organization that is alleviating human suffering. The 2014 winner, Fountain House, brings mentally-ill individuals together in social networks that reinforce good citizenship and independence, and was profiled in a recent Philanthropy Roundtable Q&A. The foundation is now accepting nominations for the 2015 prize.

Work vs. Poverty

At The Philanthropy Roundtable’s recent event “Getting America Back to Work,” donors discussed the importance—and challenges—of expanding work among the poor.

Wielding the Profit Motive Against Poverty

In The Business Solution to Poverty, entrepreneur Paul Polak and marketing guru Mal Warwick turn development upside down by suggesting that multinational businesses shouldn’t think of the poor as victims, but rather as potential customers. 

How to Alleviate Poverty While Respecting Liberty

The Economic Opportunity initiative of The Philanthropy Roundtable held a February 2014 conference on the natural overlaps between philanthropic giving to aid the poor and giving that encourages free markets and economic decentralism. 


How Pete Peterson's donations are helping Washington find budget balance.  

Caring through Community

In this Q&A, The Philanthropy Roundtable asks psychiatric nurse and donor Marlene Mieske about her enthusiastic support of Fountain House, an organization in New York City dedicated to men and women with mental illness.

War on Poverty

The Philanthropy Roundtable's director of economic opportunity, Jo Kwong, weighs in on Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty initiative.  

Work as Priority

In a Q&A, trustee Donn Weinberg describes why work takes priority in the Weinberg Foundation's anti-poverty efforts.

When They Want to Start Over

In a Q&A, the founder of the Life Learning Center shares his vision of transforming the lives of those who hit bottom.

Robin Hood Rules

A new book lays out the details of the data-driven philanthropy of the Robin Hood Foundation.

From Homeless to Employed

The entrepreneurial founder of one of the country’s most effective anti-poverty programs, The Cara Program, answers questions about how the change from lost soul to independent worker takes place.

9 Ways to Support Entrepreneurship

At a Kansas City conference sponsored jointly by the Roundtable and the leading U.S. foundation on philanthropy that encourages business creation, practitioners described how to make America more enterprising.

About the Economic Opportunity Initiative

The Economic Opportunity initiative focuses on philanthropic strategies that advance entrepreneurship and economic growth; economic independence through work and asset ownership; and personal responsibility and life skills. Read more about the program here.

The Philanthropy Roundtable Goes to Prison

Check out the highlights from the Charting a Path from Criminality to Opportunity event in Houston, February 2013, where donors and nonprofit leaders shared innovative solutions to the growing problem of incarceration and recidivism.

Questions on “Economic Opportunity” Philanthropy

What exactly is “economic opportunity”? The Philanthropy Roundtable is asking some committed donors. Our first respondent, Jeanne Bistranin of the Adolph Coors Foundation, zeroes in on one important question: What counts as self-sufficiency?