The Philanthropy Roundtable
Founded1987, gained independent status in 1991
FounderWilliam E. Simon, Irving Kristol
FocusPhilanthropic strategy and analysis, philanthropic freedom, preserving donor intent
Coordinates38°54′19″N 77°02′24″W / 38.9053°N 77.0401°W / 38.9053; -77.0401Coordinates: 38°54′19″N 77°02′24″W / 38.9053°N 77.0401°W / 38.9053; -77.0401
OriginsFormerly project of Institute For Educational Affairs
MethodPublications, events, consulting
President and CEO
Elise Westhoff
$8.39 million (2018)[2]

The Philanthropy Roundtable is a nonprofit organization that advises conservative philanthropists.[3][4][5][6]


The Roundtable was founded in 1987 as a project of the Institute For Educational Affairs. It was founded as a conservative alternative to the Council on Foundations, a nonprofit membership association of donors.[7][8]

It has a bimonthly newsletter, Philanthropy.[9] Membership was free "to interested grantmakers", and 140 foundations, charities and nonprofits joined in the Roundtable's first year.[9][non-primary source needed]

In 1991, The Philanthropy Roundtable became an independent entity, with its own board of directors and staff, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.[10][11] The Philanthropy Roundtable is a 501(c)(3) organization.[2] It has been described as conservative[12][13] and non-partisan.[14]

The Roundtable publishes a quarterly magazine, Philanthropy, that includes coverage of past and ongoing philanthropic efforts and strategies, as well as news stories and commentary relevant to readers who are active in the philanthropic sector.[15][non-primary source needed] The Roundtable also produces a series of guidebooks on philanthropic topics.[16] In 2016, the Roundtable published the Almanac of American Philanthropy, which is a reference book that summarizes the history, purposes, effects, and modern direction of private giving.[17]

In 2005, The Philanthropy Roundtable created the Alliance For Charitable Reform (ACR), which opposes legislation that would create accreditation requirements for grant-making foundations, establish a five-year IRS review of tax-exempt status, or restrict the ability of donors to establish family foundations.[18][non-primary source needed]

William E. Simon Prize

Main article: William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership

Starting in 2007, the William E. Simon Foundation named the Roundtable the administrator of the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership. Recipients of the prize since the Roundtable's administration of it include Bernie Marcus, Eli Broad, Charles G. Koch, Roger Hertog, Philip and Nancy Anschutz,[19] S. Truett Cathy, and Frank Hanna III.[20]


Kimberly Dennis was the organization's first executive director. She served as executive director from 1991 through 1996. John P. Walters assumed administrative leadership of the organization in the newly defined role of president the following year when the organization moved its headquarters to Washington, D.C.[11] Walters remained in that position until resigning in October 2001[10] to accept an appointment by George W. Bush to the cabinet-level position of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.[21]

Adam Meyerson served as president of the Philanthropy Roundtable from 2001 to 2020. In July 2019, Meyerson announced his upcoming retirement from the Roundtable.[22] Elise Westhoff became president and CEO in June 2020.[23][24] In 2011, former White House domestic policy adviser Karl Zinsmeister joined the Roundtable as vice president of publications.[25]

Board of directors

Philanthropy Magazine

Philanthropy is a quarterly magazine published by the Philanthropy Roundtable.[27] First published as a newsletter in 1987, Philanthropy became a glossy magazine in 1996. The magazine's primary focus is philanthropy, with a special interest in donor intent and philanthropic freedom. The magazine is headquartered in Washington, D.C.[28][non-primary source needed]

Donors featured in Philanthropy have included Charles G. Koch, Bernie Marcus, Tom Monaghan, Gerry Lenfest, Andrew Grove, Truett Cathy, Phil Anschutz, Roger Hertog, Charles Bronfman, Peter G. Peterson, Adrienne Arsht, and Nancy Brinker.[citation needed]

Philanthropy is edited by Caitrin Nicol Keiper. The masthead also includes the Philanthropy Roundtable's vice president for publications, Karl Zinsmeister, and contributing editors Arthur C. Brooks and John J. Miller.[28]

Philanthropy authors have included Matthew Bishop, James K. Glassman, Jonathan Last, Yuval Levin, Myron Magnet, James Panero, Kyle Smith, Bret Stephens, Alvin Townley, and Juan Williams.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Stockwell, Jamie (February 12, 2000). "Giving Nations More Than a Band-Aid Solution". Washington Post. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b "IRS Form 990 2013" (PDF). GuideStar. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  3. ^ Cohen, Patricia (February 4, 2013). "Museums Grapple With the Strings Attached to Gifts". New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  4. ^ Sanger, David (May 11, 2001). "Bush Names a Drug Czar And Addresses Criticism". New York Times. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Guiding Principles, Mission, Offerings". Philanthropy Roundtable. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  6. ^ Deparle, Jason (2005-05-29). "Goals Reached, Donor on Right Closes Up Shop". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  7. ^ King, Wayne; Molotsky, Irvin (February 1, 1987). "WASHINGTON TALK: BRIEFING; ALTERNATIVE UMBRELLA". New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  8. ^ Tollerson, Ernest (1996-12-19). "Charities Debate Tactic To Limit Gifts' Life Span". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  9. ^ a b "Philanthropy," July–August 1988, p. 16.
  10. ^ a b Nauffts, Mitch (November 29, 2006). "Adam Meyerson, President, Philanthropy Roundtable: Donors and Philanthropic Intent". Philanthropy News Digest. Archived from the original on January 15, 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  11. ^ a b "History of The Philanthropy Roundtable". Philanthropy Roundtable. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  12. ^ Bandow, Doug (August 25, 2015). "Whitney Ball: Losing a Sparkplug for Liberty". The American Spectator.
  13. ^ Cohen, Rick (February 4, 2015). "The 2016 Federal Budget: What Nonprofits Should Know". Nonprofit Quarterly.
  14. ^ "Jon Huntsman Sr. honored for philanthropy". The Washington Times. Associated Press. October 10, 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Philanthropy Roundtable Magazine". Philanthropy Roundtable. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  16. ^ "Guidebook". Philanthropy Roundtable. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  17. ^ Koenig, Rebecca (January 6, 2016). "First Philanthropy Almanac Provides a Wealth of Facts and Data". Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  18. ^ "About The Alliance For Charitable Reform." Alliance For Charitable Reform. 2011.
  19. ^ Wilhelm, Ian (October 15, 2009). "Denver Couple Honored With Philanthropic Leadership Prize". Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  20. ^ Philanthropy Roundtable. "William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership". Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  21. ^ Sanger, David (May 11, 2001). "Bush Names a Drug Czar And Addresses Criticism". New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Adam Meyerson to Step Down". Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  23. ^ Prest, M.J. (March 6, 2020). "A New Diplomacy Think Tank Names Its First CEO; Philanthropy Roundtable Chooses New Leader (Transitions)". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  24. ^ "Faith, hope, charity". Inside Politics. Washington Times. October 4, 2001. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  25. ^ Philanthropy Roundtable. "Karl Zinsmeister". Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  26. ^ Cohen, Rick (April 14, 2015). "The Bradley Foundation's Agenda Setting: The Intersection with Partisan Politics". Nonprofit Quarterly. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  27. ^ "Philanthropy magazine".
  28. ^ a b "About Philanthropy".