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The Philanthropy Project
If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody. -- Chinese proverb
If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.
-- Chinese proverb

Give and Glow Video Series

The Philanthropy Project

Our Mission

Philanthropy Project is an exciting, ambitious nonprofit initiative funded by the John Templeton Foundation ( Our mission is to enhance America's culture of generosity by inspiring and enabling every man, woman, and child to become a philanthropist. We are accomplishing this by using the moving image to tell the untold stories of our nation's 72,000 foundations and their innovative good works ... along with the stories of citizen philanthropists who are "giving and glowing" in their communities nationwide.

Philanthropy Project is funding three groundbreaking initiatives:

* A) An inspiring, philanthropy-themed, family-friendly motion picture that is being produced in partnership with Anonymous Content in Hollywood;

* B) A Web TV channel in partnership with AOL that aspires to be the #1 destination on the Internet for all things related to American philanthropy;

* C) A Filmanthropy Scholarship Competition that is being held at six of America's top-ranked film schools.

Want to find out more? Read the welcome note from Philanthropy Project's President and CEO, Michael Guillen, PhD.



(May 11) - Ever wondered who we can thank for innovations that revolutionized our lives, but that now most of us take for granted? Things like the 911 emergency telephone system, public libraries, the polio vaccine, and those white lines on our highways. Answer to all of the above: America's charitable foundations.

Today, there are about 72,000 foundations in America, more than anywhere else in the world. Only a small number of foundations have billion-dollar endowments; most (98%) are run with assets of under $100 million, little staffing, and tight budgets.

Today, Americans are creating new foundations and/or donating to existing ones in record numbers, a trend which could in the immediate future swell our foundations' collective assets by an unprecedented $5-plus trillion. Ideally, these are monies that will help us tackle some of our country's greatest, most intractable 21st-century needs.

"Foundations are a peculiarly American institution," observes Joel L. Fleishman, author of The Foundation: A Great American Secret. "They have been the dynamos of social change since the beginning of the last century."

Yet one might call it the greatest story never told. According to a recent poll, while most Americans are familiar with brand-name charities such as the Red Cross, United Way, and March of Dimes, close to 90% of us cannot name even a single foundation!

I confess that before I was invited to take the reins of Philanthropy Project – which, in partnership with AOL News, is responsible for creating this exciting new website – I, too, was part of the great uninformed masses. But it's not entirely our fault for being in the dark about this remarkable American asset. Most foundations, I've come to learn, do not want to be patted on the back for their good works; they're not publicity-seeking animals.

There's another reason for this Great American Secret. John D. Rockefeller is widely credited with creating the first, large-scale modern American foundation in 1906 (the Russell Sage Foundation was also started in that year, but the scope of its mission was relatively limited). Ever since then, the public has associated philanthropy with society's financial and cultural aristocracy; a kind of rarefied Mt. Olympus far beyond the reach of us mere mortals.

Philanthropy Project aims to change that!

We're here to proclaim loud and clear: Philanthropy is not just for the rich and famous. That's why we're thrilled to be partners with AOL News. Together, we've built this state-of-the-art virtual gathering place, so that ordinary people like you and me can find in one place all the news, inspiration, camaraderie, and tools we need to be philanthropists in our communities and to enjoy the happier, healthier, longer life that is now proven to come with making philanthropy a part of our daily routine.

And just in case you're wondering about that last part, let me assure you it's true. Today, science is proving that philanthropy is good for our health. It's discovering that when we improve the lives of others, we also improve our own lives in significant, measurable ways. It's what we call the "Give & Glow Effect." Elsewhere on our site, read what "Dr. Matt" – sociologist Matthew T. Lee, world renowned altruism expert and your Give and Glow Lifestyle Coach – has to say about this exciting news.

So, welcome! Please make yourself at home. We plan to entertain and inform you, your family, and friends as no other philanthropy news site ever has before. And in doing so, we expect that among the news, practical advice, and people that you meet here, you'll begin to glow as you never have before.
Copyright 2009, The Philanthropy Project

Members Project/Take Part

Community Development Philanthropy

Town Rallies for Struggling Single Mom

Karen Longoria, a single mom with breast cancer and two children with a debilitating illness, received help from the most unlikely source -- her economically depressed hometown of Grafton, Wisc. More than $200,000 was raised and more than 1,000 residents helped build her family the wheelchair-accessible home she needed but couldn't afford.

(March 30) -- When Karen Longoria, a single mother with breast cancer working hard to make ends meet, found out two of her three triplets were diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, an entire town rallied to her side.

The potentially fatal disease would soon confine her children to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives.

"They're just going to get weaker, and I don't know how fast," Longoria said.
But the people of Grafton, Wisc., a town hard-hit by the recession, wouldn't let one of its own struggle alone, MSNBC reported.

Jim Kacmarcik, a local business man, heard about the family's troubles and appealed to a local Hometown Heroes campaign to raise money to build the Longorias a wheelchair-accessible home.
Donations and workers came forward. Even one man, in the process of losing his own home, volunteered to help build one for Karen Longoria and her children.
"I think in the toughest times, that's what brings out the best in people," Kacmarcik told MSNBC.
In total, more than $200,000 was raised and more than 1,000 volunteers pitched in to build the home.
"How do you say thank you to the thousands of people?" Longoria asked. "I mean, this changed our whole life."

© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation