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Digging Deep into Philanthropy—the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

David Callahan holds a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton and is the author of seven previous nonfiction books, including The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead and Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking America. Callahan’s latest investigation focuses on what he calls the secretive world of elite philanthropists—and how they're quietly wielding ever more power to shape American life in ways both good and bad.

While media attention focuses on famous philanthropists, such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Charles Koch, Callahan says thousands of donors are at work below the radar promoting a wide range of causes, converting fortunes into influence, with deep impact on government policy.

Emmett Carson, president of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, now with $8 billion in assets, has become a major player in Bay Area and national philanthropy, especially for tech givers, and will give his perspective on the philanthropic world.

Come hear about a power shift in American society that Callahan says has implications for us all.


Banner photo by Alexander Paris; profile photo by Silvia Spross

April 17, 2017

The Commonwealth Club
555 Post St.
San Francisco, 94102
United States

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David Callahan
Ph.D., Princeton; Founder, Demos Think Tank; Founder,; Author, The Givers: Money, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age
Emmett Carson
President, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Nick Tedesco
Senior Philanthropic Adviser, J.P. Morgan Private Bank Philanthropy Centre—Moderator