The 2015 Philanthropy Innovation Summit welcomed 220 individual philanthropists from around the world. In alignment with our mission to improve philanthropy, strengthen civil society, and create positive social change, this Summit brought to light strategies and experiences of influential philanthropists with the aim of inspiring and guiding their peers and in turn, philanthropists all around the world.
In 2014, total giving in the United States amounted to $358 billion, or 2% of GDP: the highest figure in the world and nearly double the next highest country. That 2% of GDP fuels the nonprofit sector, which in total accounts for 12% of US GDP when also one includes philanthropy, government funds, and earned revenue. The social sector employs nearly 13% of the labor force. Importantly, these philanthropic gifts come from individuals: 72% who are living and another 8% from bequests. Foundation giving totals 15% and corporate giving is 5% of total giving. These percentages have remained steady over the past twenty years.
With this picture in mind, the Philanthropy Innovation Summit specifically strives to inform and inspire individuals and family foundations to be strategic in their approaches to giving and social impact. This year’s speakers covered topics ranging from seeding innovation in philanthropy and design thinking for philanthropy to NextGen tools and resources and perpetuity in family foundations. This intensive day included twenty eight of the world’s most inspiring philanthropists speaking in six plenary sessions and six breakout “deep dive” sessions, where attendees broke out into small groups to discuss specific topic of strategy in their philanthropy plans and activities.
As a research center focused on driving change in civil society and inspiring strategic philanthropy, we were honored to welcome the speaker and guests to Stanford for this event.
Gates sat down with Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen for a special keynote address.
Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman
Hoffman and Thiel sat down with Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Co-Founder and Chairman, Stanford PACS, to talk about the role of innovation in philanthropy.
Business and Social Impact
Elizabeth Holmes, Founder and CEO of Theranos, talked with Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen about her vision and inspiration.
Why should donors consider giving internationally? What are some common pitfalls and promising developments in this arena? A panel discussion on Global Strategic Philanthropy for Social Solutions featured Matt Bannick, Managing Partner, Omidyar Network and Smita Singh, Board member, Center for Global Development, Twaweza, Revenue Watch Institute. The moderator was Jim Pitofsky, Managing Director of Strategic Alliances, John Templeton Foundation.
Design Thinking and Philanthropy
Jeff Raikes talked about his own philanthropic journey and how he is collaborating with Stanford PACS to bring a human-centered design approach to philanthropy.
Explore further: Read Paul Brest’s article on Design Thinking and Philanthropy: Problem Solving, Human-Centered Design, and Strategic Processes
Transcript: Inspiring Success Through Your Philanthropy
This transcript is from one of the the six breakouts sessions at the Stanford PACS Philanthropy Innovation Summit. Inspiring Success… focused on the factors the contribute to the success or failure of a philanthropic investment. The session was conducted by C.R. Hibbs and Alexa Culwell.