News and analysis
January 06, 2016

First Philanthropy Almanac Provides a Wealth of Facts and Data

If you’ve ever struggled to find a profound quote about charity or wondered what George Eastman did with his Eastman Kodak fortune or pondered America’s first fundraising campaign, you’re in luck: The new Almanac of American Philanthropy contains all that information and more.

The tome, which tops 1,300 pages and purports to be the first of its kind, offers overviews of what philanthropy has accomplished over the course of U.S. history, profiles of major donors, a bibliography of significant books and articles, and data about charitable giving.

It was written by Karl Zinsmeister, a former public-policy researcher at the American Enterprise Institute who now manages publishing at the Philanthropy Roundtable. His goal was to create an "authoritative resource on U.S. private giving" for use by donors, scholars, reporters, and public officials.

Three thousand copies will be distributed to academic and public libraries, and 13,000 copies will go to donors and U.S. foundations worth at least $50 million. The book is also for sale on Amazon for $25, but its content is available for free at

Mr. Zinsmeister intends to update the almanac every few years, as needed. To that end, the Philanthropy Roundtable is welcoming improvements, corrections, and new information via email to

Send an email to Rebecca Koenig.