What Is Philanthropy?

What Is Philanthropy?

Written, directed, and produced by Salvatore Alaimo
Distribution: World
Format: DVD video 86 Minutes
ISBN: 978-0-253-02916-4
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Description

If you think you know about giving, think again!

What is Philanthropy?
is a feature length documentary that portrays and discusses the concept of giving within the American context through a critical lens and a variety of perspectives. Contributors to the documentary include; actor Mike Farrell, NFL quarterback Alex Smith, Evelyn Lauder from the Estee' Lauder Companies, Civil Rights Leader Dr. William G. Anderson, Nell Newman, co-founder of Newman's Own Organics, US Senator Charles Grassley, as well as leading scholars and average citizens.

The film was an official selection of four film festivals and a nominee for an Eclipse Award.

Run time: 86 minutes

Author Bio

Salvatore Alaimo is an Associate Professor in the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration at Grand Valley State University where he teaches courses in philanthropy and nonprofit administration. Dr. Alaimo has published articles in New Directions for Evaluation and the Journal of the Grant Professionals Association, and book chapters in The Jossey-Bass Reader on Nonprofit and Public Leadership, Volunteer Administration: Professional Practice, and the Handbook of Research on Nonprofit Economics and Management. He earned his PhD studying philanthropy at Indiana University, Indianapolis and is also certified in volunteer administration (CVA).

Reviews

"I was impressed, first, with the magnitude of the project and then because philanthropy was presented with a diverse, inclusive, and broad focus." —Michele Kimmel-Fors, Executive Director of Compass, Encompass

"When I walk into my locker room and I look around the league and through all the different sports, you see the number of people trying to do good, trying to give back. It’s a great thing, you know, and we’re all trying to figure it out. It’s why I think this film is a great idea." —Alex Smith, Quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs

"Your film will provide needed content for the discussion at the higher education level about the valuable role that philanthropy plays in our American culture and now globally. College students can benefit from these stories as they consider career choices and how to best use their time and talent as well as financial resources to make a difference in a cause they care about." —Robert S. Collier, President of Council of Michigan Foundations

"At Lisa M Dietlin & Associates we stand behind philanthropic efforts, and your film has demonstrated the concept of philanthropy and its role in American culture and society at the highest level." —Lisa M. Dietlin, President and CEO of Lisa M Dietlin & Associates

"Although philanthropy has been noted or presented as segments of larger documentaries, I do not believe that anyone has ever attempted a comprehensive treatment of the topic. I am often asked if a resource like this is available. If you are given the opportunity I would urge you to provide support for this worthy endeavor." —Frances Huehls, Associate Librarian, Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library, IUPUI

"I see many uses for this documentary: in formal high school, college and graduate level studies; tools for organizations such as the United Way, community foundations and giving circles to use with prospective donors and constituents; and through nonprofit, and foundation sector professional development programs." —Jill Kramer, Associate Vice President fro Strategic Planning and Grants, Ivy Tech Community College

"As one of the first Ph.Ds in Philanthropic Studies in the country, Dr. Salvatore Alaimo is uniquely qualified to complete this project. My personal philanthropy dates back as far as I can remember, but the turning point in my life was hearing president John F. Kennedy state, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” This documentary could become the turning point for others." —Janice O'Rourke, Executive Director, Mother's Milk Brand

"This is a very important project because philanthropy is poorly understood by the general public, by the media, by policy makers in government, and by much of the business community. Philanthropy plays a critical role in our society in connection with our most important issues – in health care, education, the arts, social services, international development, the environment and many other fields – and in the proper functioning of our democracy through advocacy and citizen participation. I think this will be a very valuable as well as entertaining product and an educational resource." —Dennis Young, Director, Nonprofit Studies Program, Georgia State University

"
What is Philanthropy? will be a useful film that faculty may use to educate students and professionals about the important and complex role of philanthropy in our society. Now, with the challenges posed by the global financial crisis, it is especially important that we have the tools we need to educate people about philanthropy." —Greg Lindsey, Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

"As a developing area of academic study and one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. economy, a documentary capturing a holistic portrayal of philanthropy would serve as an important asset to the field. While the average citizen if often the target of requests for giving, there are few opportunities for this person to gain an understanding of the complex, multifaceted world of philanthropy, the nonprofit sector and volunteerism. This documentary will help to inform the consumer and educate the potential donor." —Sarah Jane Rehnorg, Associate Director, RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, University of Texas at Austin

"As a faculty member to teaches nonprofit management to graduate students I can tell you that this film will go a long way to fulfilling a need in today’s discourse relating to the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. Through this film, Dr. Alaimo and his colleagues explore the many faces of philanthropy, highlighting its enormous contributions as well as its dark side. I am certain that this film will go a long way to changing the way that we, as a society, engage in charitable giving and public service." —Joanne Carman, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina-Charlotte

"Unlike most Western European nations, the US relies on philanthropy to provide social safety net support and wide range of arts educational and recreational activities. Yet, probably most people in our society (and especially young people) are mostly unaware of the extent and variety of activities that philanthropy supports. Many people have heard of the foundations of a few wealthy individuals, but their giving represents only a small portion of philanthropy. This documentary will help to provide a more thorough picture of who gives, why, to what activities and with what effects." —Robert Herman, Professor (retired), University of Missouri-Kansas City

"Representing American initiative, independence and a cultural preference for nongovernmental approaches, philanthropy at the same time (and to its own detriment) been mythologized and over-idealized so that profound misunderstandings exist about its actual nature, origins and reasons for being. Dr. Alaimo’s documentary, in contrast, enlightens us about what philanthropy actually is and does, and what it can and cannot contribute to our individual and social well-being." —Susan Ostrander, Professor of Sociology, Tufts University

"Philanthropy is not well understood by policy makers or the general public. This film will help address that problem. A thorough and honest portrayal of the strengths and shortcomings of philanthropy will be just what the doctor ordered." —Aaron Dorfman, Executive Director, National Committee of Responsive Philanthropy

"This project will be a valuable tool in increasing the public’s understanding of the topic of philanthropy. This documentary can be used in our nonprofit courses at North Park University." —Wesley Lindahl, Dean and Nils Axelson Professor of Nonprofit Management, North Park University

"Having known Dr. Alaimo for several years, I am confident that this documentary will be a high quality and impactful production. I look forward to using it in the graduate courses I teach in nonprofit management." —Robert Fischer, Associate Professor, Mandel School of Applied Sciences at Case Western University

"Dr. Salvatore Alaimo has the background and knowledge to produce a film that can be used as an educational tool for students of all ages and the general public. It is a project that will allow us to better understand ourselves as well as the importance of philanthropy in the past, present, and future." —Nancy Marie Robertson, Associate Professor of History and Philanthropic Studies, Indiana University-Purdue Univeristy, Indianapolis

"This film is an excellent example of a teaching resource that will improve student understanding and is desperately needed in the field. It is absolutely necessary to go beyond the written word to capture the interest and imagination of students, and your project is clearly of the quality that is required by today’s tech savvy generation. I will plan to use this material in my class at Texas A&M University and would recommend it to my peers as they prepare the next generation of leaders in philanthropy." —William Brown, Associate Professor & Director of the Nonprofit Management Program at Texas A&M University

"As this film makes clear, there is no one form of philanthropy and no one definition, but we must have the discussion because there is so much misinformation and ignorance about the subject. We in the nonprofit sector are truly negligent of telling our story well. In fact, I would like to use the documentary as an introduction to my Nonprofit Executive Programs here at Notre Dame." —Marc Hardy, Director of Nonprofit Executive Programs, Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame

"I teach and research philanthropy and can therefore confidently attest to the importance of this work. There is great need for a resource that explains, plainly and powerfully, the varied meanings and motivations of giving and volunteering. This documentary will be an invaluable learning tool in colleges and universities for students and faculty alike." —Ramya Ramanath, Assistant Professor, School of Public Service at DePaul University

"Alaimo has taken great pride in compiling a comprehensive, academically informed yet accessible film. . . .
What Is Philanthropy? would be a great addition to courses on or related to nonprofits, civic

engagement, or service learning. It is best suited for introductory courses for undergraduate

students." —
Journal of Public Affairs Education

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Table of Contents

The documentary has:

Over 15 segment menu choices including
o Faith & Religion
o Social Entrepreneurship
o Foundations
o Volunteerism
o Advocacy
o Social Activism

Four additional special features
o Interviews with the Producer
o Philanthropy’s Impact on People
o Fundraising
o Tribute to Robert Payton


Subtitles in
o English SDH
o Spanish
o French
o Chinese (Mandarin)