Skip to content


Wednesday, November 17, 2021 9:00AM–6:30PM


9:15–10:15 AM

What Is Civil Society and Why Does It Matter? Tocqueville on the American Art of Voluntary Association

Daniel J. Mahoney, Professor Emeritus, Assumption University

Join respected scholar and professor of politics Daniel Mahoney (Assumption College) to discuss how the art of association helps stave off despotism while reinvigorating the civic and moral foundations of a free society. By exploring the question, “what is civil society?” Mahoney will help us understand why reducing our world to the twin poles of state and individual is destructive of liberty and human dignity—and how the associative art can address that decline.

10:30–11:30 AM

The Progressive Roots of Modern Philanthropy and the Giving Principles of a New Charity

William Schambra, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

The influence of progressivism on the philanthropic sector is deep and long-lasting. Led by a well-credentialed band of experts, many   industry leaders actively seek to suppress so-called “band-aid charity” and instead champion “root-cause philanthropy” that seeks to identify the underlying causes of societal ills and address them on a grand scale. Distinguished scholar and philanthropy veteran Bill Schambra (Hudson Institute) will explore how we got here and articulate why it’s time to restore human-scale, local charitable giving to its rightful place

12:15–1:30 PM

Giving Locally Well: Conserving the Natural and Cultural Goods that Make Our Communities Exceptional


  • Jeremy Beer, Principal Partner, American Philanthropic, LLC


  • Steve Rasmussen, Executive Director, Andrea Waitt Carlton Foundation
  • Tom Riley, President, Connelly Foundation

How can donors give effectively within their own communities? This panel will explore the importance of local giving and the role it plays in communicating and preserving American values and strengthening our democracy. Philanthropic leaders Steve Rasmussen (Andrea Waitt Family Foundation), and Tom Riley (Connelly Foundation) will discuss the ways they have helped to restore and strengthen “community treasures,” help other philanthropists think bigger about how they might preserve local institutions and inspire others to live out the principle of “charity begins at home.”

2:00–3:15 PM

After America’s Longest Wars: How Can Donors Best Support America’s War Veterans and Their Families?


  • Jeffrey Cain, Founding Partner, American Philanthropic, LLC 


  • Marcus A. Ruzek, Senior Program Director, The Marcus Foundation
  • Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director, Call of Duty Endowment
  • Megan Andros, Senior Program Officer for Veterans, Heinz Endowments

What are the real problems veterans face and how can donors who care about these men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country make a difference? As veterans themselves and seasoned philanthropy practitioners, Megan Andros (Heinz Endowments), Marcus Ruzek (Marcus Foundation), and Dan Goldenberg (Call of Duty Endowment) will offer insight into common misperceptions about veterans, how many nonprofits serving this population inadvertently perpetuate those misperceptions, and bright spots in the veterans services landscape with potential to disrupt the status quo.

3:30–4:45 PM

Under Thirty and Optimistic: Young Leaders Talk about Why they are Hopeful about America’s Future

  • Jack Fowler, Senior Philanthropy Advisor and Director of the Center for Civil Society, American Philanthropic, LLC 


  • Aaron Withe, CEO, Freedom Foundation
  • Charlie Kirk, Founder & CEO, Turning Point USA
  • Johnny Burtka, President, Intercollegiate Studies Institute
  • Fisher Derderian, Founder and Executive Director, Roger Scruton Legacy

Riots. Chaos. Vitriolic assaults on American principles and institutions. Will it ever be morning in America again? This panel of talented young leaders think so and are here to explain why they are bullish about the future. Though coming from diverse perspectives and institutions, speakers Johnny Burtka (Intercollegiate Studies Institute), Aaron Withe (Freedom Foundation), Charlie Kirk (Turning Point USA), and Fisher Derdarian (Scruton Legacy Foundation) share one thing: hope for the country and what can be accomplished in the years ahead.