Cory Booker Kicks Off Ivy League Education in High Impact Philanthropy

What can donors learn from the mayor who engaged $250 million in private donations to fund high impact solutions for vulnerable families in his city? That’s what participants will find out at our inaugural donor seminar, this November 7-8. Co-hosted by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy,  The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Wharton School, the seminar presents a radical idea—an Ivy League education in high impact philanthropy. It gives donors access to the best thinking and latest research in a purely educational forum where they can learn among peers and where no solicitation is involved. Questions we’ll address include:

  • What are the highest-impact ways to help families suffering because of the current economic situation?
  • What can donors learn from the latest academic research on hunger, health, and homelessness?
  • What key lesson can nonprofits on the front lines offer to donors seeking to make a difference?

Few individuals in the world are as qualified to speak to these questions as our keynote speaker, Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Mayor Booker made national headlines twice this month–first for securing $100 million from Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and subsequently for an additional $25 million from Pershing Square Capital Management founder Bill Ackman. In the past four years, Mayor Booker has raised $250 million in private philanthropy to help turn around a city one quarter of whose residents live at or below the federal poverty line, and one half of whose high school students do not graduate. Most importantly, he is a man whose career has been defined by a commitment to social impact.

Alongside Mayor Booker we’ve assembled leading academic researchers like Penn’s Dennis Culhane and Drexel’s Mariana Chilton. We’re bringing in diverse funder perspectives such as Purpose Prize Fellow Warren Kantor, Annie E. Casey’s  Bob Giloth, and Deputy Mayor Don Schwarz. In the afternoon, we’ll examine lessons from the field as three nonprofit leaders—Suzanne Boas of CredAbility, Peggy Hill of Nurse-Family Partnership, and John Arnold of Feeding America West Michigan—discuss successes and hard-earned lessons from working on the front lines of addressing the needs of vulnerable families.

Our “class” is comprised of individual high net worth donors, family foundation representatives, and venture philanthropy investors.  It’s a diverse group, spanning multiple geographies, backgrounds, and generations. But all share two qualities: a  commitment to impact and a desire to learn.

The seminar is closed to the public, but you can be a fly on the digital wall by following us on Twitter with the #DonorEdu10 hashtag at: or by following CHIP’s twitter at

In addition, you can read our Center’s guide for donors on the issue, “High Impact Philanthropy in the Downturn  (High Impact Philanthropy in the Downturn)