About the Film

Philanthropy is synonymous with American history, principles, and culture; yet it remains an evolving and largely misunderstood topic. What is Philanthropy? seeks to enhance our understanding of philanthropy and its role in American culture and society.

This film takes a holistic view of this important subject by presenting its historical context with contemporary issues and including various perspectives from a wide variety of stakeholders.

Through multiple formats, this film targets the general public as well as students in K-12 classrooms and higher education institutions throughout the United States. The power of visual learning is well documented by research, and this film will serve as a tool that teachers, professors and instructors of all types can use to holistically convey what role philanthropy plays in our lives. Footage is shot from all regions of the United States, and it presents multiple viewpoints and perspectives from a broad array of participants.

This documentary is the vision of Executive Producer Salvatore Alaimo who is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration (SPNHA) at Grand Valley State University, and is produced with support fromSPNHA, The Johnson Center for Philanthropy and WGVU-TV.