What They’re Saying


 Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, Vol 5, No. 1

Movie Babble

Journal of Public Affairs Education, Vol. 23, Issue 1

Video Librarian

What others are saying about the film

“I had the honor of attending your film. I was impressed.  First, with the magnitude of the project and then because philanthropy was presented with a diverse, inclusive and broad focus.   I wish you well as you share the film with others and create an appreciation for the importance and influence of philanthropy in our society.”
– 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 Washington Redskins

“Your film will complement the teacher developed and tested K-12 lesson plans of Learning to Give, a supporting organization to the Council of Michigan Foundations, and 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

“The Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) is pleased to endorse and support the What is Philanthropy? documentary. By providing a holistic view of the field, What is Philanthropy? is sure to be an essential portion of philanthropic study, education and global citizenship. On behalf of the NACC, it is our belief that this film will have a lasting effect on the community as well as the field of philanthropy.”
– Nonprofit Academic Centers Council

“I am pleased to endorse the documentary entitled What is Philanthropy? I can envision it being an important teaching/learning tool for many different audiences. We need such a documentary to provoke more critical and engaged discussions about philanthropy in America and around the globe.”
– Dr. Dwight Burlingame, Director of Academic Programs, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University

“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 & 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.  I met Mr. Alaimo at the start of his Ph.D. program at Indiana University and I am pleased to see him take on this bold documentary project.”
– Jill Kramer, Associate Vice President for 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 Sneider O’Rourke, Executive Director, Mother’s Milk Bank

“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, and I urge its support.”
– 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, Associate Dean, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

“In the past six years I have gotten to know Dr. Alaimo well through participation at professional conferences and meetings dedicated to the nonprofit sector, volunteerism and philanthropy.  He has proved himself to be both expert in the field and deeply concerned with the lack of public knowledge and education about it.  Dr. Alaimo has proved his dedication to this project through his time, knowledge and finances. Please help him see the project through to its fruition.”
– Jeffrey L. Brudney, Professor of Innovation in the Nonprofit Sector, University of North Carolina-Wilmington

“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.  The documentary undertaken by Dr. Alaimo would help to inform the consumer and educate the potential donor.”
– Sarah Jane Rehnborg, 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 will explore the many faces of philanthropy, highlighting its enormous contributions as well as its dark side.  Not only am I confident that they will produce a film that is worthy of support, but I am certain that this film could 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 U.S. 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 Emeritus, 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 would, in contrast, enlighten 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 for Responsive Philanthropy

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

“It is a subject that Sal understands particularly well, and one that students at all levels, community leaders and servants, and the general public would benefit from learnig more about.  The time is right for a project of this nature, and Sal is the right person to lead it.”
– Richard Gunderman, Vice Chairman, Department of Radiology, Indiana University School of Medicine

The notion of philanthropy is confusing for many people because public discourse makes it seem out of reach. After all, mega-gifts make headlines. Fortunately, Dr. Alaimo’s documentary demonstrates that philanthropy is part of our human experience.  His knowledge of nonprofit management and philanthropy from a humanistic perspective allows him to show the breadth of philanthropy, and he clarifies that we all can engage in it and benefit from it.  I look forward to using What is Philanthropy? to help our students discover their own philanthropic journeys.”
– Angela Seaworth, Vice President for Development, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory

“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 Roberston, Associate Professor of History and Philanthropic Studies, Indiana University-Purdue Inversity, Indianapolis (IUPUI)

“Viewers will be motivated to take action as volunteers and advocates as they learn from the examples of people around the country touched by need. Learning to Give hopes to support this project by writing curriculum specifically for the documentary and housed on the LTG site. The academic standards-based curriculum will include activities that engage students in research, discussion, problem solving, and creative service projects. In addition, the documentary will be included as a resource in some of the existing 1,400 lesson plans on the Learning to Give website.  We are eager to touch more young people through the vision of this inspiring documentary.”
– Betsy Peterson, Executive Director of Learning to Give

“Your film is an excellent example of a teaching resource that will improve student understanding and is desperately needed in the field.  It is absoultely necessary to go beyone 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 would 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 your 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, once it is completed I would like to use the documentary as an intro 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 about 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 would be an invaluable learning tool in colleges and universities for students and faculty alike.”
–Ramya Ramanath, Assistant Professor, School of Public Service at the DePaul University

“I know that when completed, ‘What is Philanthropy?’ will be utilized by faculty involved in  programs of independent schools in our Philanthropy Education and Service Learning Consortium. I believe teachers in these schools will find this a foundational tool to introduce philanthropy and begin a more holistic discussion about it in their classrooms and communities.”
–Luana Nissan, Founder, Catalysts for Good