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Carolyn Hax

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Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 11/13/2011

Alper Portfolio president Patty Alper on giving

Eleven philanthropists spoke with the Post’s Tom Heath regarding how much they have given in the past year, and their strategy for giving.

Patty Alper is president of Alper Portfolio Group, a marketing and consulting company.

Ballpark, how much do you give?About $25,000 a year.

Has the focus of your philanthropy changed since the recession?

Patty Alper (Freed Photography)
Yes, I have gone deeper within the fold of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, where I now participate on the National Board, looking at the woes of the American economy. I believe teaching business skills, money management and customer service is essential for middle and high school education.

How do you set your priorities?

In a family foundation, we have the opportunity to give with individual discretion. To that end, I founded the NFTE in 1998. My own entrepreneurship experience helped to shape my identity. Also I studied a 12th-century theologian, Maimonides, who created a hierarchy of giving. He declared that to teach one self-sufficiency and to live independently is the highest order of philanthropy.

How do you measure the impact?

I created a program where businesspeople could help students launch companies. We have statistics on outcomes. But the impact is hard to calculate when you see self-pride and success from inner-city students who launch their own companies.

Read more profiles in giving from On Giving:

Wendy Thompson Marquez

Cal Ripken

Mayor Jeffrey Slavin

David Falk

Debbie Marriott Harrison

John Kane

Craig Ruppert

Michelle Freeman

Jaylee Mead

Martin Weinstein

By Washington Post Editors  |  01:00 PM ET, 11/13/2011

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