Eleven philanthropists spoke with the Post’s Tom Heath regarding how much they have given in the past year, and their strategy for giving.
Debbie Marriott Harrison is the senior vice president of government affairs for Marriott International. She is also on the board of the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.
Ballpark, how much do you give?
Last year, Marriott International donated $23.8 million in cash and in-kind contributions. And I’m especially proud of the contributions and volunteer efforts of our employees, which totals another $10 million. The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation — the family foundation named after my grandparents — contributed $12.3 million.
Has the focus of your philanthropy changed since the recession?
We’re supporters of education, work readiness and social services — such as hunger relief and affordable housing — which are that much more important in downturns.
How do you set your priorities?
We support many organizations in our hometown here. One project that the foundation funds and is dear to me is DCCAP, whose mission is to help public high school students enter and graduate from college.
How do you gauge the impact?
It depends. If it’s a scholarship fund, we’d base the success on the number of students who graduated from college, not just the number of scholarships we granted.
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