Eleven philanthropists spoke with the Post’s Tom Heath regarding how much they have given in the past year, and their strategy for giving.
Martin Weinstein is a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Ballpark, how much do you give?
More than $1 million over the past five years.
Has the focus of your philanthropy changed since the recession?
No. When we formed the Willkie Foundation at the Community Foundation in 2004, it was as a vehicle that would allow members of the firm to give back to the community in an organized, collective fashion that could magnify the impact of our contributions and volunteer efforts. We decided to focus on serving underprivileged youth in the Washington area through education and career development.
How about the amount?
Every partner and counsel in our Washington office contributes a percentage of his or her salary into a larger pot of money. That has not changed.
How do you set your priorities for giving?
Our committee, which includes everyone from senior partners to members of the mail room, meets regularly and, with guidance from Community Foundation staff, vets organizations to determine which are the most effective.
How do you gauge the impact?
By the impact made by the groups we support. But there’s more to it. The benefit we get of being part of a giving community is equal to the benefit we get from giving — especially for the younger members of our staff, who may live far from their home towns and feel disconnected from this region.
Do you make a point of separating your charity from your politics?
Absolutely. Our philanthropy is completely disengaged from politics — and religion.
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