View Photo Gallery: Eleven leading philanthropists spoke with The Washington Post’s Tom Heath about how much they have given in the past year, and their approach to charitable 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.

Cal Ripken is a Hall of Fame shortstop who played for the Baltimore Orioles for 21 seasons. He’s also a best-selling author.

How much do you give?

In 2011, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation will spend about $5 million on youth development park construction sites; cash operating grants will total $2 million; and equipment grants will total nearly $500,000.

How has the recession changed the focus of our philanthropy?

The recession has not changed our focus at all, but it makes our work more important than ever. The young people that we serve have never known good economic times; to them, it is always tough.

How do you set giving priorities?

We want to work, first and foremost, in communities where the need is greatest. We look for existing organizations with a proven track record of reaching at-risk youth.

How do you gauge impact?

We undergo a third-party, independent evaluation that looks at outcomes and helps to ensure that we are on the right path. We know that the attitudes of the young people we work with are making positive changes. Their relationships in school, at home and with law enforcement all improve quite dramatically, and we are very proud of these results.

Read more profiles in giving from On Giving:

Wendy Thompson Marquez

Mayor Jeffrey Slavin

David Falk

Debbie Marriott Harrison

Patty Alper

John Kane

Craig Ruppert

Michelle Freeman

Jaylee Mead

Martin Weinstein