The 2007 Slate 60

The Slate 60 was created as an antidote to the Forbes 400 (the list of the wealthiest Americans) after Ted Turner complained about the influence the Forbes list had on the wealthy and how it discouraged them from giving away money. With the 2007 Slate 60 out today, I think it a useful time to think about how cultural expectations drive human behavior. Personally I would love to see some sort of list of the most innovative, or most effective donors. Giving big is great, but giving well is better.

It is easy to measure how much someone gave, but really tough to measure how well they gave it away. In the financial markets, investors who generate the highest return on their investments are celebrated, not those with the largest portfolios. But then it is quite easy to measure for-profit investment returns.

When we discuss measurement, lets be sure to remember that we must measure the right things, not those that are easiest to measure.


  1. CBroga says:

    Geneva Global has teamed up with Barron’s Magazine to do this very thing. They don’t yet have a ranking but in late 2007 highlighted ten of the most effective philanthropists. Here’s a link to a desription:

    And here’s the link to the article that has their profiles:

  2. Tim Ogden says:

    Thanks to CBroga for pointing out the work Beyond Philanthropy and others did on this last year.

    We are hoping to take the effort a step further this year — any comments, which can be left on the articles on Beyond Philanthropy, are very welcome

  3. CBroga, thanks for the note. I should have cited Tim’s excellent work in the original post. I think the Barron’s cover was hugely important as a marker of a shift in thinking about how the media covers philanthropy.