The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Forbes of charitable giving, publishes an annual “Philanthropy 400” - a ranked list of major organizations that received charitable donations. Considering the tens of thousands of nonprofit groups in the country, inclusion anywhere on the P400 is an important measure of organizational vigor.
Most of the names at the top of the list are familiar and not surprising: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, United Way of America, American Red Cross, PBS, the scouts groups, some Ivy League colleges. The inclusion others is a pleasant surprise. Saint Louis University, for example, ranked 334th on the list, receiving private gifts of $46.33 million in 2005, an increase of nearly 45 percent from the year before. (The average increase among the P400 was about 13 percent.)
Too often, we fail to recognize the real forces of nature among us. Rev. Larry Biondi, the president of SLU, is certainly one of them.