Guest Bio

Larry Gilson

Chairman, Focusing Philanthropy

Larry Gilson founded and leads Focusing Philanthropy, a nonprofit that identifies areas of extraordinary human need where corporations, foundations and individual donors can make a major difference, then develops unique giving opportunities in concert with well-vetted nonprofit implementing partners and presents them as candidates for philanthropy at no cost to donors or partners.  In its first six years, Focusing Philanthropy has permanently and profoundly improved the lives of over 585,000 people in the United States and around the world.

In creating and leading Focusing Philanthropy, Larry is applying an experience base developed in a career that spans the investment world and public policy.   He founded and led one of the most successful private equity firms.  Prior to his investment career, Larry held a variety of positions in Washington DC in and around the federal government.  He was one of the founding staff of Common Cause, a citizens’ lobbying organization; he led a small federal commission; and he later served on the White House Staff of President Jimmy Carter.

Motivated initially by a desire to make more informed, rewarding philanthropic decisions himself — but not finding a credible, existing resource on which he could rely — Larry created Focusing Philanthropy to fill the gap for his own family and a rapidly growing number of other institutions and individuals.