American Philanthropy: Education Around the World

[One of the Alliance’s themes is celebrating and promoting philanthropy–particularly American philanthropy.  Alliance team member Rod Nichols offers this perspective:] “Trouble shared is trouble halved.” This old saying is as true for nations as it is for individuals. It is also deeply embedded in the American traditions of voluntary associations and of philanthropy at home […]

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Political Parity – the Women’s Appointment Project

Studies show that the higher the percentage of women, the higher the percentage of a country’s budget spent on health, education and environment. The greater the number of women in appointed office, the greater possibility of their being elected to office as well. Besides, solving the complex problems of 21st century America requires political leadership, […]

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Expanded Education for Palestinian Visually Impaired Children

The proposal is to support the expansion of an integrated education facility serving visually impaired children in East Jerusalem. The school, Siraj Al Quds was founded by a Synergos Social Innovator and serves children who otherwise would have no access to education. With major funding from the European Union, the school moved into a new […]

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Literacy and reading among children in disadvantaged communities

Synergos Social Innovator Rana Dajani founded an organization to promote reading among young children (ages 4-10) by establishing local libraries in communities across Jordan. Housed in neighborhood mosques, the libraries hold storytelling sessions using secular books and age-appropriate props, and are helping to develop a culture of literacy among children and families. The model is […]

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Youth Employment in the Middle East: Capacity Building to Help a Successful Initiative Reach the Next Stage

Ron Bruder, a member of Synergos’ Global Philanthropists Circle, founded the Education for Employment Foundation (EFE) as a response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, on the premise that education and jobs are the best tool to promote broad-based economic growth and fight fundamentalism in unstable countries of the Middle East. EFE now operates with […]

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Learning Circle of Women Leaders of Social Change from the Muslim World

There are countless examples of extraordinary women who have launched initiatives to fight poverty and inequity in the Muslim world, and are advancing the status of women in the process. These women face exceptional challenges tied to norms, customs and attitudes in Muslim communities that discourage women from taking leadership roles. The proposal is to […]

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Vishal Talreja (Part of the Ashoka Globalizer Project)

Formerly an investment banker and venture capitalist, Vishal Talreja has built a network of volunteers that offer vulnerable children opportunities to increase their chances for normal childhood development. Through his organization, Dream A Dream, children explore, innovate and build important “Life skills”. Vishal is working on the Dream A Dream package in a box to […]

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John Mighton (Part of the Ashoka Globalizer Project)

John’s method of teaching mathematics results in measurable higher scholastic performance, along with major improvements in students’ self-esteem and attitude towards learning. His organization, Junior Undiscovered Mathematical Prodigies (JUMP), spreads this method among public schools that serve low-income students in Canada and the U.S., and he is now ready to take it to the rest […]

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Gilda Henriquez Darlas (Part of the Ashoka Globalizer Project)

Gilda’s universal primary-school education program has equipped children in Mexico, Guatemala and India with the tools to become self-aware moral actors. The first ambitious step in her plan to take her model global is working with 1500 schools in 10 countries, piloting an e-learning platform and financing her work by selling her SIMULATOR for “Ethical […]

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Mary Gordon (Part of the Ashoka Globalizer Project)

Implemented throughout Canada, Mary’s powerful model to reduce childhood aggression by teaching students emotional literacy and fostering the development of empathy has now launched in Ireland, Scotland, USA and New Zealand and is beginning in Germany. Mary’s goal is finding the way to train others in Roots of Empathy’s very specialized methodology and philosophy quickly […]

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Proud to announce our newest partner


Leonard Kaplan’s creation of the Alliance for Global Good was the expression of his passionate philanthropy.  It’s also the logical outgrowth of all that came before it.  Together with his wife and philanthropic partner Tobee, and through a family foundation later renamed TOLEO, they gave unselfishly of resources and time to improve their community and the world for more than twenty-five years.

Tobee & Leonard Kaplan

Tobee & Leonard Kaplan

The Alliance’s focus on five areas of giving—health, education, environment, poverty, and world relations—is mirrored in Leonard’s past.  He has made major gifts to Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Comprehensive Cancer and Heart Centers, to the Lineberger Cancer Center at UNC Chapel Hill, to the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Moses Cone Hospital, and had a leadership position at the Greensboro Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.  In 2004, Leonard and Tobee built the new building for the Women’s Resource Center in Greensboro. He created scholarships for residents of Guilford County to attend North Carolina colleges and universities, and was a founding donor of Elon University Law School.  Critically, in partnership with the Kellogg Foundation, Leonard helped create the Center for Organizational Leadership, a philanthropic studies program (which was one of first nationally to educate non-profit executives).

“Everyone wants to leave something to their grandchildren.”

“The money won’t matter if the world they live in is so far gone,” Kaplan says. “The opportunity now is to take some of what might become their inheritance, and use it soon to make the world a better place.”

Addressing poverty, Leonard made possible the building of two houses for Habitat for Humanity, and by providing food for hungry people both close to home in Greensboro, and as far abroad as the former Soviet Union.   The Kaplans were staunch supporters of Trickle Up, which provides grant financing to women in the developing world who want to start their own microenterprise.

Leonard gave not only of his wealth, but also of his time and expertise, taking on leadership positions in many organizations and campaigns such as the Greater Greensboro United Way DeToqueville Society, and as a Core Member of ACTION Greensboro, a nonprofit dedicated to improving public education, revitalization of downtown Greensboro, and leveraging economic development.

Active in their community of faith, the Kaplans built a new building for the Greensboro Jewish Federation, and for the Hillel youth organization at U.N.C., Chapel Hill.  He served on the board of the Jewish Foundation of Greensboro, and on that of the national Hillel organization, and was a founder of Camp Ramah Darom.

Viewing giving as a responsibility of affluence, Leonard led by example, and encouraged others to do the same.  He created Wealth & Giving, an educational program designed to inspire the largest wealth holders in this country to be more generous.  The Alliance continues that work by promoting and providing donors with opportunities for effective and efficient giving.

Read more about the Five Guiding Principles.