Despite the growing wealth in the United States, 32 million Americans are caught in developing world level poverty. TDI focuses on solving six killer conditions that trap the poorest Americans, separating them from a healthy quality of life.
FROM POVERTY TO PROSPERITY BY 2026
The goal of TDI is to eradicate chronic, generational poverty in the United States through National Service supporting community-based leadership which builds access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
TDI engages well trained, paid, community coaches to help dismantle the severe impact of each of the killer areas through multiple, weekly home visits. These visits build productive solutions with the families to address the challenges they face. Our TDI coaches track and report outcomes to a data center as progress is made.
TDI shares personal stories with you to encourage comprehensive, focused efforts in your own communities in order to bring dramatic improvements to the lives of our poorest, fellow Americans. What will be the next steps in your community?
Claire Gaudiani is an idealist and an engaged American. Her writing and speaking call on fellow citizens to leave the world a better place. Her work life - volunteer,
trustee, corporate director, community developer, teacher, writer, college president - puts this aspiration into practice.
Gaudiani is currently a Professor at The George H. Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at New York University. From 2001 to 2004, Dr. Gaudiani was a Senior Research Scholar at the Yale Law School. While at Yale, she wrote The Greater Good: How Philanthropy Drives the American Economy and Can Save Capitalism (Henry Holt/New York Times Books). This widely-cited book argues that Americans are not generous because we are rich, but rich because we are generous. Gaudiani asserts that citizen generosity is the defining American value, and warns that this tradition is weakening, despite the greatest accumulation of wealth in our nation’s history.
Today, she speaks nationally and internationally about the synergy between capitalism and philanthropy and encourages fundraisers, financial advisors, corporate leaders, and politicians to harness our tradition of moral entrepreneurship to solve today’s continuing problems of inequality.
Gaudiani served for 13 years as President of Connecticut College. Under her leadership from 1988-2001, Connecticut College quintupled its endowment and rose in the influential U.S. News and World Report survey from No. 41 to the top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges list.
She also served from 1997 to 2001 as volunteer president of the non-profit New London Development Corporation, dedicated to building the tax base, creating jobs and improving the quality of life for all citizens of New London,CT. During her tenure, NLDC managed $75 million in state infrastructure funding and attracted $300 million in private investment to New London, bringing 2100 new jobs to the City.
Gaudiani is an active director of numerous for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises specializing in corporate governance issues. Current directorships include The Henry Luce Foundation, MBIA Inc., and The National Council for Economic Education. She is a trustee of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Honors include election as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as a fellow of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and the Rosso Medal for Distinguished Service to Philanthropy from Indiana University. She has received ten honorary doctorates.
Dr. Gaudiani holds a Ph.D. and master's degree in French literature from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College. Recent publications include “Values-Centered Financial Planning’ in the Journal of Practical Estate Planning, and “The Transformative Power of Women’s Philanthropy” in Women and Giving (Jossey Bass).
Since 2010, she has worked as volunteer project director for The Declaration Initiative and more recently for “10,000 Babies.”
National Leadership Council
Ivye Allen, Foundation for the Mid-South, President
Roland Anglin, Initiative for Regional and Community Transformation, Rutgers University, Executive Director
Susan Batten, Association of Black Foundation Executives, Executive Director
Susan Beressford, New York Community Trust
David Blankenhorn***, Institute for American Values, President
Tracy Gary, Inspired Legacies, Founder
Morgan Hertzan, Lx.TV/NBC Universal, Senior Vice President/General Manager
John Hoffmire, Center on Business and Poverty, University Wisconsin, Director
Debra Jacobs, Patterson Foundation, President/CEO
James Joseph, former ambassador to South Africa, philanthropic thought leader, author, Leader-in-Residence, the Terry Sanford School for public Policy, Duke University
Zeev Klein, Landmark Ventures, General Partner
Jody Kretzmann, Asset-Based Community Development Institute, Northwestern University, Co-Director
Darryl Lester, HindSight Consulting, Founder
Glen Macdonald, Wealth and Giving Forum, Executive Director
Stuart Odell, Dewey Leboeuf, Counsel
Miles Rapoport ***, Demos, President
Robert Ross, The California Endowment, President/CEO
Ruth Wooden, Advertising Council and Public Agenda, Retired President
Strategic Action Council
Jennifer Catino, Population Council, Poverty, Gender, Youth Program, Associate
Evelyn Burnett, Living Cities/Admiral Center, Associate Director, Program Strategies
Mark Constantine, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Vice President for Strategy, Policy and Learning
Larry McGill, Foundation Center, VP of Evaluation
Marcus Littles, FrontLine Solutions, Senior Partner
Tom Pollak, Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics, Senior Research Associate and Program Director
Joy Moore*, Media/Public Relations Consultant (formerly at Annie E. Casey Foundation), Owner
Mary Braxton-Joseph, Media Consultant, Principal
Roxanne Joffe, CAP Branding Consulting, President
Kristin Jones, CEO, Wallop! OnDemand,former Senior Account Manager, Rudder Finn
Xavier Jernigan, Music industry insider, marketing expert, and pop culture enthusiast