The largest network of philanthropists in the world

There’s a new breed of philanthropists in town, and they’re doing BIG things; just in smaller amounts. These maverick philanthropists give from their hearts and consistently contribute $5,000 to $50,000 every year. They are the lifeblood of charitable organizations.


It’s voted of the most refreshing clubs anywhere, which is why the group is gaining popularity. Members are fun, down-to-earth and some of the most admired philanthropists. Many are small business owners and high-income professionals making a big impact on society and represent the largest segment of the donor pool, but receive very little (if any) recognition – until now!


The point of the club: to create a network for individual philanthropists with smaller resources to make impact change, make more risk-taking grants that leverage greater change than the size of their donation and provide non-profits with support that not only improves lives – but inspires systemic change.


“Most of our members, say exclusive philanthropist circles, forums and clubs that offer membership fees at $10,000 to $25,000 annually are out of their financial reach, attract people that are sometimes “stuffy” and waste money on fancy dinners, galas and unnecessary bells and whistles to attract the rich. Philanthropists who donate smaller resources based more on sacrificial giving and not out of abundance are left on the outer fringes,” says Jack Houston, director of the Association of Maverick Philanthropists (AMP).


The AMP is the brainchild of Michael Chatman, Founder of Philanthropy Speakers Agency, the Nation’s most influential talent agency for executives, authors, celebrity humanitarians and experts in the charitable sector. While it’s common for philanthropists to join circles and clubs, Chatman’s group is the first to build a respectable network of philanthropists donating as little as $5,000 annually. He recognized early on that small donors make up the largest segment of the donor pool and bring financial stability to non-profits who would struggle without their support.


Chatman saw a need for an organization for philanthropists who are not necessarily rich and although their financial contributions are smaller, they can still have a BIG impact.


Today the maverick philanthropist’s members, who pay a small membership fee of $125 in annual dues, attracts members from the U.S. and overseas. The chance to hangout with one another at non-traditional philanthropist events like its annual Maverick Philanthropist Summit & Down-Home Barbeque Throw Down (an event influenced by Chatman’s appreciation for Bobby Flay, Celebrity Chef and Food Network Television Personality,) is a big part of AMP’s appeal.


As befits such an unusual group in the philanthropic community, these encounters are often more relaxed and feel more like a backyard barbeque rather than an elite gala at a Rockefeller family estate. At gatherings, people are wearing jeans, flip-flops, sandals, t-shirts, casual pants, women sporting ponytails as they line dance with their husbands; and there is plenty of laughter in the air. “The other philanthropist groups did not suit my style. I like the fact that people who join AMP are not full of themselves. The whole atmosphere makes you feel like you’re having a beer with a friend. It’s just so relaxed and down to earth. I just love it,” says Wayne Johnson, AMP member.


The group is not into swanky settings and celebrity sightings. There is no question members have fun, but they are in it for the philanthropy and want to make a difference. The AMP is a combination of Southwest Airlines (no frills) and Walmart (low cost leader) in a sea of dozens of overpriced forums and clubs aimed at attracting the Gates, Rockefellers, Fords and people who appear on Forbes list of wealthiest people in the world.


The AMP provides a way for philanthropists donating smaller amounts to share their successes and learn from one another’s mistakes as they wrestle with issues that transcend their financial giving capacity. The group offers a no holds barred, content-rich newsletter packed with updates, tips, case studies and networking opportunities and its annual Maverick Philanthropist Summit and Down Home Barbeque Throw Down.


The group has virtually no overhead and not dependent on corporate sponsors to financially support the organization. They rely on virtual assistants to manage projects and communicate with members. As befits such a maverick organization, the operation is self-sustaining and doesn’t solicit outside funding. “Membership fees are intentionally low to free up extra cash for members to donate more to charitable causes rather than pissing away resources on wasteful activities and printed materials that nobody ever reads,” says Nelson Diaz, a Florida beverage industry consultant and member of AMP.


“A simple monthly newsletter with straight-to-the point information and an annual event that brings members together for face to face conversation, friendship building and let your hair down fun centered around philanthropy are the only two things members receive. People check their egos at the door and get focused on helping people in need,” added Diaz.


The AMP believes small philanthropists, much like small business owners, are the backbone of the economy and account for a large percentage of charitable funding. While members do not have the financial capacity to pour millions of dollars into causes, they can consistently provide charities with gifts of $5,000 to $50,000 to maintain its operation, launch smaller initiatives and be the difference between an employee keeping a job or being let go due to lack of funding.


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