A recent editorial suggested that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been characterized by hubris. It has hedged big bets, hoping its efforts would succeed. It's also suffered failure and for that it's been criticized as having exercised too much influence over education policy.
Wise spiritual teachers from all traditions have taught how the path of service is the most important of all, as it means we are less self-obsessed; through caring for others we can step out of indulgence and into big-heartedness, releasing any sense of separateness.
Wealthy American households are not simply capitalists who choose not to invest in charity. Instead, there truly is a fundamental social disconnect that prevents wealthy households from exercising the empathy and consideration for other American citizens that middle-class households exhibit.
With few exceptions, the leading women in philanthropy are the wives or daughters of rich and powerful men. This doesn't diminish the work that they do. Still, women must have a place at the table that is not based on their relationships to powerful men.