Bolder Giving - Give More, Risk more, Inspire more
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Abigail Disney Abigail Disney
I was afraid to be bold in my 20s. The first leap I took was moving from LA to NYC – far from my family of origin, to have the space to become myself. My husband and I started a family foundation in 1991 because it seemed like a good thing to do. The... More
Alison Goldberg Alison Goldberg
My father started a computer software company around the time I was born that grew for several years. The company was sold when I was in my early 20's, and I inherited money after that. During this time I was working on economic justice issues, and wanted to... More
Amoz Amoz
The best part about inheriting over $3 million dollars has been the chance to give most of that money to groups working for social change. I’ve been able to fund projects that have made a huge difference to Gay, Bi, Lesbian, and Queer youth, teachers,... More
Anjhula Mya Bais Anjhula Mya Bais
By nature of what I do as a fashion model, as an ex MTV VJ (video jockey), and celebrity often in the spotlight, I feel the need to be a vocal role model.  I need to let it be known that I am a bold giver so that I can encourage and inspire others to do... More
Ari Weisbard & Rebecca Ennen Ari Weisbard & Rebecca Ennen
Rebecca: My earliest memories of giving were participating in the Walk for Hunger and the AIDS Walk in Boston with my mother. The fundraising goals that we set each year felt tangible and real. I’d imagine hungry kids eating meals that I... More
Ariel Thomas Nessel Ariel Thomas Nessel
I pledge to give at least $1,000 a day away, every day, for the rest of my life.I've had the blessing of earning significant amounts of money in my career as a real estate re-developer, sustainably renovating tired and dilapidated apartment buildings into... More
Barbara Meyer Barbara Meyer
My wealth was serendipitous from the beginning. In 1912, my father began delivering packages at age 12 for a small start-up company that became the United Parcel Service.  He stayed with UPS most of his life, and when he died in 1964, left $250,000 to my... More
Barry Barry
I inherited a half million from my parents in my early twenties, and then another $2 million from other relatives. I later received $7 million in settlements arising from my family’s losses as Jews in Nazi Germany. From an early age I was troubled... More
Becky Liebman Becky Liebman
I was happily working as a reference librarian for many years when serious money came to me. This threw me for a loop. Suddenly I was faced with questions like, “What is real work?” and “Could I be more pro-active in the things I say I care... More
Bob Hadley Bob Hadley
My wife Judy and I don’t aim to give a specific percentage of our income--we simply give each year as we feel led. Only when I prepare our tax return do we see what the total represents. I firmly believe that proportionate giving is what we are supposed... More
Brad Brad
I got started young in philanthropy and service. I was seven when I organized my first fundraiser, a lemonade stand with neighborhood kids. My parents, who required all of us children to contribute 10% of our allowances to charity, were very philanthropic. ... More
Brad Seligman Brad Seligman
Fourteen years ago, when I used my money and legal expertise to start The Impact Fund, I never dreamed we’d be leading the largest class action suit in history. I was brought up in a Jewish middle class family, where we sat around the table and talked... More
Brendan Martin Brendan Martin
There was nothing about my childhood to suggest I would become a radical economist and entrepreneur, giving away most of my money to finance worker cooperatives in Argentina, Nicaragua and the U.S. As a kid growing up in generic suburbs of Rochester, NY, I... More
Brickson Diamond Brickson Diamond
I focus my giving on organizations and efforts that increase access.  This means opening pathways to positions of power for people from communities that are traditionally excluded.  As a gay, black man who grew up in Atlanta, Georgia during the... More
Charles Charles
I was 21 when I found out that I was inheriting far more money than I would ever need to live on. I was glad to have money to use for good ends. Yet I didn't want the money to define me or how others thought of me. I enjoyed and valued the work I was doing,... More
Chuck Collins Chuck Collins
My grandfather was the meat packer Oscar Mayer. In 1986, when I turned 25, I gave away an inheritance worth almost half a million dollars. Had the funds remained invested in a modest growth fund, they would be worth $4 to 6 million today. I made this... More
Connie Cagampang Heller Connie Cagampang Heller
Defining Racialization – Connie’s definition: Similar to marginalization, racialization is a process through which different racial groups are given or denied access to society’s concern and resources.  The mechanisms and... More
David Becker David Becker
My philanthropic journey began in 1968, when as a college junior I inherited a couple million dollars from my mother. After hesitant efforts to give some of it away, I was transformed by encounters in the 1970s with Haymarket People’s Fund and Gay... More
David Ludlow David Ludlow
My late wife was a philanthropist and anti-racism activist. Her accidental death in 1996 propelled me into a shocking new identity as a person with wealth. To live a meaningful life as a person of wealth, I threw myself into a crash self-help program that... More
Diane Feeney Diane Feeney
“How do I do the most good with my philanthropic dollars?” This challenging question has guided my development as a bold giver for the past two decades. I was 21 when my parents created a family foundation so their five children could learn about... More
Doris Buffett Doris Buffett
I live to give. Since inheriting money from my mother in 1996, I have given away nearly $35 million. I’m 78 and I’m pedaling as fast as I can to give it all away before I die. I was lucky not to be raised in a wealthy family. I know what it... More
Edorah Frazer Edorah Frazer
When my father died when I was 16, I was completely unprepared to inherit half a million dollars. I felt isolated and confused in contemplating my responsibility toward my wealth. But by the time I was given control of the principal at age 25, I felt much... More
Elspeth Gilmore Elspeth Gilmore
At age 33, I’m at last coming into my own about my wealth.  I’ve made mistakes.  I’ve learned a lot.  I’m finally clear that, for me, using my resources to make change is about collective action. I grew up wealthy in... More
Frank and Ruth Butler Frank and Ruth Butler
Our giving is grounded in our Christian faith. We have been blessed to learn from wise people, starting with our parents, who know how to incorporate sound values into all money practices. Every budget is really a moral statement highlighting... More
Genevieve Vaughan Genevieve Vaughan
In 1979, my father told me had inherited many millions. I decided to give it to social change projects. Here’s why: I had a vision of a gift economy (gift-economy.com) based on women’s values. I felt so strongly about this vision that I wanted to... More
George Pillsbury George Pillsbury
My family’s wealth came from grain mills my great-grandfather started along the Mississippi in the 1850s. My great grandfather before that and his sons fought at Lexington Green and relatives were involved in abolition, women’s suffrage, and an... More
George Salzman George Salzman
I was once a theoretical physicist. Now I'm an anarchist and opposed to the growing division of rich and poor. I'm 82 years old. A few years ago I left my old life behind, put my house in a trust to benefit the community, and moved to Oaxaca, Mexico, where... More
Grace Ross Grace Ross
Growing up in a wealthy family in New York City, I was raised to believe that I would always be taken care of. As a Harvard student I got involved in social activism and was outraged to learn how many people never have that experience of safety. It didn't... More
Grigor McClelland Grigor McClelland
I am an only child, born in 1922. I attended a Quaker school, was a conscientious objector in WW2, and joined the Quakers in 1942, sharing Quaker concerns for social harmony and social justice. My father built up a successful grocery business from 1907, which... More
Harriet Dennison Harriet Dennison
I recently passed all the assets of the Oregon portion of our family foundation to two community organizations, freeing myself from my job of philanthropist. For over two decades, philanthropy had been my deeply satisfying work ... but then it became time... More
Helen LaKelly Hunt Helen LaKelly Hunt
It is a powerful thing, watching people come together to move the needle toward greater justice; even more so to participate. When I have done so, faith has always played a part. I call myself a follower of Jesus Christ. No one cared more... More
Jamie Schwesnedl Jamie Schwesnedl
I grew up in the punk rock scene. Our slogan was D.I.Y. – Do It Yourself. Since I was 16, I’ve known that if we want the world to be a fairer place with justice for everybody, we have to do it ourselves. When I lived in New Orleans, I tutored... More
Jason Franklin Jason Franklin
I was just 14 years old when I had my first success as a community organizer.  Angry about major proposed cuts to public education in state, I co-founded a student organizing effort to “save the Oregon school system.”  I was thrilled as... More
Jeff Zinsmeyer Jeff Zinsmeyer
A funny thing happened on the way to creating a foundation.  While working at the Center for Community Change, my good lawyer friend Tom Asher called.  He was completing IRS paperwork to setup my new foundation, but we had no name.  To complete... More
Jennifer Easton Jennifer Easton
Before my mom died in 1991, she changed her will so that my sister and I could choose, if we wished, to give our inheritances charitably instead of taking them personally. Which we both did. Since then, I’ve given over 50% of my net worth, mostly to... More
Jenny Ladd Jenny Ladd
What do a Standard Oil heiress (that’s me), a working-class Jewish woman, and a working-class Cuban-American man have in common? We all changed our lives through a cross-class dialogue group. Six of us met monthly for six years. We told each other... More
Jessan Hutchison-Quillian Jessan Hutchison-Quillian
In 2007, at 20 years old, I got my first job as an engineer.  When I opened the offer letter from Google, I realized that my starting salary of over $100,000 would be more than anyone I’d ever been close to had made.  I knew for sure that I... More
Jessie Spector Jessie Spector
I learned the values of humble generosity and living in moderation early on from my family. My parents were wonderfully philanthropic in untraditional ways (and traditional ones too).  My father is a terrific organizer; our house was always filled with... More
Jill Warren Jill Warren
When Bob and I were married in 1993 and were combining our households, we were stunned by how much stuff we both owned. It seemed almost obscene to have so many things and it was shocking to consider the money spent on so many items that had been stored in... More
Jim Greenbaum Jim Greenbaum
Fighting injustice has always been a part of my life. Witnessing first hand the racial and religious bigotry of the Deep South in the 60’s and 70’s, and frequently hearing about the atrocities of the holocaust, my path towards a life of service... More
Joan Joan
My wise and beloved father once said to me, “Don’t ever invade the principal. Before you know it you could be reckless and lose everything!” I heard him, but long after he died I broke through that barrier and it scared the "h-" out of... More
John Mauriel John Mauriel
I recently retired. For the next few years I have a financial windfall coming in – from an arrangement that was set up decades ago, when a company on whose board I served let me defer compensation and put it into stock. My wife and I decided to give... More
Johnny Lapham Johnny Lapham
Having benefited from inheritance provided by my grandparents as well as dividends and stocks from my family's paper company, I was moved to do something extraordinary for others. Since so much of my wealth is not earned, I have tried to see it as a... More
Joshua Mailman Joshua Mailman
All my adult life, I’ve woven together three passions – cutting edge philanthropy, socially responsible venture capital, and building networks to support innovation. I follow my instincts and move toward people and ideas that excite me, whether I... More
Joyce and Joe Ybarra Joyce and Joe Ybarra
Joyce: Joe and I both grew up in West Covina, a city in Los Angeles County that is heavily Mexican-American and Filipino-American. I am Filipina and Joe is Mexican-American. Both of us come from families with high expectations for their kids; my parents... More
Karen Pittelman Karen Pittelman
The first question people usually ask when they find out I gave away a three million dollar trust fund at the age of 25 is: do you regret it? Since this was one of the most joyous decisions of my life—I’ve never felt any regret—it’s an... More
Kathy LeMay Kathy LeMay
When I was growing up, I thought only millionaires could be philanthropists. I came from a working-class family, so I thought I could never be a philanthropist. Still, I wanted to solve social injustices so I became an activist, first as a student in my small... More
Kim Kim
My inherited wealth comes from a business that is still in the family. Whatever income I don't need I give back to the community. Currently that surplus is $500,000 a year and growing. For the past 25 years I have done my giving on my own. Now I'm working to... More
Kristin Hull Kristin Hull
For 25 years, when people ask me what I do, I have always answered, “I am an educator.”  Lately, I have started to introduce myself as an entrepreneur. I realize that I have a lifetime of experience with start- ups. Both of my parents are... More
Laurie Emrich Laurie Emrich
In my twenties I inherited enough money to live without a paid job. I had grown up in Denver in a culturally Jewish family that emphasized Tikkun Olam, the value of healing the world through economic and social justice. I took these values to heart and... More
Leslie Brockelbank Leslie Brockelbank
My husband and I were activists working with many groups, for peace and justice. We contributed money to these groups but mostly we ‘sat on’ our money. We kept waiting for the issue, or the opportunity significant enough to give half of our... More
Magdaleno “Leno” Rose-Avila Magdaleno “Leno” Rose-Avila
My name is Leno and I have a PhD.  It stands for Public Highway Demonstrations and it comes from hard lessons through the University of Street Smarts.  When I was 11, I worked in the onion fields of southeast Colorado.  As the son of immigrant... More
Marilyn Marilyn
Fifty years ago when the family stock was sold and we were about to get $2 million [over $8 million in today’s dollars] my husband and I looked at each other, “We don’t want to be that rich.” So we gave away half, finding a foundation... More
Marji Greenhut Marji Greenhut
Growing up, I was taught to give Tzedakah, which means giving for justice (not charity). My family always had a little blue box for the United Jewish Appeal on the table. So when I inherited millions in 1995, I knew right away I would give most of it away,... More
Mark Reed Mark Reed
“Are you kiddin me? You haven’t been to jail and none of your family’s on crack?”  Damien, a mouthy, bright fourteen year old wanted to know who I was, where I came from, and why I was there. It was tougher to prove myself to... More
Marnie Thompson Marnie Thompson
Well before my father died I came to the conclusion that if he willed me an inheritance, I would give it back — not to his estate, but rather to the wider world from which it had come. Though I believe my dad was a very good, very smart man, I did not... More
Mike Lapham Mike Lapham
As a fifth-generation family owner of a small paper mill in Upstate New York, I began receiving four large checks a year in my late twenties – each one larger than the yearly earnings of a minimum wage worker. At the time, I worked in the low-income... More
Millard Fuller Millard Fuller
Following in my dad’s footsteps, I started a business that made me a millionaire by age 29. I was ruthless at making money and proud to be able to buy anything imaginable. I didn’t realize the downside, until my wife and kids left me for taking... More
Paula and Barry Litt Paula and Barry Litt
Political activism for social justice has always been an important part of our life. We both became radicals while we were still in high school in the 1960’s and were deeply involved in the civil rights and anti-war movements. After we married, we... More
Phil Villers Phil Villers
I came to the U.S. when I was five, fleeing France with my family two hours ahead of the German army. This experience may have helped to shape my social conscience. As a young man, my father pushed me toward sciences and engineering, so I became a mechanical... More
Pilar Gonzales Pilar Gonzales
During the years I earned as much as $50,000-$100,000 a year, I gave 25-50% of my annual income. One year I earned a modest $16,000, a drop due to health issues – yet I still gave the same percentage of my income. My giving has now settled at 10-25%... More
Ralph Alpert Ralph Alpert
My parents didn't have a lot of money for much of their lives, but were generous nonetheless. My father's business became successful, and when I sold my share in 1984 I had considerable wealth. I had been working as a lawyer and investing my earnings, so I... More
Ram Dass Ram Dass
In the 1970s I was in India studying with my guru, Maharaji. One day he called me in and said, "Your father has a lot of money. . . . You are not to accept an inheritance." I was startled by his mandate, but it felt right to me. I hadn't been aware that I... More
Randolf Randolf
I’m 77 now, and have been giving substantially from my inheritances since I was 32. Since 1997, I’ve been giving $200,000+/year, 50% of my adjusted gross income. I’ve been inspired to be a giver, first, by my Christian faith: I was a... More
Richard Semmler Richard Semmler
I'm not wealthy. I make my living as a mathematics professor at Northern Virginia Community College, plus two other part-time jobs, one as an editor and the other as a janitor. I earn in total a little over $100,000 per year. For the past ten years... More
Rose Feerick Rose Feerick
God has a wonderful sense of humor! For much of my adult life I have been engaging with money as a spiritual practice, trying to live simply and working for social justice. Recently, my teenage sons and I needed to relocate to one of the most affluent... More
Roxanne Meshar Roxanne Meshar
Out of the blue a friend said to me, “Roxanne, why have you never thought of studying theology?” Neither she nor I had any idea what possessed her to say that, but it was it was like getting hit over the head with a 2x4. I immediately knew this... More
Ruth Ann Harnisch Ruth Ann Harnisch
Money issues are different in what my friend Steven calls “the third quarter.” He figures we play to live to 100, and since we’re over 50, we’re in (we hope) the third quarter. Of course, the game can end anytime due to force majeure,... More
Sasha Rabsey Sasha Rabsey
  “Mom, I want to do community service in Africa this summer and I really want you to come with me.” My daughter had been doing community service in San Francisco for years and was ready to take her passion to a global level and she wanted... More
Sheri Cohen Sheri Cohen
I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba in a Jewish Family. My father and his five brothers grew up working class. They established SAAN stores/Gendis and were successful financially. My life however, was complicated. I grew up as a survivor of violence, abuse and... More
Tammy Tammy
My investment income is close to $90,000 annually. I give between 50% and 100% of it away. It means I’m spending down my capital to cover my living expenses, but I’ve got a financial plan & I’m certainly not going to want for anything in... More
Timothy B. Timothy B.
After college I volunteered and lived in a Catholic Worker community. Dorothy Day started the Catholic Worker in the 1930's, as a radical way to follow Jesus' teachings and to work for social justice. In our local Catholic Worker community we lived simply on... More
Tracy Gary Tracy Gary
I’m an evangelist for inspired philanthropy: inspired living and inspired giving! Over the past 30 years, I have spent an average of 200 days a year on the road – giving keynotes and workshops at donor conferences, meeting with wealthy families,... More
Vanessa Vanessa
My father's life resembled a Horatio Alger story....from rags to riches. He was a modest farm boy who put himself through college during the depression. Through perseverance and hard work, he managed to amass a billion dollar fortune in his lifetime. ... More
Wendy Chang Wendy Chang
Justice is realized through moments in time – something you must see or experience to understand. There are two defining moments in my life that have shaped my view of social justice. When I was just about 5 years old, my family emigrated from... More
William J. vanden Heuvel William J. vanden Heuvel
The American Dream will stay alive as long as people are willing to chase it and fight for it, as long as we take pride in America’s contributions to human history and the advancement of democracy and work to preserve that heritage into the future. Just... More
 
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