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
Allen Andersson Allen Andersson
Our family has begun to deploy as much as 99 percent of our fortune to bring prosperity to Central America, home to some of the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere. For 20 years, beginning in 1980 in Boston, I tried my luck as a computer software... 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
Anne and Christopher Ellinger Anne and Christopher Ellinger
The half-million dollar inheritance we gave away in the mid 1980’s turned out to be a shockingly good investment: it has helped to unleash over $200 billion in charitable giving.  How’s that for leverage!  Of course it was more than... 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
Bonny Meyer Bonny Meyer
When I married Justin he had a dog and I had a car; neither one of us had any money. Justin had been a monk at the Christian Brothers Winery, so he went to work as a vineyard and winery consultant. He had a client who agreed to match our meager income with... More
Boris Yakubchik Boris Yakubchik
Giving has become absurdly easy for me. I started giving when I was working part-time as a student: I’d give $30 any time I earned $300; then $50 when I’d earn $500. Now that I’m working full-time, every two weeks I glance at my paycheck... More
Brian Kaminer Brian Kaminer
After working 17 years in the financial markets, I began to realize a difference between trading value (what I was doing) versus creating value.  Creating value represented the opportunity to make an improvement and provide a long-term benefit to this... More
Burcu Mirza Burcu Mirza
Like virtue, philanthropy is a habit. Reflecting back on my own life, I can now see that my own habit stemmed from the positive influence of outstanding philanthropists around me. Therefore, the story of “my giving” is also their story. I was... More
Carol Newell Carol Newell
I grew up in Ogdensburg New York, in a business-oriented family, where our business was one of the main employers in the small town.   My father was an executive at the Newell Company and my mother a home maker. After my father died at 48, my mother... More
Cathy Raphael Cathy Raphael
The world is out of balance.  We need to support the divine feminine parts of life that are much more loving and peaceful.  When it comes to giving, that means breaking through the isolation and barriers that often exist between and among donors and... 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
Charlie Rounds Charlie Rounds
Deciding to give it all was easy.   I was an early partner in RSVP, the first tour company to give gay and lesbian people a spectacular and harassment-free vacation. After 16 years in the business I sold my share to one of the partners.  The... More
Cheryl A. Pemberton Cheryl A. Pemberton
I’m on a mission to inspire the African American community to be bold givers – not just with our time and talents, which we always give abundantly -- but with our money as well. What will it take, I wonder, for more of us to give to organizations... More
Chimu Chimu
I discovered my life’s special purpose by stumbling upon it.  This journey led me to open my heart and wallet to help those less fortunate by founding the Inti Raymi Fund and Adrenaline Philanthropy. In 1992, you would have found me in a suit and... 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
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
Eugene Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry
Roddenberry.  It’s a name synonymous with futuristic worlds, but for me it has become a portal to the future of our own world. My dad was Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek. Growing up, I only knew him as my dad, the guy who checked to see... More
Farhad Ebrahimi Farhad Ebrahimi
As a teenager, I was gifted a significant amount of money. This gift came from my father, who was and is a very successful high-tech entrepreneur. Even as I write this, he's probably out there making more money, and all of it will be set aside for family.... More
Frank Rasmus Frank Rasmus
In my 45 years of working as an insurance claims examiner/supervisor, I never earned more than $45,000 a year. But I lived frugally, invested well, and built up a sizable retirement account. Since retiring a few years ago, I have gleefully discovered I can... 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
Gerard Senehi Gerard Senehi
My life, philanthropy, work as an entertainer, and non-profit pursuit have been guided by the belief that the future is in our hands and thus open to our influence, that we have the power to impact culture with important implications for ourselves, our... More
Gregory Lewis Gregory Lewis
My philanthropic journey began when I was around 14 or 15.  I thought I might find a cure for AIDS or invent something as great as a malaria vaccination.  I’m not sure where these desires came from; but it occurred to me that if I wanted to... 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
Harry and Carol Saal Harry and Carol Saal
The network technology company I founded went public in 1990. Previously, my wife Carol and I had not given much beyond $100 checks to direct mail appeals; now we could give in the thousands and tens of thousands. The breakthrough in our philanthropy in both... More
Harry R. Halloran Jr. Harry R. Halloran Jr.
As I was completing my degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, I realized that I wanted to do something for mankind instead of working for the family business which was involved in the heavy construction industry. After completing my... 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
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
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
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
Joel Solomon Joel Solomon
I grew up in a liberal Jewish household in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My father, also Joel Solomon, was a pioneer and social innovator in his time. As a Jewish man dealing with the prejudices of the South in the fifties and sixties, the local business world... 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
Jonathan Frieman Jonathan Frieman
Because I have no children or family in need, I have more than enough to live on comfortably. That enables me to give away almost 2/3 of my income per year, which is about the salary of a VP at a large corporation. This is a wonderful privilege and I love... 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
Kevin and Hannah Salwen Kevin and Hannah Salwen
Our family is a fairly prototypical American foursome: my wife, Joan, and I live with our two teenagers in a nice house with two dogs. The kids play baseball and volleyball, we like to ride bikes and take family vacations. On the financial front, we have more... 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
Laurie Loew Laurie Loew
Home.  I help people find them and let them go.  On paper, it’s a business transaction, but the journey literally hits home in a deeply personal way. My own childhood home was in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I was the 9th of 10 children, and... More
Linus Roache Linus Roache
I have always felt very blessed to be in my profession. As an actor I have explored a craft that I love, traveled the world, and sometimes earn large amounts of money that has given me a lot of freedom. Currently, I play ADA Michael Cutter on NBC’s Law... 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
Mary Nemetz Mary Nemetz
It all started with an “aha” moment. I remember it as if it was yesterday, I was volunteering at a homeless shelter when a man came up to me and said: “Thank you so very much for being here…for helping me!” His thanks gave me a... More
Milt Lauenstein Milt Lauenstein
I was involved with the corporate world for over 40 years, as CEO in several companies, management consultant, and college lecturer. In 2001, a little company I had a stake in became successful and began paying dividends. Five years later the company was... More
Nancy Thurston Nancy Thurston
Paradox runs through the middle of my life, especially as I work with wealth. My roots lie deep in West Texas natural gas fields, yet I am committed to sustainable, resources. I was born with white skin and worked for fifteen years as a physical therapist but... More
Parmeet Shah Parmeet Shah
I grew up in what we call a joint family, in Mumbai, India. There were ten of us sharing the house: my parents, brother, grandparents, my uncle and his family. That connectedness is what I missed most when I moved to the West at age 18 to attend Yale... 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
Philippe Cousteau Philippe Cousteau
People assume that fame and fortune came easily to me because my grandfather was Jacques Cousteau, but nothing could be further from the truth. My father died before I was born and my sister and I inherited very little except our mother’s indomitable... More
Robert Graham Robert Graham
I am a retired businessman who has spent most of my last 20 years as a social entrepreneur in building nonprofits, personal service, and philanthropy. In the early 1980s I got the idea that I would devote half my time and resources to helping other people,... 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
Sam Sam
I was twenty years old when I received my first inheritance of $10,000 from my grandmother. I’ve never felt so wealthy, before or since. It only took me six months to blow it all on well-meaning but ultimately foolish investments and unpaid loans. By... 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
Tom & Sonya Campion Tom & Sonya Campion
Tom:   I’ve been in retail for decades and started our company Zumiez in 1978.   We sell fun-- surf, skate, snowboarding and action sports to teenagers, ages 12-18--you know, a group that typically has problems with authority. ... 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
Zell Kravinsky Zell Kravinsky
I always wanted to to be a philanthropist and to give part of my body away to help others. Now at age 54, I am pleased to say I have done both. I have had a successful real estate business. In 2003, I reached a point when I had provided for my kids and had... More
 
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