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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
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
Betsy Betsy
I was in my mid-20’s (20 years ago) when I inherited $300,000 (about $500,000 in today's dollars). Working full-time in the anti-nuclear movement, I lived simply and had no dependents, so it seemed logical to give the money away, mostly to groups doing... 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
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
Cathy Cathy
Growing up in Asia, I was moved by the plight of suffering animals - a frequent sight. But I didn't know how to help them. Nobody around me cared about animals. After college in the UK, I joined animal, environmental, and human rights groups, but my... 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
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
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
Douglas Tsoi Douglas Tsoi
I believe that a happy life is a purposeful and meaningful one, one filled with connection and service to others.  Ten years ago, after being laid-off as a technology lawyer in San Francisco, I wrote a mission for my life: to help people learn and become... 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
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 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
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
James James
I inherited over half a million dollars in my early twenties, and donated 2/3rds of this to nuclear freeze and peace campaigns. At the age of fifty, I received a trust distribution and made my largest single gift of $105,000 to the Peace Development Fund. My... 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
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
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
Julia Wise and Jeff Kaufman Julia Wise and Jeff Kaufman
To me the question isn't how much I should give away, but how much I should keep. I see my money as belonging to whoever needs it most: every dollar I spend is a dollar out of the hands of someone who needs it more than me. I’ve always felt that way. I... 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
 
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