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 build a team to be more strategic (and to get some administrative help!) This isn't the life work I would have chosen, but I feel a strong responsibility to discover and fund what has the most impact in furthering social change. Most of my giving has been to strong, compassionate leaders working for social justice, through education, conflict resolution, peace, and political organizing.
Early on, I learned that wealth doesn't protect anyone from family dysfunction. As a young adult I experienced the struggle of being effectively disowned by my family, and later I lived through my famous parents' murder-suicide.
My chosen work is teaching and coaching kids. What I care about most is creating a loving and healthy family and community. I'm a single mom, raising two kids in a working/middle class neighborhood. I love it here because, unlike the more upscale area where we used to live, folks here need each other and depend on their neighbors for support. That's what I wanted my kids to experience: regular life, as most people live it.
Parenting has helped me mature, and philanthropy has helped me clarify my values to a very deep level. And living with a money tree in my backyard (yeah, that's where it comes from). has let me try interesting experiments. Once I gave 10 different friends $10,000 each to give or spend as they pleased. It gave my friends a sense of my surreal life, and strengthened our friendships.
I have tentatively reconciled now with my family. Ironically, those painful years of separation led me to the core principle of my life's work: the need to help build compassion in order to bring about a just world.
| 40 to 59 Years Old | $10-$25M | at least 50% | Inheritance |
| Education | Peace | Social Justice | Fairness | Joy | Simplicity |