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Alan Slifka Alan Slifka
For 20 years I have given over $1 million a year to the Abraham Fund Initiatives, which I founded to support co-existence in Israel among Jews and Arabs. Of my annual giving of $4-5 million, I give 2/3 to co-existence projects and 1/3 to Jewish projects. ... More
Alexander Gaguine Alexander Gaguine - Featured April 2011
When I was 44, I could have received a substantial inheritance.  Instead, I persuaded my dad to change his estate plans so nearly all the money went directly into a charitable foundation.  In the years before and after my father’s death... 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
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
Bonny Meyer Bonny Meyer - Featured June 2013
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
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
Brickson Diamond Brickson Diamond - Featured June 2012
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
Charly and Lisa Kleissner Charly and Lisa Kleissner
Charly:  My wedding ring and Lisa’s bracelet are engraved with our most important values:  “Integrity – Courage – Fun – Joy – Passion – Impact.” Lisa: These values guide our decision-making, whether... More
Craig Silverstein Craig Silverstein
The advice I got as I embarked on giving was: Focus on something you're passionate about. There are so many worthy causes, but none that jumped out at me; how could I choose? I was paralyzed by too many options. I knew that I had a chance to make a... More
Daniel Susott Daniel Susott
When I was a little boy, I prayed every night, "Please help all the poor people in the world to be rich!" By this, I meant, for all people to be safe and to have their bellies full as mine. My heroes were Tom Dooley and Albert Schweitzer, both "jungle... More
David Akers David Akers - Featured June 2011
I grew up in a family that passed on values and faith, and my adult life has been guided by those roots. Early on we learned that a part of our allowance was to go into the church offering basket each Sunday. My mother taught me that life isn’t fair-... More
Diane Feeney Diane Feeney - Featured May 2011
“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
Douglas Tsoi Douglas Tsoi - Featured December 2011
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... 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
Gigi Coyle Gigi Coyle
My giving has followed a heart path, not a master plan. I was stopped in my tracks by inheriting money in 1978. I felt immobilized, unable to continue my job in international development or the life I had known. I went to the desert to ask for guidance. My... 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
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
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
Jessan Hutchison-Quillian Jessan Hutchison-Quillian - Featured September 2013
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
Jin Zidell Jin Zidell - Featured August 2011
My goal is to bring safe drinking water to 200 million people by the year 2022.  So far I’ve volunteered ten years of my full-time energy and given $7 million (half my wealth) towards that goal- -and at age 73, I’m having the most... More
John Powers John Powers
When I was quite young, my father found $100 by a roadside. He brought the money home. Over dinner he asked the family, “How should we give it away?” I’ve been tremendously fortunate to grow up with inherited wealth in a philanthropic... 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
Joyce and Joe Ybarra Joyce and Joe Ybarra - Featured May 2013
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
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
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
Levani Lipton Levani Lipton - Featured February 2010
Meeting the people you help is a transformative experience. My mother and I journeyed to Malawi to visit a community-based organization in the countryside town of M’chenga. Leaving the capital of Lilongwe, we traveled along dusty roads and arrived at a... More
Lili Stiefel Lili Stiefel
Lili Stiefel has a big dream – to help our oil-based economy shift to renewable energy. In 2007, she and her mother committed $1 million for grantmaking to projects that are creating non-oil jobs in the Middle East. Another $1 million they are... More
Mike Hannigan Mike Hannigan - Featured August 2010
Every year our Bay Area office supplies company, Give Something Back, allocates money for our customers to donate, for our employees to donate, and for my co-founder Sean Marx and myself to donate. We don't give a fixed percentage of the profits. We make a... More
Mike Schaefer and Ric Weiland Mike Schaefer and Ric Weiland - Featured October 2009
Mike Schaefer, the surviving partner of an early Microsoft pioneer, has distributed more than $180 million – nearly 100% of their assets – to 20 charitable organizations since his partner’s death in 2006. Mike's story offers profound... 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
Nyla Rodgers Nyla Rodgers - Featured November 2011
I am an action person.  Lots of people are upset about the state of the world but don’t do anything about it.  My mother and I were never like that; we are doers. My mother spent her life giving to others, a virtue she passed on to ... 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
Pilar Gonzales Pilar Gonzales - Featured September 2011
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
Rao and Satya Remala Rao and Satya Remala
Rao: Education is life changing.  It may take a village to raise a child, but educating one from a poor village creates change for generations to come.  I am a prime example.  I come from a small village in southeastern India, one of six... More
Rick Zemlin Rick Zemlin
In 1981 I joined the Peace Corps and went to live in the Third World for three years. There I saw and was horrified by abject poverty everywhere. I learned it came from the unfair international economic system – a system from which I and others in the... 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
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
Tom Hsieh Tom Hsieh - Featured December 2009
Tom Hsieh is a happy man – and he busts all myths about the American Dream. Guided by faith, he gives more than half his lucrative salary every year to address poverty in Los Angeles, while he and his wife and child stay committed to keep their personal... More
Tom Van Dyck Tom Van Dyck
I’m a child of corporate America. My stepdad worked at Gillette, Schick, started his own company and finally became the CEO of Cuisinart. Our family experienced the best and the worst of corporate culture: ambition, hard work & upward mobility,... 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
Wendy Chang Wendy Chang - Featured August 2013
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
Zeph Fishlyn Zeph Fishlyn
I’m a mid-forties white genderqueer person born and raised in Montreal and raised again in the Mission District in San Francisco. I came from an owning-class Canadian WASP family. I can thank them for good teeth and education and vacation... More
 
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