Generational Philanthropy, Major Gifts

The next Bill and Melinda?

John and Laura Arnold, age 37, are Gen X active philanthropists. John, a former Enron employee who walked away with an $8 million bonus, started a hedge fun that manages an estimated $5 billion. The couple started their giving with a gift of $30,000 in 2044 to KIPP, a charter school that has a successful track record in getting children form poor families into college. They continued to support education with a $10 million gift to help Washington city schools, $20 million to StudentsFirst and $25 million to Teach for America. Today, they have a foundation – to which they have contributed $670 million — to give to improve criminal-justice, education and pension systems. The couple has committed themselves to thoroughly researching and studying the areas they fund.

Other young philanthropists include:

One of the wealthiest Gen Yers is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who – at 26 years old – is ranked
 as the 35th richest person in the US, with a net worth of $6.9 billion. This puts him ahead of Traditionalist and media mogul Rupert Murdoch of News Corp and Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, a Baby Boomer. Mr. Zuckerberg has set up a charitable foundation, Startup: Education, Foundation with $100 million of Facebook’s shares, mainly for the purpose of helping Newark’s troubled school system. The current budget for schools in Newark, New Jersey – where only half the students graduate and one in five go on to college – is $940 million or $22,000 per year per pupil. At such a young age, Zuckerberg is a leading philanthropist among all generations.

Pierre Morad Omidyar, Gen Xer (born June 21, 1967) and founder of eBay, is an active philanthropist. As of March 2011, Pierre Omidyar is the 145th richest person in the world.  He invests in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

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