Cyber-millionaires taking philanthropy in a new direction (fwd)

Michael Hoover hoov at
Sun Sep 27 13:10:21 PDT 1998

doncha jus' luv capitalists 'with a humane face'...Michael Hoover

> SEATTLE (September 26, 1998 ) - Newly rich cyber-tycoons boasting posh
> homes and bulging portfolios are moving to change the face of
> philanthropy with a new approach to charitable giving.
> In this northwest metropolis, where Microsoft and dozens of other
> high-tech firms are headquartered, an estimated 59,000 households have a
> net worth of at least one million dollars.
> "The critical mass is here," said Paul Brainerd, who founded Social
> Venture Partners after selling Aldus (whose PageMaker system dominated
> desktop publishing) for $525 million to Adobe Systems.
> "There were people who were clearly thinking about issues, well more
> than myself," said Brainerd, 50, adding that SVP has gathered about 100
> partners since it began less than a year ago.
> What makes this wave of philanthropists different is that most did not
> inherit their wealth, they are in their 30s and 40s and are not waiting
> until late in life to give. Nor are they writing checks and walking
> away.
> Microsoft chief Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, was
> scored for not being more generous. He gave $225 million to charity, but
> that did not quiet complaints especially as his vast home neared
> completion.
> But Paul Shoemaker, the SVP executive director who left Microsoft for
> his current post after earning "more money than I ever deserved," said
> the newly rich are looking for a meaningful way to give.
> "I have found organizations that do giving circles. And I have found
> those that invest their time and expertise," said Shoemaker. "I haven't
> found many, or any yet, that do both of those things together."
> The cyber-rich in various parts of the country are at different stages
> of evolution, said Shoemaker, who has fielded calls from Silicon Valley
> to Austin, Texas, where a group is looking at the SVP model for helping.
> These cyber-philanthropists are also stepping where the government and
> traditional charitable organizations normally don't go, taking risks on
> untried ideas without budget constraints.
> "Government is no longer able or capable to fund this kind of work,"
> Brainerd said, "particularly if there is any kind of innovation or risk
> taking involved."
> By KAREN LOWE, Agence France-Presse

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