Giving Pledge follows in W&GF footsteps: Holds “inspirational” gathering of philanthropists

kristy SRI/ESG News

A publication from Wealth and Giving

… An update on the W&GF Community

· Giving Pledge follows in W&GF footsteps: Holds “inspirational” gathering of philanthropists

· W&GF announces appointment of Randy Hustvedt as Senior Advisor

· “Magic” Johnson lends his voice and support to The Council of Unity work against violence

· Mildred Robbins Lett, Legendary Philanthropist and Trickle Up founder, finds her place in heaven

· Social Impact Exchange Conference: Early bird and W&GF special registration this week

Giving Pledge follows in W&GF footsteps: Holds “inspirational” gathering of philanthropists

The Giving Pledge held a W&GF style gathering in Arizona this past week. As Warren Buffett says the ?private gathering ? was a great chance for the American billionaires who have pledged to give away at least half their wealth to meet each other, compare notes, eat and laugh?. The similarities between W&GF?s and the Giving Pledge?s purpose, philosophy and participants are striking. Jean and Steve Case and Doris Buffet, are alums of W&GF gatherings. Much like W&GF, a core element of their campaign is to enlist other philanthropists to share their inspirational stories and wisdom on best practices with their peers. The photo above is of a table set at our Scottsdale Arizona gathering that awaited philanthropist eager to ?compare notes, eat and laugh.? For more on the Giving Pledge?s private gathering, see the article below by Associated Press reporter Donna Gordon Blankinship.

W&GF announces appointment of Randy Hustvedt as Senior Advisor

The Wealth & Giving Forum is pleased to announce the addition of Randy Allison Hustvedt to our team. Randy recently joined W&GF as a Senior Advisor and will support our educational gatherings and co-edit our communiqués. Randy is also a Managing Director at Evercore Wealth Management in New York. She brings to W&GF twenty years of wealth advisory experience and a passion for philanthropy and impact investing. She was previously with Federal Street Advisors where she oversaw the administration of the firm?s Family Office Services. She has been a featured speaker over the years on numerous topics, including Behavioral Finance and Philanthropy, The Integration of Business and Personal Issues and Estate Planning Strategies. Randy serves on the Board of Governors for Opportunity International, a member of the Jewish National Fund?s Sapphire Society and an Advisory Board Member of the Naomi-Berrie Diabetes Center.

Council of Unity: “Magic” Johnson lends his voice and support to combat violence in schools

Council for Unity, a national non-profit organization founded in 1975, held an uplifting gala at the Harvard Club on May 4 where “Magic” Johnson spoke of the extraordinary impact this organization has had on combating bullying and steering students towards meaningful lives. The Council of Unity has a history of promoting successfully inter-group relations and reducing violence in schools and communities.

C of U was founded by Robert J. DeSena, a teacher at John Dewey High School, in 1975. Mr. DeSena brought leaders of different gangs together to bring peace to the school. These African American, Latino, Asian American, Jewish and Italian American leaders put a stop to the violence, and created new friendships. C of U implements school-based and after-school programs in leadership development, mentoring, career, college guidance and gang prevention, the Council fulfills its’ mission of empowering individuals and groups with the skills necessary to promote unity, safety and achievement.

The Council for Unity network comprises 60 schools and community centers in New York City, Long Island, Boys and Girls Clubs of America in Texas and California. Council for Unity also has a college chapter at The University of Vermont. The organization actively helps over 80,000 young people everyday. In an independent evaluation commissioned by the New York City Board of Education, The Council for Unity programs generated the following results:

· 94% of participants graduate from high school

· 96% of those attend college

· 70% of participating school principals reported a decrease in violent crime in their schools

· 100% of participants reported that Council for Unity has had a positive impact on their lives.

Mildred Robbins Lett, Legendary Philanthropist and Trickle Up founder, finds her place in heaven

Mildred Robbins Leet , a pioneering philanthropist who co-founded one of the first U.S. based nonprofit that provides small loans to help poor people start their own businesses died in New York City at age 88. Ms. Leet and her husband started Trickle Up in 1979. Trickle Up helped needy people create business plans and lent them small amounts of money, $50 to $100 to launch micro enterprises. The charity has helped start more than 200,000 businesses. Today it operates in five countries ? Mali, Burkina Faso, India, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Leet’s passing was confirmed by Trickle Up’s president, William Abrams, a speaker at past Wealth & Giving Forum gatherings. David Russell, a Trickle Up board member and philanthropists from Florida also participated in W&GF gatherings. We extend our heartfelt gratitude and condolences to the Leet?s family and the Trickle Up community around the globe.

Social Impact Exchange Conference: Early bird and special W&GF registration

The Wealth & Giving Forum, a collaborator with the Social Impact Exchange on its 2011 Conference on Scaling Impact this coming June 15 & 16, encourages early registration for this grand gathering in New York City. As a partnering organization, W&GF has secured a limited number of discounted registrations at a $595 rate for members of our community, representing a 50% discount off the standard fee of $1,190.

This is an invitation-only conference is tailored to the needs and interested of philanthropic individuals and families, family foundations and national funders interested in learning about innovative methods to support high-impact, high-growth nonprofits. The conference will include knowledge session, peer networking opportunities and presentations by foundation CEOs and nonprofit leaders, notably Paul Brest, President of the Hewlett Foundation. Please respect these guidelines before deciding to register.

To receive the discount, indicate that you were invited by Wealth & Giving Forum when prompted by the online registration website. For registration details and more information, please see the announcement below, or visit Space is limited, so we encourage you to register soon. For questions on the conference, e-mail [email protected] or [email protected], or call (212) 551-1148.

Featured Speakers

Stephen Goldsmith, Deputy Mayor of New York City
Paul Brest, President of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, Founding Chair of Women Moving Millions
Joel L. Fleishman, Professor of Law and Public Policy at Duke University
Gara LaMarche, President and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies
Kerry H. Sullivan, President of Bank of America Charitable Foundation

and with:

J. Gregory Dees * Cheryl Dorsey * Gary Syman *
Nancy Murphy *Charles Harris * Carol Thompson Cole *
J.B. Schramm * Mimi Corcoran * Carla Javits *
Suzanne Biegel * Gerald Chertavian * Jill Vialet *
Tom Luce * Richard Barth * Sarah E. Walzer *
Wendy Kopp * Doug Bauer * Geoffrey T. Boisi *
Melanie Scholl Begun * Kim Wright-Violich * Jeff Mason *
Jon Baron * David Hunter * Andrew Wolk *
John Martinez * Edward Skloot * Jason Franklin *
Glen Macdonald * Ellen Sloan * Cynthia Strauss *
Ronna Brown * Margaret Hall * Amy Stringer Hessel *
Alex Rossides * Kim Syman * Mike O?Brien *
Elisabeth Mason * Nicole Farmer Hurd * Dorothy Stoneman *
Kwasi Asare * John Branam * Lin Ishihara *
Laura Samberg * John Weiser * Damian Thorman *
Simon Jawitz * Kristin Giantris * Gary Glickman *
Kippy Joseph * Tracy Palandjian * Leslie Crutchfield *
Jeff Edmondson * Martin Eakes *

See the full conference agenda and register today at

Billionaires gather in Arizona to discuss giving
By Donna Gordon Blankinship, Associated Press / May 6, 2011

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says a private gathering at an Arizona resort where Oprah likes to hang out was a great chance for the American billionaires who have pledged to give away at least half their wealth to meet each other, compare notes, eat and laugh.

Buffett knew only about 12 of the 61 people at a Thursday dinner before the famously gregarious Berkshire Hathaway CEO worked the room and made 40 new friends.

“They all more than fulfilled my expectations,” Buffett told The Associated Press on Friday in a telephone interview.

The media was banned from the first annual meeting of the group that has accepted the giving challenge by Buffett and his friend Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. So were extended family, advisers, secretaries and the CEOs of the foundations represented by the billionaires at the Miraval Resort in Tucson.

Since last June, 69 individuals or couples have made the giving pledge. Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said she was delighted by the openness of the virtual strangers. At one point, conversation at her table drifted toward the biggest mistakes people had ever made as philanthropists.

“One of the things about being a philanthropist, in many ways it’s rather a lonely job,” said Tashia Morgridge, a retired special education teacher. She works with her husband, Cisco Systems chairman John Morgridge, to give money to improve U.S. education through the Denver-based Morgridge Family Foundation.

George Kaiser, a Tulsa, Okla., philanthropist who aids early childhood education and social services programs, said the giving pledge helps philanthropists who don’t want to just throw money at causes and instead want to explore the best ways to invest money to tackle the world’s biggest problems.

“Being able to share with other people who are agonizing about the same decisions is extraordinarily useful,” said Kaiser, the chairman of BOK Financial Corp who has been an oil and gas industry executive for four decades. He led a session on applying analytical business practices to philanthropy.

The goals of the organization do not include working together to pool philanthropic dollars. Still, the meeting in Tucson that ended Friday included sessions where different philanthropists shared their passion to improve education, the environment and other causes.

Philosophies of giving and ideas for collaboration among the billionaires were also shared throughout the event, said Jean Case, CEO of the family foundation started by her and her husband, America Online founder Steve Case.

“There’s a strong desire in this group to learn from each other,” said Jean Case, who offered to host the event at their Tucson resort after Melinda Gates talked to her about the possibility of the meeting.

The mother of five children also led a session on children and families in philanthropy. Steve Case gave a talk on using social media to encourage giving. All the sessions at the meeting were led by members of the group.

Some common themes emerged from the event. The participants are looking to do more impactful, more effective philanthropy and to inspire average people to give money away, Jean Case said.

Sharing ideas about giving also took place informally. Melinda Gates said she talked to two people who were devoting money for work on state pension issues and criminal justice — problems Gates had previously not thought about.

Chuck Feeney, a New Jersey philanthropist Buffett called the spiritual leader of the group, spoke about his plans to give all his money to charity. “He wants his last check to bounce,” Buffett said.