Behind Bob Parsons’ Decision to Sign the Giving Pledge

GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons was one of seven new signatories to the Giving Pledge this holiday season, making him the latest of 122 billionaires that have vowed to give away at least half their wealth to charitable causes.

“(My wife) Renee and I have always believed every child has the right to good nutrition, the best medical care, a good education, a happy and stress free environment and the hope that they too will share in the American Dream,” Parsons said in his Giving Pledge statement, which may serve as an indication as to how Parsons plans on distributing his charitable dollars. 

His main charitable vehicle is the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation, which primarily supports organizations in the Greater Phoenix area and Haiti, and has given more than $30 million in grants to around 35 organizations, including Semper Fi Fund, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona, Maggie’s Place Arizona, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Child Crisis Center.

Like many others that have signed the pledge, it doesn’t necessarily represent a shift in his philanthropy or a change in his commitment, but more a recognition that will raise awareness and encourage others to give.  “For me to do the pledge is no change,” Parsons commented on his decision. “It’s not like I am joining and going to start giving. I’ve already been giving.” 

“Most of the people in this group have been lucky, fortunate, they’ve worked hard to get where they’re at,” added Renee. “At some point, as Warren Buffett put it, you could spend (all your wealth) with reckless abandon but it’s not very fulfilling and not very wise,” also noting that she and her husband get a lot back from seeing the difference their donations make.