Bob and Renee Parsons: Tech Grants

NET WORTH: $2.7 billion


FUNDING AREAS: Phoenix Community, Education, Veterans, Medical, Poverty, Emergency Relief

OVERVIEW: Through his company's charitable arm, GoDaddy Cares, Bob Parsons has donated millions of dollars to animal welfare and children's and women's charities. Bob and Renee Parsons established the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation in 2011, which has awarded over $133 million.

BACKGROUND: After high school, Bob Parsons enlisted in the Marine Corps, and was injured during a tour of duty in Vietnam. After the military, Parsons enrolled in the University of Baltimore and studied accounting. He taught himself programming, eventually starting a software company that sold home accounting tools. Parsons Technology was eventually sold to Intuit for $64 million. Three years later, Parsons founded internet domain registrar and Web hosting company GoDaddy, where he served as executive chairman before stepping down in the summer of 2014.


VETERANS: Parsons served as a Marine in the Vietnam War, and was wounded in combat, receiving a Purple Heart, Gallantry Cross, and Combat Action Ribbon. So it is no wonder that he is a major supporter of veterans' organizations, and in particular, the Semper Fi Fund. University of Baltimore is home to the Bob Parsons Veterans Center. 

MEDICAL: The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation seeks to increase access to medical care to those who are underserved. The foundation has funded medical clinics for the homeless, dental clinics for the uninsured and undocumented, and wellness centers for those with HIV/AIDS. Grantees have included AZ Burn Foundation, Hope for Haiti, and Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS.

YOUTH: Grantees have included Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix, Child Crisis Arizona, Year Up, and Educare Arizona.

PHOENIX COMMUNITY: The Parsons Foundation also makes grants through two programs called Homelessness and The American Dream, also with an eye toward Phoenix. The foundation has donated millions to UMOM New Day Centers, the largest provider of shelters for homeless families and individuals in the state of Arizona. The Parsons Center for Health and Wellness was established with at least $7 million from Parsons. This center is now the home of the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. Near the end of 2014, the foundation gave around $4 million to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona.

LOOKING FORWARD: The Parsons are Giving Pledge signatories, committed to donating half their wealth to charity. Look for increased giving in areas such as disaster relief, economic development, HIV/AIDS, and community development in his childhood home, Baltimore. 


  • Laura Mitchell, Executive Director, Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation,