FUNDING AREAS: Education, environment, and animal welfare
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Twitter, Xanga, Blogger
NET WORTH: $200 million
OVERVIEW: One of the newest rising stars in philanthropy, Biz Stone, will have seen his net worth bumped up significantly, from an estimated $200 million in a recent year.
BACKGROUND: Stone grew up in Massachusetts and attended Northeastern and then UMass before leaving to work on a number of tech start-ups. The most well-known of these companies is Twitter, though Stone also was involved with Xanga, Blogger, and a number of other projects with his fellow Twitter cofounders. He left Twitter in 2011. He has backed a number of companies in a variety of industries and is currently working on a new start-up called Jelly--a new type of search engine with an attitude, opinion, and the experience of people to back it all up--where he currently serves as CEO.
Stone and his wife, Livia, formed the Biz and Livia Stone Foundation in 2011. Livia handles most of the operations, with one part-time employee. So far their giving has been limited to organizations they have supported for years, but they are slowly expanding, particularly when it comes to more local organizations in the San Francisco area. Stone also took a position as strategic adviser for social impact at AOL/Huffington Post in 2012.
PHILOSOPHY: "Altruism has compound impact — the earlier you get started, the more good you'll do over time," Stone said in a blog post about his charitable work. And, indeed, he's been actively working on developing his own family foundation and has worked with other organizations that share his philosophy and passions. "We are driven by the vast potential waiting to be unlocked within humanity and in particular, kids."
EDUCATION: Part of the mission of the Biz and Livia Stone Foundation involves offering holistic learning experiences for young people. The Stones have recently started making grants to San Francisco-area schools, creating scholarships and after-school programs, and working with a other nonprofits to expose kids to enriching curricula in areas such as art, music, dance, science, and conservation. On a broader scale, they are also supporters of Donors Choose.
ENVIRONMENT: Chris and Livia talk about the importance of teaching kids "a reverence for nature." They are longtime supporters of PRBO Conservation Science and have helped bring the nonprofit's Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed program to the Bay-area schools they support.
ANIMAL WELFARE: Livia is a former employee of WildCare, which provides care for ill, orphaned, or injured wild animals and offers environmental education for children and adults. The Stones are also known supporters of Farm Sanctuary, which provides homes for farm animals that people adopt to save them from being killed. On the for-profit side, Chris is a board member of Beyond Meat, which works on developing and introducing plant protein products as alternatives to animal proteins.
LOOKING FORWARD: The Stones' try to bring together low-income schools with nonprofits that offer educational curricula that may not otherwise be accessible. As their fortunes rise, look for the Stones to find other ways to help children, branching out into health and development programs in their community.
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