NET WORTH: Undisclosed
SOURCE OF WEALTH: craigslist
FUNDING AREAS: Trustworthy Journalism, Voter Protection, Women in Technology, Veterans and Military Families
OVERVIEW: Craig Newmark views his role as one that connects people who are doing good, enabling them to do what they do best and then getting out of their way. Some of Newmark’s early philanthropy centered on using the Internet to help leverage his gifts and encourage others to give. In 2016, he established Craig Newmark Philanthropies, which works to advance people and organizations that are “getting stuff done” in the areas of trustworthy journalism, voter protection, women in technology, and veterans and military families. Newmark serves on the board of directors of a range of nonprofits, including Blue Star Families, Center for Public Integrity, Girls Who Code, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Poynter Foundation, Sunlight Foundation, VetsinTech, and Women in Public SAervice Project.
BACKGROUND: Craig Newmark grew up in Morristown, New Jersey. His father passed away when he was young, leaving his mother to care for him and his brother. He attended Case Western Reserve University, where he studied Computer Science, and then went to work at IBM. Newmark stayed at IBM for 17 years before departing for San Francisco to work for Charles Schwab. While there, he developed craigslist, a Web service that brings people together to exchange information, largely in the form of online classified ads. When Newmark monetized the company in 1999, he did so minimally, opting for a business model that prioritizes "doing well by doing good." Today, more than 5 billion ads have been posted on the site, the vast majority for free. Newmark has moved away from overseeing the day-to-day management at craigslist and now dedicates his time and resources to philanthropy.
TRUSTWORTHY JOURNALISM: Newmark believes that a trustworthy press is the immune system of democracy. He backs organizations and initiatives that are working to promote journalistic transparency and fight disinformation, convening these parties to form a large network to accelerate collaboration and scalable solutions. Newmark works closely with a number of organizations, including the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, ProPublica, Santa Clara University’s the Trust Project, and the Wikimedia Foundation.
VOTER PROTECTION: Believing that full inclusion and participation in America’s voting system is key, Newmark works closely with organizations that protect voting rights, including the Brennan Center for Justice, Civic Hall, PolitiFact, Rock the Vote, Sunlight Foundation, and Voto Latino, among others.
WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY: Promoting inclusion is highly important to Newmark, so he partners with organizations that are committed to gender diversity, especially in the tech world. He worked with Women Who Tech to put together the first ever Women Startup Challenge, an initiative to encourage the broader participation and representation of women in the tech community, and has been involved with the annual event, which is now in its sixth year, ever since. Newmark also works closely with Girls Who Code, and he joined their board of directors in 2017.
VETERANS & MILITARY FAMILIES: Newmark funds a number of organizations that support veterans and military families, including the Bob Woodruff Foundation, IAVA, and VetsinTech. He has also worked with the public-school funding platform DonorsChoose.org to build a new donation option on its site for schools that serve military families.
LOOKING FORWARD: Craig Newmark has been increasingly public about his philanthropy as of late. His strong commitment to trustworthy journalism and voting rights are two areas in which he should be watched.