John and Ann Doerr

NET WORTH: $5.7 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Tech venture investing with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; founder of CAD software company Silicon Compliers; founder of @Home, a broadband Internet company

FUNDING AREAS: Education, environment, healthcare, homelessness

OVERVIEW: The Doerrs take a venture capitalist approach to philanthropy that reflects John's approach to his career. They have signed the Giving Pledge and plan to donate most of their fortune to charity. The Doerrs prioritize education.

BACKGROUND: John Doerr's guidance is key to the success of companies such as Google, Compaq, Amazon, and Sun Microsystems. Both he and Ann attended Rice University, where they earned bachelors and masters degrees in electrical engineering. John also holds an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. John and Ann also serve as president and vice president, respectively, of the Benificus Foundation.

PHILOSOPHY: John Doerr was one of the first philanthropists to use what he calls a "venture philanthropy" approach to his giving. This approach has been especially influential in the field of education. The Doerrs have also signed the Giving Pledge.


EDUCATION: Education is a top priority of the couple’s grantmaking and both John and Ann are board members of educational organizations. John sits on the board of NewSchools Venture Fund, which he co-founded. The fund's website states, "As a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm, we use the charitable donations we receive to support education entrepreneurs who are transforming public education to create great results for all students." Meanwhile, Ann is board chairman for Khan Academy, the free online education organization that "offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom."

In 2015, the Doerrs gave their alma mater, Rice University, $50 million to establish the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, and several years prior gave $15 million through the foundation to establish the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership. The couple also supported University of San Francisco, Code for America Labs, Khan Academy and Immaculate Conception Academy.

HOMELESSNESS: Through the Benificus Foundation, the couple supported Raphael House, which assists "at-risk families achieve stable housing and financial independence." They have also given to the Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco.


Barbara S. Hager, CEO/CFO, Benificus Foundation
751 Laurel Street, #717
San Carlos, CA 94070

LINK:  John Doerr on TechCrunch