GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons and his wife Renee have long been known as some of the most generous philanthropists in the Phoenix area, where many of his 3,500 or so employees live and work. The couple has made major donations to area nonprofits that focus on health and education, but their most consistent support has gone to community programs, particularly those that serve low income kids.
In keeping with this tradition, the couple has just made a donation of $5.25 million to the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Phoenix—a record for the organization. The Boys and Girls Club has received support from the Parsons before—in fact, the donation was annouced at the opening of the Bob and Renee Parsons Teen Center, located at the Mary Jane Stweart branch. Four million of this most recent gift will be used to build a new branch, located on the campus of one of the elementary schools in a district where nearly all of the children are at or below the poverty line, many are refugees from other countries, and nearly one in 10 are homeless. Expected to open in May 2015, the branch will be named after the Parsons.
“Bob and Renee Parsons are true heroes for our community’s children,” said Amy Gibbons, president and executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs. “Their generous spirit and compassion will provide safety, smiles and opportunity to thousands of children who need us most. Thanks to The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation, generations of children will have the opportunity to stay safe and healthy, succeed in school, make smart choices and achieve their dreams.”
While the other $1.25 million will be used to expand the Teen Center and support general operations at the other Phoenix area locations, the other story here is the talk lately that GoDaddy is once again preparing for an IPO. After an aborted attempt in 2006 because of unfavorable market conditions, insiders are once again making noises that a public offering may not be too far off. Though Parsons is no longer a majority shareholder, he still owns a significant stake in the company, which could mean a significant increase in his net worth, and perhaps a corresponding increase in his philanthropy.