Larry Page's Philanthropic Vision Could Save Humanity. If It Doesn't Doom Us First

Google CEO Larry Page just donated another chunk of stock to charity, which is a good thing. What's worrisome is how that money might one day be spent, since Page like to talk about stuff like building a colony on Mars. What would happen if all our billionaires thought like this?
Read More

Is Larry Ellison Moving Into Wildlife Philanthropy?

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, surprised the philanthropy community last year with his tight-lipped end to biomedical giving. Although the Ellison Medical Foundation is shutting down, it seems Larry Ellison hasn’t given up on philanthropy. Instead, he’s shifting focus to put funds into new pursuits, and it looks like wildlife and conservation issues have caught his eye.

Read More

Maybe the Thiel Fellowship Is Doing More Good than Some Critics Think

The Thiel Fellowship program has been one of the most widely criticized bits of philanthropy in the last several years, but there are a number of Thiel Fellows working on projects that may have some major social benefits, particularly in health and education.

Read More

Inside the Case Foundation’s Impact Investing

Steve and Jean Case just gave $100,000 to The Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business to explore opportunities to grow impact investing, and make policy recommendations.
Read More

The Ambitious Plan to Save the Patent System That’s Drawing Millions from Top Funders

By most accounts, the patent system is a disaster. A murky and litigious chess game of corporations secretly jockeying and hoarding to control intellectual property from science and tech research. A mostly unknown Australian project seeks to change that game, and big funders like Gates and Moore are on board.

Read More

$21 Million in Breakthrough Prize giving announced

They sure turned heads when they announced the Breakthrough Prize back in February. Now, ten short months later, these six key players and their advisory panel (which includes their first eleven recipients of the prize), are ready to announce their 2014 winners. Let’s take a peek, shall we?
Read More

Latin American Coffee Production Threatened: Tech & Wall St. Philanthropists Step In

The Skoll Foundation, Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the InterAmerican Development Bank, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters partner with Root Capital on a $7 million initiative to combat the leaf rust epidemic in Latin America. The initiative aims to stabilize supply chains and ensure long-term productivity for 40,000 farmers and their families.
Read More

Guess Who Just Gave $1 Million to Planned Parenthood

Hint: it’s not who you think. Think back, far far back, to the 1992 Presidential Election. Were you even alive back then? Remember Texas independent Ross Perot? Conservative on gun control and in favor of small government, though staunchly pro-choice, his platform was very interesting, garnering 18.9% of the popular vote before fading into political obscurity by the time the 1996 election rolled around.
Read More

What’s the Secret to Catching Henry Samueli’s Eye?

As soon as Broadcom went public in 1998, Henry Samueli was rolling up $30 million and off-loading it to his alma mater, UCLA, to found the Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. Shortly thereafter, he gave $20 million to UC Irvine to found an Engineering school there. And those first two gifts set a real precedent for the giving he’s undertaken since: He’s handed out over $285 million since 1999. And he’s signed the Giving Pledge in 2012.
Read More

Why Laurene Powell Jobs Wants to Put a Price on Nature

Laurene Powell Jobs, the billionaire widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, is an active philanthropist who cares about environmental issues (see IP’s Profile). However, she’s not one to go all warm and fuzzy for wildlife – instead, she’s taking a hard, practical look at incentives to protect nature.
Read More

Gateway's Ted Waitt Backs Marine Protected Areas

Ted Waitt, the founder of Gateway, has a soft spot for the world’s oceans. Since 2009 the Waitt Foundation has awarded over $11 million towards worldwide ocean conservation efforts, with a particular emphasis on supporting and enlarging marine protected areas. Waitt’s recent MPA work includes establishing two new MPAs off Argentina and expanding the Cabrera National Park off Spain.
Read More

Why Silicon Valley Is Hot to Fund Stanford's New Hospital

For many large universities and hospitals, getting big-money investors is a struggle. Stanford University Hospital, however, seems to have hit upon the perfect combination of lures to get big donors interested, and we could all learn a little something from the way they've played up their strengths—and needs—to a definite advantage.
Read More

Which Five Bay-Area Organizations Just Landed $10 Million Each from the Salesforce Foundation?

Headquartered in San Francisco, the Salesforce Foundation has a vested interest in funding initiatives that improve its home turf. In 2010, it announced its new Power of Us: San Francisco program, zeroing in on five nonprofit organizations within southeastern San Francisco to receive $10 million apiece.
Read More

An Inside Look at the Bezos Center for Neural Circuit Dynamics

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos may have gotten a slow start with his personal philanthropy, but he’s making up for lost time now. His biggest and most recent major gift has been $15 million to establish the Bezos Center for Neural Circuit Dynamics, at Bezos’ alma mater Princeton University. This gift was announced just before Christmas, 2011.
Read More

Gordon Moore Believes in the Power of Big Data to Solve Big Problems

Harnessing big data has the potential to solve big problems. That’s the message Gordon Moore is sending with his support of a major new cross-institutional initiative aimed at improving data collection, analysis and sharing in an effort to advance scientific understanding and discovery.
Read More

How Dustin Moskovitz Is Turning Big Philanthropy on Its Head

Dustin Moskovitz's new foundation, Good Ventures, may have only a skeletal staff, but it's now definitely up and running, with his life partner Cari Tuna at the helm. Grants are going out the door, including major support for the Center for Global Development.
Read More

'Come out and see why these crazy people gave so much money': Irwin Jacobs Explains Gifts to San Diego Symphony

Symphonies in many cities have experienced serious financial problems over the years, most especially during the recent economic downturn. But thanks to Irwin and Joan Jacobs, the San Diego Symphony is having its best times in many years. The symphony is approving new contracts with  its musicians and even giving them small raises.

Read More

How Jim Goodnight Plans to Fix the Economy

It is not a stretch to say that James Goodnight, the CEO of tech giant SAS, believes in the power of education. Goodnight points to education as the key to long-term economic growth is education, and hopes that upgrading the nation's educational system through technology will improve teaching, learning, and administration.

Read More

Tech Billionaires Shell Out Big in Marriage Equality Fight

One of the highest-profile donations in the fight for marriage equslity was the $2.5 million check written by Seattle-based Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie last year. The donation was in support of Washington United for Marriage, the group that funded Referendum 74.

Read More

What Anne Wojcicki Wants You to Know About Your Genome

Philanthropist and entrepreneur Ann Wojcicki wants you to get to know yourself better. Often known mainly as the wife of founder Sergey Brin, Wojcicki is also quite the philanthropist and entrepreneur in her own right. She is the brainchild behind  23andMe, which is something of a hybrid company, combining healthcare philanthropy with capitalism.

Read More