Every year, the average household gives away roughly 3 percent of their annual income. Yet while we are still feeling the enormous effects of the country’s recession, there exists a group of families in America who pledge to give away 50 percent of their wealth. Welcome to the “Bolder Giving” club, started in 1997 by Christopher and Anne Ellinger as a way to make it easier for individuals and families to give more effectively. While the club is over 120 families strong, these two members are some of the club’s top givers:
- Lewis Cullman: Cullman is the creator of At-A-Glance™, a company that he sold to the Mead Paper Company in 1999 for $550 million dollars; he gave nearly all of it away. He credits his first advice regarding philanthropy from his mom who said, “Who cares what is said about you after you are dead?” His favorite areas to donate include education, the arts, climate change and helping economically disadvantaged young people. He has also written a memoir, Can’t Take It With You: The Art of Making and Giving Money.
- Craig Silvester: Thanks to the Google IPO, Silvester had more money than he even knew what to do with. After finding the Bolder Giving club he learned how to systematically approach radical giving and now has a 50-year time frame to do so. Seventy percent goes to women’s education in the Global South, 20 percent to alma maters and other personal causes and the last 10 percent to friends and families that are starting up their own ventures.
Philanthropy is not just for the affluent, however. Visit Bolder Giving to find out more about individuals who are donating 50 percent of their worth and for tools on how you can get started on your own philanthropic journey.
Take the Bolder Giving Challenge that signing a commitment on the site says, “I commit to explore this year how to become bolder in my giving.”