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Showing posts with the label Philanthropy

Altruism Repays Its Debts

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What really matters in life? What experiences shape our journey? How is today a reflection of
our journey and what we have learned and experienced along the way? And mainly, what
causes a person to dedicate their life to philanthropy?

I have been writing about community, change and capital for months now and I thought I
should talk to someone who has spent and does spend the majority of his life dealing with
those three concerns.
Ron Gallo is a high-energy, intelligent, and charming man with a great sense of humor and who
is passionate about effective philanthropy and giving back to society. He is the President and
CEO of Santa Barbara Foundation (SBF). SBF is as central to philanthropy in Santa Barbara as
central can be. I wondered how he got into philanthropy. What were his greatest
accomplishments along the way? What was his model of how things change? What had he
learned along the way? And finally, where does impact investing fit into philanthropy and
change? I hope you find his …

How to Find Your Passion

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QUESTION: It is clear to me that you are passionate about impact investing. I am having
trouble finding my passion. How did you do it? . . . Michael from Santa Barbara
Thank you for the question; it really caused me to think.

Very few people actually just walk into passion and success. Passion, like great loves, develops
over time. When I first retired at 52, I didn’t like the term retirement. It seemed to focus on
withdrawal. I was also interested in how people do this stage of life well. So, I started a radio
show called “The Third Age” (first age childhood, second age career and family, third age after
that), and that gave me the opportunity to interview 400 people.

Some of the people I interviewed were just like you and me, and we learned from their life stories. Some were experts in some field, and we learned from their research and knowledge. It became clear that the human spirit was vital to happiness and longevity. That the spirit that makes a person with artificial legs clim…

What Makes a Person Great?

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What makes a person great? If they are rich enough, are they great? What do we look for when
we say they are wise? What does it mean when we say they make a difference? If we want to
make a difference, are there models we can emulate or admire?

I have been answering questions put to me in this column by others so I thought this month I
would ask myself a few of my own. I came across someone who I think is a great person, and who has taken me a long way toward answering my questions.

Tom Washing, who now lives in Montecito, certainly is highly successful. He has been active in
the venture capital industry for over thirty years. He is a founding partner of Sequel Venture
Partners, a Colorado-based venture capital firm investing in emerging growth technology
companies which, at one point, had 400 million dollars under management. He has served on
dozens of corporate and non-profit Boards of Directors, including as founding Chairman of the
University of Colorado Center for Entrepreneurs…

Would you like a 500-times return on your money?

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QUESTION:I read the previous column about Jonathan Gartner and his excitement about impact investing. Isn’t philanthropy the best way to help people? I have heard that impact investing yields a low financial return. Why should I be interested in it? . . .Sam in Montecito

Certainly, philanthropy is vitally important to our welfare at the community, county, state and federal levels. In a recent meeting at the Community Environmental Council, it was noted that 25% of all jobs in California are in the non-profit sector.
That is a remarkable number. They help with everything from substance abuse, animal welfare, art and cultural activities, after school programs, the needs of seniors and the aging, minority and women’s rights, environmental issues, homelessness, food, health, to mention just a few. To address your questions, I would like to break it into two parts and then give an example.
First a disclaimer. Clearly, non-profits do an enormous amount of good. Just look at the partial list …