Be the Change

Be the Change

by Lisa Endlich

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Meet the men and women whose deeply personal philanthropy is dramatically changing the way we think about giving

There are 8.6 million millionaires in the United States, and these numbers are set to rise in what will be the biggest intergenerational wealth transfer in history. As $41 trillion dollars (or over three times the


Meet the men and women whose deeply personal philanthropy is dramatically changing the way we think about giving

There are 8.6 million millionaires in the United States, and these numbers are set to rise in what will be the biggest intergenerational wealth transfer in history. As $41 trillion dollars (or over three times the national GDP) moves from the World War II generation to their baby- boomer children over the next couple of decades, it will become imperative that the beneficiaries of this wealth—even those not joining the ranks of the superrich—begin thinking about philanthropy, perhaps for the first time in their adult lives. Here they will find the personal journeys of the most successful givers of their generation.

This new generation of wealth has already begun to change the face of philanthropy and to reshape the entire nonprofit sector. In Be the Change, bestselling author Lisa Endlich presents eleven compelling profiles of this twenty-first century generosity. Through candid, revealing, and often surprising interviews, readers will venture into the hearts and minds of the top names in philanthropy today—men and women who have chosen to use their immense riches and influence to meaningfully improve the lives of others in the most dramatic ways. These intimate conversations include in-depth interviews with:

  • Melinda Gates, one of the driving forces behind the largest philanthropic organization the world has ever seen;
  • Bob and Suzanne Wright, he's the former vice chairman of GE and longtime head of NBC Universal and their Autism Speaks has brought awareness of autism onto the national and international stage;
  • Paul Tudor Jones, founder of Tudor Investments and the Robin Hood Foundation;
  • Peter Bloom, founding chairman of the groundbreaking

From Connie Duckworth, a former Goldman Sachs partner, who brings steady employment to Afghani women and education to them and their children, to Johann Olav Koss, an Olympic gold medalist who now strives to give children in the direst circumstances the chance to play, these philanthropists demonstrate that giving doesn't begin or end with a signed check. They grant Endlich exclusive access to the stories of how they learned from early failures and developed a personal, sustainable way of giving, and they also share the catalyzing moment when they saw a problem so heartbreaking they simply could not turn away. In doing so, these new philanthropists offer valuable lessons—ones that will inspire readers to start giving, keep giving, and become the change they want to see in the world.

Editorial Reviews

Larry Brilliant
“Endlich introduces us to men and women who add their energy, intelligence, and ideas to their resources to make philanthropy a contact sport, not a spectator sport. This book is a great beginning for anyone who wants to walk this path.”
Publishers Weekly

With a light dose of narrative background and a heavy emphasis on an interview format, Endlich (Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success) allows philanthropists to voice their passion for large-scale charitable organizing and giving. The author's subjects are an illustrious bunch, including Melinda Gates and hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, and they champion such diverse causes as autism, poverty in Ethiopia, job training for the inner-city poor and need-based educational scholarships for college. Endlich keeps her treatment balanced by focusing on initial project failures and challenges as well as successes and brilliantly pulls together the common threads and motivations of these profiled philanthropists. The financiers, entrepreneurs and even one Olympian all agree that their extraordinary luck in life and ability to empathize factored heavily into their desire to give back in a big way to those in need; it is giving that adds a "narrative" to their lives. Given the excesses in corporate America and on Wall Street lately, this heartening book proves that even the most successful individuals in business can also devote themselves to something that "touched them so profoundly that they could not turn away." (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Endlich (Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success) here profiles 11 contemporary philanthropists whose efforts are especially noteworthy. According to Endlich, "Everyone profiled in this book can point to a moment when their compassion turned into giving; when their giving, into full-blown philanthropy where something touched them so profoundly they could not turn away." Those profiled include commodity trader Paul Tudor Jones, Melinda Gates (wife of Microsoft's Bill Gates), former CEO of NBC Universal Bob Wright and his wife, Peter Bloom (managing director of a global investment firm), and former Olympic speed skater Johann Olav Koss. Each profile presents a short biography of the philanthropist and the reasons he or she got involved with a specific cause, followed by a transcript of an interview conducted by Endlich. The profiles are all compelling and inspirational, and they effectively capture the passion each has for his or her cause. Endlich provides citations and a bibliography of books and web sites of the featured philanthropic organizations. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.
—Lucy T. Heckman

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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6.28(w) x 9.18(h) x 1.08(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Be the Change

Chapter One

Paul Tudor Jones

Robin Hood Foundation, Excellence

From fifty-two years of observation, the people who I see in life that are the happiest, the most fulfilled, and have a sparkle in their eyes are those who have a huge component of service in their lives and in some form or fashion give to other people besides themselves.

...Paul Tudor Jones, speaking to Darden School Poverty Symposium

In 1955, Gene Bauer, a former Los Angeles High school art teacher, and her husband bought a property in the San Bernardino Mountains to use as a weekend retreat. They built a small vacation cottage there, which they later moved into on a permanent basis. Starting in 1957, Bauer began to plant daffodils after she had saw how they thrived in her neighbor's yard. The first year she planted fifty bulbs and was delighted with the result. The following year she planted more; and each year after that, even more, until she planted 35,000 bulbs in 1993 alone. Now she has more than one million daffodils of 500 varieties planted on her hill, some of which have been in the ground for as long as forty years. Fifty-one years after sowing that first bulb, she has covered her five-acre garden, and during a magical three-week spell each Spring, visitors from around the world visit her home to witness a sea of colorful blooms. Bauer planted every bulb herself, by hand, one at a time. She has arranged her gorgeous flowers by color and has in effect painted her hill with flowers.

Paul Tudor Jones, the legendary hedge fund manger, views Bauer's work as a parable for philanthropy. Forget about beginning with a bigsplash, a huge press conference, or an outsized donation. Great things, Jones will tell you, are built over decades. Helping other people begins with the first step, of doing just a bit each day, so that at some point when you turn around and look, there is a body of work...something real and important and tangible...that changed otherpeople's lives.

"We started Robin Hood in my apartment right after the crash of '87. At that time there were three or four of us, and we didn't really have any idea where we were going," Jones explains. "We just knew that we wanted to help people in need [to get] out of their dire situation[s]. At that point in time, if you had told me that twenty years later we would have given out something almost pushing $1 billion, I would have said to you that that's impossible. If you had told me that our first grant of $300,000 was going to grow to this year where we are giving away $130 million, I would have bet the under until the cows came home. I don't think we really knew where we were going with Robin Hood. It just began to evolve and take on a life of its own because it was a beautiful thing. You just need to find something that you a have a passion for, something that makes you want to get up out of your seat. That is certainly how I got involved. Poverty in New York City was something just so compelling that I could not just sit by and watch it happen."1

The Robin Hood Foundation Web site lays out Jones' case. One in five New Yorkers lives in poverty. One-third of women who are abused return to abusive partners because they cannot find housing. Fifty percent of youth that age out of foster care end up homeless or in jail. For Jones these were facts from which he simply could not turn away.

Jones's philanthropy covers so many disparate efforts, it is almost impossible to know where to begin. His passion and compassion touch organizations from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, to the Everglades Foundation, to a wild life preserve in East Africa. But it is perhaps the Robin Hood Foundation for which he is the best known. Many have heard of the foundation because of its phenomenal fund raising efforts, including a yearly dinner that boasts famed comedians and world famous rock bands and raised more than $48 million in a single night in 2007. Others know it because of the high profile board members, many of whom are corporate CEOs or media figures who support the foundation's vast efforts in fighting poverty.

It is not the patina of glamour that surrounds the Robin Hood Foundation but, rather, the challenge of combating poverty in New York City that absorbs Jones. Robin Hood, as the name implies, raises money from its board of directors and a broad cross section of wealthy New Yorkers; and then through careful study of poverty reduction programs, makes more than 200 grants a year to organizations of every size. The foundation is built on a few solid, but once revolutionary, principles. Every dollar donated goes straight to the programs Robin Hood supports, as the affluent board of directors absorbs all operating expenses. Robin Hood searches the city for effective poverty fighting measures and then partners...truly partners...with those efforts to bring about their success. The word "partnership" is loosely and meaninglessly thrown around in the nonprofit world. But for Robin Hood a real partnership means finding talented board members for their grantees, as well as providing pro bono human resources guidance and expertise, legal work, technology expertise, management assistance, and long-range planning. Robin Hood operates up close and personal. The foundation's board could meet anywhere in the world, from fancy Manhattan offices to the worlds' most exclusive resorts. But throughout the foundation's history, this gathering of luminaries has chosen to go where their money goes, and on a quarterly basis they have been meeting at the various sites of the projects they fund, even when it has meant the prison on Rikers Island.

Be the Change. Copyright © by Lisa Endlich. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Lisa Endlich is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success. She has worked as a management consultant, a political fundraiser, and a Wall Street trader. She supports many charities and has traveled to KwaZulu-Natal to work in an AIDS program. She resides in New York.

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