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Philanthropic interests

  1. CanberraOmega

    CanberraOmega Rabbitohs and Whisky Supporter May 10, 2015

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    Following on from the Nepal earthquake thread by @alfanator I thought it would be interesting to discuss broader philanthropic interests. All of us here are in the top 1%, probably top 0.5%. So what do you do to give back?


    My areas of interest are:

    1) Mental health (in particular peri-natal mental health). I'm working with http://www.pandsi.org/ , a local Canberra group, in this space. They provide a range of services for women and their partners dealing with peri-natal mental health issues. I've organised a 'matched-fundraising' scheme for them for this year.

    2) Social cohesion/anti racism/refugees. As a child of refugees (we left Hungary in 1957) this is something of particular interest. In this space I'm working with the Together for Humanity Foundation (http://togetherforhumanity.org.au/), and Courage to Care (http://couragetocare.com.au/)

    From the Together for Humanity Website:
    Many young people have never met an Aboriginal person, a Jew or a Muslim. Research shows that mere information is not enough to eliminate prejudice and misunderstandings. By engaging children and adults in positive experiences of diversity and teaching them about different religions and cultures, Together for Humanity looks to address divisions and replace them with mutual respect and cooperation.

    Together for Humanity is a multi-faith not-for-profit organisation that is helping schools, organisations and communities to respond effectively to differences of culture and belief. We do this by bringing students, teachers and those in the community into contact with people from diverse backgrounds in an open, supportive and enjoyable setting – this inspires interest, empathy and understanding as well as questioning existing prejudices and encouraging greater appreciation of others as people.


    About Courage to Care:
    For the past 15 years, Courage to Care has run a travelling exhibition with an integrated education program that is delivered in New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, and Western Australia. The exhibition celebrates the people who had the courage to care – ordinary people, whose acts were extraordinary in their bravery and impact. It tells the story of individuals who, in the darkest moments of the 20th century, chose to stand up and confront discrimination and injustice, often risking their own lives and sometimes also those of their loved ones, to save others.

    Their stories are an enduring example of the power of the individual to make a difference, and a poignant reminder that it is our own choices that determine if we remain bystanders, or become ‘upstanders’ who take positive action in the face of discrimination, prejudice and bullying in our everyday lives.


    3) Promoting civil society/human rights/public debate, where I support the Castan Centre for Human Rights, which promotes and protects human rights through its world-renowned public scholarship. In pursuit of this mission, the Centre works in the key areas of research, teaching, public education, policy and student programs. The Centre is a trusted voice on human rights. It actively participates in public debates and mentors many of the human rights leaders of tomorrow. (http://www.law.monash.edu.au/castancentre/)

    4) Impact investing

    What do you guys do?
     
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  2. RLC

    RLC May 10, 2015

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    My local Veterans Outreach....keeping it local.

    Semper Fi
    [​IMG]
    ....a veteran of the less than one %.

    Bob
     
  3. JimInOz

    JimInOz "Helpful Hints from Heloise" of bracelet cleaning. May 10, 2015

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    I'm not actively involved, but I donate all I can spare to the following (at the cost of a couple of nice watches this year):

    My current Avatar: https://www.soldieron.org.au/

    Legacy Australia: http://www.legacy.com.au/

    Prostate Cancer Foundation: http://www.prostate.org.au/

    I also like to help some of our forum members who engage in charity raising activities,

    e.g. Ash Steadman https://shitboxrally2015.everydayhero.com/au/mistrust-fund-babies

    And more recently, Alfanator (who is more of a philanthropist than the actual strap owners).
     
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  4. calalum

    calalum May 10, 2015

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    We are involved in some organizations but the comment about the 1% or .5% seems insensitive at best and obnoxious at worst.
     
  5. citizenrich

    citizenrich Metal Mixer! May 10, 2015

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    Nugga wha?
     
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  6. CanberraOmega

    CanberraOmega Rabbitohs and Whisky Supporter May 11, 2015

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    Top be in the top 1% in the world, you need an income of $34,000 per year.

    Regardless of what actual %, if we are able to spend multiple thousands of dollars on watches, we are clearly very comfortable. The vast vast vast majority of people would never be able to even dream of owning an El primero, SM300 or Rolex 18k oysterquartz.
     
  7. citizenrich

    citizenrich Metal Mixer! May 11, 2015

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    Fair enough. :)

    Ok, I'll keep this simple, because I'm stupid.

    My last real job was CCO of a well known buy side outfit (IA, family office B/D for one of the oldest and most famous WASP - German/Jewish banking families in the world), investment partnerships; AKA hedge funds, etc., etc., ad nauseum, ad infinitum).

    Mainline Protestants and Ashkenazi Jews tend to be very philanthropic.

    Anyway, In 2005 it was my turn to chair our firms charity committee. We were a public company and therefore were pretty limited in scope regarding direct contributions to charity. Shareholders don't like when you give away their money. Not everyone is as charitable as Episcopalians and Jews (that's a joke - sort of). Privately, my old "boss" has given away hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars to charity (the NYC Central Park Zoo bears the family name.

    But, 2005 was a special year because I busted one of our PM's (portfolio managers) trading away. This is not the proper forum to go into detail but those interested can do a little research and find out the specifics. Long story, boring: we took away ~50% of his performance fee/bonus for the year which was a high 7 figure sum...Ouch. His choices were sort of narrow; basically do what we say and pray the regulators feel like we hammered your ass hard enough that they won't come after you any further. I saved his career and I'm not sure if that was the right thing to do but this was the period when Elliot Spitzer was looking for scalps and I didn't want to play Cowboys and Indians. Sidebar: Elliot Spitzer = textbook head case for a Reaction Formation.

    Anysways, following are the charities which I selected and were ultimately approved by committee. I did my homework. The only one I got a little pushback on was The Salvation Army because some people (assholes) don't like the Salvation Army because the organization believes in...Santa Claus? and actually pass through almost 100% of their donations to charity. Outfits like the Red Cross are a scam and you're lucky if 4 cents of each dollar you donate winds up in the hands of the needy. Jet fuel for Gulfstreams is expensive and Red Cross needs lots of private jets for their executives...

    1. Salvation Army

    2. Doctors without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières

    3. God's Love We Deliver (Amazing charity - one of the best - they have done more work for HIV-AIDS patients than practically any organization).

    4. Samaritan's Purse

    5. Room to Grow This was a relatively new local charity at the time but it's operated by fabulous people. I wanted to see if I could make a difference by gifting what I believe was their largest outside donation to that point. Outside of personal events, I feel like that was one of the most emotional moments of my life. It's not everyday that a person like me gets to call on a small charity and say "we've decided to make a 1.5 million dollar donation to your organization...and the the person on the other end of the phone bursts into tears. Powerful stuff - it'll stay with me forever :)
     
    Edited May 11, 2015
  8. RLC

    RLC May 11, 2015

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    ^
    X2 do your Homework, don't go by a fancy name.

    Why I keep it local....A very well known Veterans Charity.
    They do not service all Vets only those after 911.

    Financial Performance Metrics

    Program Expenses
    (Percent of the charity’s total expenses spent on the programs
    and services it delivers)
    57.7%
    Administrative Expenses 5.7%
    Fundraising Expenses 36.5%
    Fundraising Efficiency $0.25
    Primary Revenue Growth 77.5%
    Program Expenses Growth 80.0%
    Working Capital Ratio (years) 1.04
    Bob
     
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  9. STANDY

    STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector May 11, 2015

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    I do a fair bit to help my native Ecosystem

    Also keep a few local tackle shops in business
     
  10. timjohn

    timjohn May 11, 2015

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    I worked for a bank until three months ago: took a 50%+ pay cut to come and work for an NGO/think tank which analyses conflict across the globe. Best decision I ever made, even if some of my grails are slipping forever beyond reach. Also help a number of random Indian/Burmese/Indonesian students I've met to pay their way through college. One -- a Nepalese refugee who was living in an obscure village deep in north-east India -- just graduated and got a fast-track job as a programmer in Bangalore.
     
  11. CanberraOmega

    CanberraOmega Rabbitohs and Whisky Supporter May 11, 2015

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    You work of International Crisis Group? I used to work for Gareth Evans.

    I also recently quit the public service to work for a mental health NGO. Not quite a 50% pay cut, but yeah. Agree, best decision I have made!
     
  12. timjohn

    timjohn May 11, 2015

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    Just started. GE's no longer president, but is being extraordinarily helpful
     
  13. styggpyggeno1

    styggpyggeno1 ΩF Enforcer ....and thread killer May 11, 2015

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    IRC (International Red Cross) and some personal sponsorships.
     
  14. alfanator

    alfanator May 11, 2015

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    Like my watch habit, i am mostly directionless in this area. If is see a need and in a position to help out, i do my best to lend a hand. The only thing i do consistently is carry a few $5 McDonald's gift card to pass to anyone that is panhandling.

    My wife, on the other hand, is much more directed, she gives a good portion of her time to animal rescues and local schools. She has been doing the former since her teens and the latter for the last decade.
     
  15. calalum

    calalum May 11, 2015

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    Maybe I overreacted to the comment, but I always think of that top 1% stuff in terms of something more local and don't factor in all of the troubled and impoverished people in the world (who should be getting a lot more help from the 1%ers, IMHO). Don't want to be critical of anyone who is doing good. Thanks and sorry for the grumpy response earlier.
     
  16. Baco Noir

    Baco Noir May 11, 2015

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    For us, our primary support goes to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My wife raises money for them through her Team In Training efforts (distance running) and we also support them with our own financial gifts. I also make micro-loans to individuals through Kiva.org and support my friend's fundraising efforts.

    Locally, we are trying to get more involved with civic issues - education and city governance.
     
  17. gatorcpa

    gatorcpa ΩF InvestiGator Staff Member May 11, 2015

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    Highly involved in local United Way and volunteer to be part of a committee which ensures that member charities have proper financial controls. Also worked with some national charitable organizations as clients and smaller ones pro-bono.

    gatorcpa
     
  18. Wetworks

    Wetworks May 11, 2015

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    This +eleventy billion.

    My charity lives at home in the shape of my children, unfortunately. Both have delays (ASD), my oldest profoundly so. In addition to that, she also has numerous medical issues as well. All of this is what led me to pursue a profession in healthcare after I retired from my old job as a CO. I also volunteer (locally) as a contact and support parent for those that are struggling as parents with children diagnosed with a variety of ailments.

    The amount of resources needed locally for these kids (and adults) far outstrips those allocated by the big-box/tent charities, especially Autism Speaks. If you want your money to do the most good, find a local service provider, school or group home and donate there. Believe me, you'll be floored by the response.
     
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  19. CanberraOmega

    CanberraOmega Rabbitohs and Whisky Supporter May 11, 2015

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    Looks very interesting. There is just so much evidence about the importance of the early years (and infact the pregnancy period also), so investing in that area is crucial.

    Agree that small is often best. THe groups I support (apart from the Castan Centre) are all very small, where my contribution can make a real difference.
     
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  20. JohnSteed

    JohnSteed May 11, 2015

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    no