Philanthropy(1:03)

Philanthropy(1:03)

Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 261 , Segment 1

Episode: Philanthropy, Jobs for African Youth, Racial Passing

  • Mar 25, 2016 9:00 pm
  • 25:06 mins

Guest: Bill Somerville, TEDxBYU Speaker, Founder of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation  There’s a philanthropist from Silicon Valley who’s all about giving away money with as few questions as possible. One of his programs is known affectionately among Bay Area public school teachers as the “fax grant program.” Need money for teaching aids? Want to take your students on a field trip? Just fax a one-page letter with your request and your principal’s signature and get 500-bucks immediately.  What philanthropic foundation in its right mind would have such a loose arrangement for giving away cash? What about the lengthy grant applications and vetting and after-the-fact reports of measurable results most foundations require?  Bill Somerville’s Philanthropic Ventures Foundation has given out more than $119 million in the last 24 years, often in small increments of $200 or $500. The basic philosophy is to “trust people and keep it simple.”