Friday, June 25, 2010

Bolder Giving Challenges

Years ago I spoke with the late Claude Rosenberg on a rainy, cold day in San Francisco.  Claude’s 1994 book, Wealthy and Wise: How You and America Can Get the Most Out of Your Giving, advocated giving from assets and how doing so would double the amount of philanthropy annually.  Those were extraordinary ideas and some even felt outrageous.  But I was struck by his ideas of challenging millionaires to give more and deeply humbled to be in his presence, which lives on through his organization, the New Tithing Group.  

When I saw the Buffet Gates Billionaire Challenge, I was reminded of Claude (shown here with  children in a childcare school he created).  After pulling out his book, I had totally forgotten that he inscribed it to me and written, “To Sondra Shaw-Hardy with great respect for what you are doing (and have done) for Women in Philanthropy.  Warmest regards, Claude.  1-12-98.”   I was so touched to reread this.

Now, some 14 years later, the Buffet Gates Billionaire Challenge takes off from where Claude began, only with billionaires this time rather than millionaires (think how much money has been generated in those 14 years to take this kind of leap--from millionaire to billionaire).  As thrilling as this is, what  Anne and Christopher Ellinger are doing with their Bolder Giving Challenge is even more exciting.  They have a challenge for everyone, not just billionaires or millionaires.  But for all of us. 

By signing the Bolder Giving Challenge, you pledge to explore ways to become bolder in your giving, give more (could be time as well as money), more effectively, become more fulfilled as a giver, and encourage others to give. 

I’ve signed up as number 124 and plan to be one of the 500 Bolder Givers by July 15.  I encourage you to do so as well by going to  How wonderful to see Claude’s ideas live on through women like Melinda Gates and Anne Ellinger.

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