Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Roberta d'Eustachio (Rd'E) is an entrepreneur obsessed with delivering media from the social investor/philanthropist's point of view. That desire led to founding The American Benefactor, the first consumer magazine for philanthropists, as well as Giving Magazine and each of its subsequent evolutions: from print, to digital, to mobile with Facebook Instant Articles, delivering stories of social impact - for everyone, everywhere.
Rd'E has consulted with, and/or received investment from, leading global brands, including: The Economist, the Financial Times, Euro Money/Institutional Investor, the Pitcairn Family Office, Fidelity Capital and the World Bank as well as philanthropists and social enterprises around the world.
After serving as chief-of-staff to Dame Stephanie Shirley, the British Government’s Founding Ambassador for Philanthropy, Rd'E founded the AmbassadorsForPhilanthropy.com enterprise to give social investors a voice worldwide.
Dame Stephanie Shirley
Philanthropist & Believer-in-chief
Dame Stephanie “Steve” Shirley is a British entrepreneur turned philanthropist. She originally arrived in London as an unaccompanied Kindertransport child refugee from Austria during WWII. “Steve” was an early pioneer in technology and, after taking her company public, she has given more than $100 million to organizations that specialize in autism research and technology, including founding the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University. Appointed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the title of the British Government's Founding Ambassador for Philanthropy 2009-2010, she believes in the advancement of the philanthropist voice worldwide.
Her memoir “Let It Go” was recently published, chronicling her life so far.
"Steve" is the Believer-in-chief to Giving Magazine, providing the means to imagine and execute its potential to the fullest.
Jerry Alten is a world-renowned art director of magazines, across all devices, and other marketing and advertising work, winning many prizes in the media field. Under Walter Annenberg’s ownership of TV Guide, Jerry took the circulation from 5 million up to 19 million during his tenure as art director. He continued to work with Rupert Murdoch’s organization after the buy out of TV Guide and created the first interactive website for the magazine. Jerry was also the original investor in The American Benefactor Magazine and art director, which succeeded in obtaining more than $7 million worth of investment from Fidelity Investment's venture firm.
Brian Lipscomb has been involved with technology for over twenty years, and founded technology services company Divergex, based in Philadelphia. Specializing in all aspects of computers, Brian brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Giving Magazine. His philosophy is: “Do it right, or don’t do it at all.”
Lipscomb adds: “Technology is a constantly evolving industry. People who use technology daily don’t have the time to study and learn all of the new and different terms and capabilities. I work to show people how technology can improve their efficiency, productivity and, ultimately, their lives.”
Before Jay became the Managing Editor for Giving, he was a freelance writer and editor based in Philadelphia. With an academic background in Philosophy he leverages an informed perspective on everything from African music to youth movements in the West for several publications both online and in print. At Giving Magazine he shares a passion for unabated reporting and the ushering in of a new age in philanthropy.
Sandra Salmans is a New york-based writer and editor who works primarily in the nonprofit field. She began her career as a business and financial journalist at Newsweek and The New York Times, but has also covered national news, education and the arts. Prior to going freelance, she was a senior officer in communications for a leading foundation in Philadelphia.
Digital Design Manager
Nicole delights in great design. That's why her commitment is compulsive; contagious even, to get it right. Or, change it. Or, change it again. Whatever is required to finding the way to the end point, which is sometimes the beginning. In other words, she never gives up, or stops, till the thing clicks.
She also loves cats.
Co-Director, Global Membership
A foodie who navigated his way from the city of brotherly love to Charleston, S.C, Damon is devoted to serving nonprofits worldwide that believe the philanthropist voice must be heard.
Damon graduated from the College of Charleston in Art Administration and performed an internship at London’s prestigious Tate Gallery’s New York City office.
Co-Director, Global Membership
Jessica is responsible for the management and development of the Global Awards for nonprofits of Giving Magazine for their nominated philanthropists and supporters.
She also serves as founder and executive director of her own nonprofit, “The Naked Truth AIDS Project”, which raises funds for AIDS prevention education programs in the USA as well as Africa.
Nick Cater is a UK-based international writer and editor. A former Fleet Street journalist, he has reported from more than 40 countries so far on stories as diverse as war in Africa, environmental risks in Latin America, disasters in Europe, and the Asian sport of elephant polo.
Luke Norman is an experienced journalist and corporate social responsibility consultant. Having started at The Daily Telegraph, Luke has worked for a wide range of international media outlets before moving into the heady world of multi-national corporations and their sustainability commitments. Luke has transplanted himself and his family from London to Rio de Janeiro, where the views he now observes are deliriously engaging.
Doug White, a long-time leader in the nation's philanthropic community, is an author, professor, and an advisor to nonprofit organizations and philanthropists. He is the director of Columbia University's Master of Science in Fundraising Management program. He also teaches board governance, ethics and fundraising. His most recent book, “Abusing Donor Intent,” chronicles the historic lawsuit brought against Princeton University by the children of Charles and Marie Robertson, the couple who donated $35 million in 1961 to endow the graduate program at the Woodrow Wilson School.
Kent Allen is a longtime daily journalist and freelance writer. Over the past 20 years, while also writing about philanthropy and nonprofits, he has worked as an editor at The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and Congressional Quarterly. At present, Kent is a journalism and history teacher at The Field School, a middle and high school in Washington, D.C.
Lucy Bernholz is a blogger and self-proclaimed “philanthropy wonk”. Her blog, Philanthropy 2173: The future of good, has been named a “best blog” by Fast Company and a “philanthropy game changer” by the Huffington Post.
Kim Breslin is an actress, comedienne, director, producer, artist, and chef. She has been an educator in North Philadelphia for 17 Years. Mother of two incredible children, she lives with her highly supportive cat, The Amazing Sid.
Cheryl Chapman actively promotes philanthropy in the UK and globally via her journalism. She was the editor of Philanthopy UK: Inspiring Giving and now heads City Philanthropy, London, as its Director.
Stephen Dunn, Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, is the author of 11 collections of poems, including “Different Hours,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2001.
Regan Good is a freelance writer and poet living in Brooklyn, New York. She has written for The Nation, The New York Observer, The New York Times Magazine and others. She is currently at work on a memoir about growing up in a family of writers.
Sharilyn Hale, M.A., CFRE is Founder and Principal of Watermark Philanthropic Advising where she offers strategies for meaningful giving, receiving and leading. A practitioner, author and educator, she brings a global perspective on philanthropy having served the nonprofit sector across North America, Bermuda and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. She holds a graduate degree in Philanthropy & Development and is past Chair of CFRE International, the global certification for professional fundraisers setting standards for ethical and accountable practices.
Believer in a better world. Uppity advocate for social change. Former philanthrapoid. Crystal lives in Singapore where she helps donors develop strategy for effective grantmaking. She serves on numerous boards, and is a speaker and writer on civil society. Twitter: chayling
Holly Howe is a strategic communications consultant with a particular focus on the arts. She works as a freelance journalist, writing for various publications including FAD, RWD, House (published by the Soho House group) and the Irish Examiner. She also runs the Culture Vultures, a networking group for people in media and the arts. She can be found tweeting at @ hollytorious and in her occasional spare moments, she posts on her blog www.postcardsfromholly.blogspot.com
Wangsheng Li is president of ZeShan Foundation (Hong Kong) and a Senior Fellow of the Synergos Institute (New York City).
Lisa MacDonald is a freelance writer and editor based in Toronto. A passion for philanthropy drives her involvement in initiatives that bring information and innovative ideas to Canada’s nonprofit sector leaders. Tweet her at @lisalmacdonald.
Andrew MacLarty is a New York based actor who has appeared on Boardwalk Empire and White Collar. Non-profit work includes narration for Partnership for a Drug-Free America, performances at the United Nations for Hurricane Katrina relief benefit shows, and Barefoot Theater Company’s ROCKAWAY benefit for Hurricane Sandy victims.
Bruce Makous, ChFC, CAP, CFRE, has been a professional fundraiser for over twenty-seven years, with leadership positions in major educational, healthcare, and arts organizations. In 2009, he was named by the Nonprofit Times one of the “Most Influential and Effective” fundraisers in the US.
Peter D. Michael
For over 20 years, Peter D. Michael has been an established actor, voiceover talent and stand-up comedian. He is also an Emmy award winner.
Suzanne is a U.S. international private client lawyer based in London. Suzanne assists philanthropists, their foundations, and international charities with cross-border philanthropy.
Founder of Julie Shafer Development + Philanthropy, a national philanthropy consulting firm. Ms. Shafer offers a multifaceted skill set honed throughout 20 years as a philanthropy executive bringing a translational approach that bridges the gaps between philanthropists and non-profits.
Jade Shames is an award-winning writer living in Brooklyn, NY. His work can be found in The Best American Poetry blog, The LA Weekly, HOW art and literary journal, and more. He was awarded a creative writing scholarship to attend The New School where he received his MFA.
Amy Singer teaches Ottoman and Turkish history, as well as courses on Islamic philanthropy and the history of charity in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University. Her recent publications include the book "Charity in Islamic Societies", and in 2008 she was awarded the Sakıp Sabancı International Research Award.
Sharit Tarabay painted the portrait of Gerry Lenfest. He is a painter and illustrator living in Montreal. He has his works published in magazines and books around the world.
James V. Toscano
Jim Toscano is a principal in the consulting firm, Toscano Advisors, LLC, and an adjunct professor at the School of Business, Hamline University. Recently retired as president of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, the cardiovascular research and education center of Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, he is a past chair of the Minnesota Charities Review Council and board member of Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
Susan Yu is a journalist from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an award-winning news reporter who was formerly based in Hong Kong for 14 years covering stories in Asia for international news media organisations. She is currently based in the United Kingdom where she freelances as a writer, editor and documentary film producer.
By Luke Norman
For Kris Tompkins, former CEO of Patagonia Inc, there was one obvious way to protect the wildlands she loves: buy, restore, and open them to the public.
A Jewish state, a dumping ground for US nuclear waste, and a corridor designed to finally allow the Argentines to invade Chile. These are a few of the accusations that the wildlands philanthropists Doug and Kris Tompkins have had to fend off during their more than 20-year, multimillion-dollar crusade to conserve vast tracks of the Patagonian wilderness. With more than 2.2 million acres already under their watch and scores of species encouraged back from the brink of extinction, Kris and Doug have continually proved the viability of their approach.
For Kris, and central to environmentalism more generally, the concept is simple: our relationship with the world is what makes us human. She has been unabashed in her closer affinity to the natural world than to the one of high heels and tailored suits. As a consequence, she has done what seemed most obvious to her: buy land directly for preservation.
After more than twenty years as an integral part of Patagonia’s rise into one of the world’s most successful ethical brands, Kris ditched the business attire, married Doug Tompkins, founder of her own biggest competitor North Face and Espirit in 1993, and launched a private crusade to preserve large portions of endangered wilderness. By this time, Patagonia, an area bigger than France but with less than five percent of its land subject to explicit conservation efforts, was under increasing pressure from sheep ranchers, oil drillers and insatiable hunters. The couple spent years exploring the almost hypnotic Patagonian landscape themselves on foot, skis, and waist high in water.
It was a natural fit. Twenty years on and the Tompkins have developed an extraordinarily unconventional real estate portfolio. Through various locally based foundations, they’ve bought, restored and opened the 726,000-acre Corcovado National Park in Chile and the 165,000-acre Monte León National Park in Argentina. Both are now owned by their respective national governments and in the years to come the Argentinian government will also be granted Iberá National Park in perpetuity (currently 341,000 acres with plans to expand to 1.85 million acres) and Chile will receive the 711,000-acre Pumalín National Park.
Still, it is the proposed Patagonia National Park that is currently taking up much of the Tompkins’ focus. Almost 10 years ago Kris’s Conservacion Patagonica foundation bought 192,000 acres in Chile’s Aysén region. The land, a portion of an historically thinly populated region, is a former sheep ranch situated between two existing Chilean national reserves, Jeinimeni and Tamango, and had been on the government’s wish list for more than 30 years. In return, Chile has elevated the status of all 460,000 acres to that of National Park, a political step to safeguard its future. It is exactly the kind of result that Tompkins has aimed for and a prime example of her private to public approach.
In the decade since acquiring the Patagonia National Park, they have pulled down fencing, built visitor centres, helped gauchos transition into park rangers, opened up hiking trails, helped provide local education, and created camping sites. The main thrust of the acquisition though has been giving the land a chance to breathe and recover. Some of the most obviously rewarding results have come in the form of flourishing plant life and once-again thriving local species. “We’re trying to think 100 and even 150 years down the road," Kris told Businessweek last year. "That’s really our goal—to have some of this remain just as they found it.”
For Tompkins and millions like her, the motivation has been the resounding acknowledgement that the ongoing loss of biodiversity is the greatest crisis our planet faces. The same group of people can relish the fact that biodiversity has become a perpetual growth industry.
Clearly not everyone can go out and buy half a million acres of pristine wildscape in the southern cone but people can (and do) pull together and protect the woods, meadows and rivers important to them. To date the US’ Land Trust Alliance, for example, boasts more than 1,700 members and has protected nearly 37 million acres nationwide.
While Tompkins is now a model for the type of work she’s quietly forged, the recognition has been somewhat slow locally. That narrative too seems to be shifting; recently, billionaire Chilean President Sebastián Piñera sought Tompkins’ advice before purchasing a national reserve on Chiloé Island. Progress.
Long live the wildlands.
Jorge Paulo Lemann
By Luke Norman
Brazil's richest man and international beer magnate, Lemann is plotting a steady philanthropic course helping his country's finest fulfill their potential.
He is Brazil's richest citizen, with a fortune estimated at upwards of $24 billion. He has been described by Bloomberg Business as "the world's most interesting billionaire." But perhaps the most impressive distinction to which Jorge Paulo Lemann can lay claim is that he has won the enduring confidence of no less a businessman than Warren Buffett. Lemann, says Buffett, is "a great professor" when it comes to learning about Brazil, and he has pronounced the 75-year-old Swiss-Brazilian mogul "classy."
In 2013, Buffett joined Lemann in acquiring H.J. Heinz Company for a reported $27 billion. The purchase gave Lemann and his partners a controlling interest in what were three quintessentially American companies--Heinz, Burger King (now part of Canada's Tim Horton) and Anheuser-Busch.
Still, Lemann is virtually unknown in the U.S. Compare that with the flamboyant Eike Batista, who only a couple of years ago--before he lost a fortune in natural resources--was offering Lemann competition for the title of the richest man in Brazil. The two men are also polar opposites when it comes to philanthropy.
Look online for “Batista” and “philanthropy” and you’ll likely be bombarded with stories about wild, singular, and unfulfilled multimillion dollar donations promised to Madonna’s short-lived children’s charity or a high profile gift to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games bid campaign. Lemann’s 20-plus year education foundation “supporting young people with the potential to be leaders” is far less flashy or publicly lauded, but it’s consistent.
Lemann has long preached the importance of education and the necessity for Brazil to address its shortcomings in the area. He has often dismissed the country's inflation and national debt problems as “anytime” fixes compared with the “long-term” and measured approach required of education reform.
For many established businessmen and women in Brazil, the memories of military dictatorship, rampant inflation, and long crashes occasionally followed by short booms are still fresh wounds. Lemann’s response has been a sort of privately funded meritocracy. Students of all backgrounds, races, colors, and creeds have secured Lemann scholarships. The only common denominator is the quality of brainpower. Only those who have the potential to drive Brazil forward need apply. In return, they will receive some of the best education the world has to offer. More than 10,000 students annually chase the 30 to 40 Lemann scholarships. Lemann also funds fellowships that allow students at Oxford, Columbia University and UCLA to study in Brazil.
Lemann’s faith in education is almost exclusively thanks to his years at Harvard. The now ruthless businessman has regularly admitted that he only got into the exclusive university thanks to the strength of his backhand. Tennis and surfing were his central concerns when he arrived in the U.S. Although he subsequently pursued a successful professional tennis career—Lemann was a five-time Brazilian national champion, played at Wimbledon, and represented both Brazil and Switzerland in the Davis Cup—Harvard changed everything.
The impact was so significant that three years ago, Lemann ended a speech to Fundacao Estudar, his own education foundation, by offering his help “to anyone, one way or another, who was accepted to Harvard.” An ambitious offer, even from the world’s 33rd richest man.
It wasn’t just rhetoric. Lemann currently supports a wealth of activities at his alma mater, including the Brazilian studies programme, the Brazilian office for David Rockefeller’s Centre for Latin American Studies, the Lemann Visiting Scholars Programme and the Lemann Fellows Programme at the Harvard School of Education and of Public Health, and at the John F Kennedy School of Government and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
It’s not just Harvard he’s focused on. With a $16.5 million Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies, the University of Illinois benefitted from Lemann’s connection to its Professor of Economics, Werner Baer, also a respected South American scholar.
Barring this type of occasional donation, Lemann’s largesse isn't huge. To date, Fundacao Estudar has supported around 500 students at the relatively reasonable cost of $9 million. With its narrow focus, it would be hard to argue that the program makes waves or has a huge societal impact. Lemann is equally tight-fisted in business, famous for paring costs and demanding more from his companies.
There’s little indication that Lemann will suddenly become a career philanthropist and, despite his friendship with Buffett, it seems to be even unlikelier that he will sign the Giving Pledge. That's not his style. And that's okay with Buffett, who has called Lemann “[his] kind of partner.” No doubt Brazil’s brightest youth are saying the same thing.
By Holly Howe
The Swiss-American art collector thumbed his nose at American foreign policy with his biggest gift yet.
Gilbert Brownstone likes to say that he has a “Cuban heart.” The American-born art collector holds the country in such high esteem that in 2010 he donated 120 artworks to the National Museum of Fine Art in Havana, all channeled through his namesake foundation established in 1999.
The gift, which included works by major 20th-century artists like Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, and Joan Miró, was a significant coup for the museum. Brownstone, who personally delivered the art, was awarded the Cuban Medal of Friendship for his support.
Brownstone, who is in his early 70s and arrived in France at the age of 17 and studied at the Sorbonne, is a Swiss national but constant traveler, dividing time between the United States, Paris, and Central and South America. He worked at a contemporary art museum in Paris, the Picasso Museum in Antibes and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and later opened his own gallery in Paris.
When that closed, he created The Brownstone Foundation in 1999 with the mission of supporting projects and establishing charities within the scope of “cultural and educational development.” Besides donations, of which the Cuban gift is one of its most spectacular, the foundation has loaned pieces of art to institutions around the world. The foundation’s beneficiaries include New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
Still, Brownstone has made the Caribbean island nation his special priority. In addition to gifts of art, he’s underwritten the creation of a 2,000-square-foot community center in the El Cotorro neighborhood of Havana (the project awaits final approval), as well as a new rehearsal space at the Havana Dance Centre; he’s supplied musical instruments to community groups; and initiated in 2002 and continues to fund the Noemi prize. Although the prize was originally intended to grant Cuban artists—dancers, musicians, and writers as much as visual artists—a three-month residency in Paris, in 2008 its scope was expanded to include artists from members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, a trade group which was founded by Cuba and Venezuela as an alternative to NAFTA and includes Latin American countries with socialist-leaning governments.
In fact, Brownstone’s philanthropy has carried a strong political message. When he donated art to Havana, he dedicated that gift to the so-called Five Heroes, Cuban spies imprisoned in the United States since 1998 for their alleged role in shooting down two planes piloted by an anti-Castro activist group two years earlier. In 2011, Rene Gonzalez became the first of the five to be released and returned to Cuba after serving 13 years in an American prison. Two years later, a second prisoner was released and more recently, spurred by the easing of the decades-old American trade embargo on the island, the final three of the remaining Heroes were granted release in a prisoner exchange with the U.S. in December.
Brownstone is also on the board of the Center for International Policy, a liberal group that works on issues such as U.S.-Mexican border policies, deforestation and, of course, re-establishing ties between the U.S. and Cuba. Even before the rekindling of state relations between the two countries late in 2014, Brownstone was long building his own bridge to Cuba.