Wednesday, February 8, 2012

eBay Founder Dedicated To Philanthropy

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably have at least heard of the online auction site eBay.  Maybe you've even won a few collectable items from it.  But if you were asked how the name Pierre Omidyar connected to the site, would you have an answer?

Pierre Omidyar is the founder of the successful auction site and he has lived a fairly quiet life.  Prior to a big profile recently published in USA Today Omidyar, 44, avoided the spotlight.  He gave an occasional interview now and then, but he spent the majority of time working with his wife Pam on his real passion: Philanthropy.

Pierre and Pam have given over $1 billion to hundreds of causes both through individual giving and four organizations they created: Omidyar Network, Humanity United, HopeLab, and Ulupono (which is Hawaiian for "doing the right thing") Initiative.

Yet the Omidyars don't just throw their money around without a plan.  More often than not, their donations go to charities that have solid business plans that allow them to produce the needed funds to keep its programs running.  Think of it as a venture-capitalists' approach to philanthropy: They want their money to go to organizations that have the best chance to create social change.  And that all starts with having a solid business strategy.

What do you think about the Omidyar's approach to philanthropy?  Do you think we will start seeing more philanthropists take this venture-capital-like approach?

Make sure to read the full story in USA Today.

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