Tag Archives: foundations

Learning From Warren

I am pleased to discover that I have a few things in common with Warren Buffett.

(Unfortunately,  being fabulously wealthy is not one of them.)

Like Warren, I’m not one for formalities, and I’m known to appreciate a bargain. So I got a kick out of hearing the details of his 2006 marriage to his wife Astrid. They had a simple ceremony with immediate family at the home of Warren’s daughter Susie. Then the family celebrated with a meal at the Omaha Bonefish Grill, where Warren made a point of ordering off the Seniors Menu.

Truly, that’s the kind of wedding reception I could get behind. Why waste money, even if you’re one of the richest men in the world?

I also find that Warren and I agree about the inefficiencies inherent in creating a perpetual charitable foundation. Continue reading

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As Rich as Rockefeller?

All of you who are struggling to get your next foundation grant application pulled together and those of you who work earnestly as foundation staff or trustees may want to pause and think about how these entities – the powerful, life-giving, and capricious foundations – came into existence. Here’s the short version.

Though charitable foundations have a long history in the United States (some credit Benjamin Franklin with creating the first foundation, the progenitor of the Philadelphia Foundation), they did not gain prominence until early in the twentieth century.

The first two permanent foundations of note were created by Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Let’s look at Rockefeller, courtesy of “Titan,” a remarkable biography by Ron Chernow. Continue reading

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