Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Tej Kohli – businessmen who are successful in their own right as the founder of Facebook, Microsoft, and Kohli Ventures, respectively.
From the outside looking in, the most common thread between them would be that they are at the helm of these multi-billion-dollar companies – however, something else they all share are a philanthropic drive.
A luxurious lifestyle can, of course, make a person happy, as would an island, a vacation home or a private jet. But all of these entrepreneurs have chosen philanthropic causes that are near and dear to them – and are making a substantial difference in the world.
Mark Zuckerberg – Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is also the co-founder of the Chan Zuckerberg initiative along with his wife, Priscilla Chan. The duo channels their funds towards three different pillars: education, justice & opportunity and science.
In regards to education, the foundation focuses on kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade literacy, a smooth transition to high school and postsecondary success. This includes working with the Summit Learning Platform aiding teachers with customizable instruction plans as well as The College Board, preparing millions of students for college and beyond.
Justice and opportunity are where Mark and Priscilla support organizations and partners in Criminal Justice Reform, Economic Opportunity, Housing Affordability and Immigration Reform. These include Code for America, who help people access government social safety net services and Measures for Justice, a data portal educating the general public on the criminal justice system.
Finally, their mission for their science initiative is to ‘support science and technology that will make it possible to cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century.’ AN ambitious goal to be sure, but one that their considerable finances could help to make a reality.
Bill Gates – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
In 2000, Bill and Melinda Gates launched the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is said to be the largest private foundation in the United States, with around $50 billion in assets. The foundation works with partners around the world to tackle five critical areas: global health, global development, global growth & opportunity, the United States, and global policy and advocacy. They operate largely through grant making in all of these divisions to achieve progressive results.
Along with Warren Buffet, Bill Gates founded the Giving Pledge, which invites billionaires, or those who would be if not for their philanthropic giving, the opportunity to openly pledge a majority of their wealth to charity.
Tej Kohli – Tej Kohli Foundation & Tej Kohli Cornea Foundation
For Tej Kohli, philanthropy is something near and dear to him and his wife Wendy, and as such the Tej Kohli Foundation’s objective is to support existing projects at the heart of communities. Their projects include treating and preventing corneal blindness, extending educational opportunities, providing midday meals for thousands of malnourished children, vocational training for the physically disabled and improving the health of rural communities.
Treating and preventing corneal blindness is of the utmost importance to Tej, who has founded the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute through funds from the foundation, to prevent and control corneal blindness, specifically in India.
For Tej Kohli, charity is present in all that he does, as even the goal of his company Kohli Ventures is to empower people to help change the world for the better, with profits from the company going to the Tej Kohli Foundation.
It’s thanks to these philanthropic businessmen that voices are heard and causes are supported, leading the altruistic movement of giving back, especially amongst those who have the means, the resources, and the drive to do so.