Giving Compass' Take:

• In this story from Campden FB, James Beech interviews and discusses the legacy of entrepreneur, author, public speaker, and philanthropist Dame Stephanie “Steve” Shirley.

• What can emerging and aspiring philanthropists learn from experienced individuals like Shirley? What sorts of questions should they be asking?

• To learn about Gordon Irlam's journey from advocate to philanthropist, click here.

Over coffee in a City of London café, the IT entrepreneur turned philanthropist, author, and public speaker says her approach to philanthropy has varied over the years. In some cases from originating projects and then carrying them out, to sometimes handing them over permanently in the form of a charity to a set of trustees, to dedicating three years to a goal and wrapping it up when the task is done.

“And at my age I find that I’m always worried about starting a long project, will I be here in three years’ time? Is it sensible to start this project? I always get involved and I add time and skills and contacts, and it makes it much more interesting, for me apart from anything else.”

An impact evaluation of her philanthropy revealed that 84% of repondents said the foundation’s involvement was inspirational. That is in addition to the £68 million ($88.3 million) she has contributed to various causes, funded by the estimated £150 million accumulated after selling her IT firm in the early 1990s.

Since being founded in 2004 by Shirley, Autistica alone has raised more than £8.5 million in support of autism research, and become established as Europe’s leading autism research charity. However, she is unsentimentally winding up her umbrella Shirley Foundation into another charity by the end of 2018.

Read the full article about Dame Stephanie Shirley by James Beech at Campden FB.