What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• Giving while living is a growing trend in philanthropy in which philanthropists aim to donate their money before they die, rather than leaving it charity in their will.
• Is giving while living a better way to do good with your money? What issue could you make an impact on in your lifetime?
• Chuck Feeney isn't alone. Learn why the MAVA Foundation will close in 2022.
On a cool summer afternoon at Dublin's Heuston Station, Chuck Feeney, 81, gingerly stepped off a train on his journey back from the University of Limerick, a 12,000-student college he willed into existence with his vision, his influence and nearly $170 million in grants, and hobbled toward the turnstiles on sore knees.
"If you want to give it away, think about giving now. It's a lot more fun than when you're dead."
Over the last 30 years he's crisscrossed the globe conducting a clandestine operation to give away a $7.5 billion fortune derived from hawking cognac, perfume, and cigarettes in his empire of duty-free shops. His foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, has funneled $6.2 billion into education, science, healthcare, aging and civil rights in the U.S., Australia, Vietnam, Bermuda, South Africa and Ireland.
Few living people have given away more, and no one at his wealth level has ever given their fortune away so completely during their lifetime. The remaining $1.3 billion will be spent by 2016, and the foundation will be shuttered in 2020. While the business world's titans obsess over piling up as many riches as possible, Feeney is working double time to die broke.
Read more about philanthropist Chuck Feeney by Steven Bertoni at Forbes