The 25 Most Effective Givers of 2009 11/30/2009 Business Strategy, Fundraising Strategy, U.S. Economy
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Ever Wonder who the worlds most effective giver is? If you answered yes like us, then this post is for you.

With money tight last year, effective giving has replaced quantitative giving as one of the new giving trends.
“With the recession squeezing donors and charities alike, it’s more important than ever to make sure your giving really makes a difference.

Ideally, each dollar you give will transform itself into $3 or $4 of benefits for your chosen causes — from improving local schools to easing world poverty. That’s high-impact giving, and some philanthropists are raising it to a high form of art.”

“Nearly 20% of the list is from donors overseas, like Indian telecom entrepreneur Sunil Mittal, a big supporter of schools. Though America has long stood out for its philanthropy, the tradition clearly is taking root around the world.

Some of the top 25 are true celebrities, like Brad Pitt and Magic Johnson, while others are people you’ve probably never heard of before, like John Wood. The former Microsoft executive distributes a book every three minutes to children in nine developing countries.

The two philanthropists we think are having the biggest impact happen to have each made their fortune at eBay, the giant flea market. Pierre Omidyar, No. 1, and Jeffrey Skoll, No. 2, have similar missions, too: They focus on supporting the work of other philanthropists and providing them with networking and leverage opportunities. That is a hallmark of a high-impact practice known as venture philanthropy.”

Here are the second and third place finishers. If you want to see the entire list, click on the “Full article here” button.

2. Jeff Skoll, Skoll Foundation

Skoll, eBay’s second employee, makes sure in his giving that “the positive social returns vastly exceed the amount of time and money involved.” He’s done that for 10 years by awarding unrestricted three-year grants to 59 entrepreneurial groups trying to build a more peaceful and prosperous world. The results can be stunning: One of this year’s grant recipients has trained armies of large rats to sniff for landmines in Africa, remnants of brutal civil wars there.
Class in Session: Founded a center of social entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford in England.
Auteur: His Participant Media produces Hollywood films such as The Soloist, which highlights homelessness.

3. Chris and Jamie Cooper-Hohn,
The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

As the manager of one of Britain’s largest activist hedge funds, Chris Cooper-Hahn has earned the label “ruthless.” The children of India and Sub-Saharan Africa sure wouldn’t know it. Chris sends a good chunk of the fund’s profits and fees to a foundation run by his wife Jamie, swelling it to $2.5 billion in assets. The foundation then uses leverage of another kind, aiming, for instance, to save kids by saving their mothers.
Helpful Friends: Foundation piggybacks on work of Bill Clinton, Elton John and others.
Best Advice: “You have to be able to define what success looks like,” Jamie says.”

Full article here