December 04, 2004

Silicon Valley Giving

Some extraordinary fortunes were made in Silicon Valley in the 1990s. Now, dissatisfied with existing charitable options, some of those same entrepreneurs are devoting their energy to finding better ways to do philanthropy. Jeff Skoll, one of the founders of eBay, has a foundation that is making grants to train MBAs in sustainable business practices, and gives an award for social entrepreneurship. Donna Dubinsky, who co-invented the Palm Pilot, has been a major supporter of Accion International, an innovative microlending organization. There is a also a terrific organization called CharityFocus. Founded in 1999 by a group of Silicon Valley professionals, this organization provides web services and technical assistance to non-profits everywhere. One odd thing about them, or about the era in which they were founded: CharityFocus actually took over a for-profit dot-com in 2002...