March 7, 2011

Long After Giving His Money Away, a Donor Takes the Pledge

Posted in Philanthropy at 3:10 pm by philanthropynews

The Shy Philanthropist is most decidedly going public. Charles F. Feeney, who made a fortune as co-founder of Duty Free Stores, has become the 59th signatory to the Giving Pledge, the project created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren E. Buffett to encourage the mega-rich to commit at least half their wealth to philanthropy.

Mr. Feeney, who eschews all the trappings of wealth, gave virtually all of his billions to the organizations now known as the Atlantic Philanthropies more than 25 years ago, but he insisted on keeping his philanthropy secret.

Organizations receiving grants from Atlantic were required to sign contracts that stipulated they would not reveal its support, and its Manhattan offices were hidden behind unmarked doors in a nondescript office building for years.

(Read more via New York Times.)