Giving Back: Chuck Feeny, The James Bond of Philanthropy

“You can only wear one pair of pants at a time” – Chuck Feeny

The New York Times has a great profile of Charles F. Feeny, an intentionally unknown name in the world of philanthropy who is living his motto of “Giving While Living”. What makes him so rare?

  • For someone who has given away more than $8 billion, his personal net worth is a relatively modest $2 million.
  • For over 30 years, Feeny has given away his wealth in a completely anonymous fashion. None of the over 1,000 buildings in 5 continents bear his name.
  • In his mid-fifties when many people worry most about their financial future, Feeny secretly transferred all of his assets into his philanthropy. And then he worked to grow the charitable funds with early investments in tech startups.
    What a great example of efficient and intentional giving. You get the sense that the impact of charitable giving has been a two way street: both impacting the recipients and the donor. There are more details at Feeny’s foundation website: http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org/ including a a great section of “big questions” http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org/big-questions.

The video profile “Secret Billionaire” is a must see: http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org/videos/video-secret-billionaire-chuck-feeney-story.

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Justin Smith

Justin Smith

Senior Financial Planner, Chief Investment Strategist at Smith Partners Wealth Management
Knowing full well that financial planning is about far more than numbers, Justin loves to help clients walk through both the routine and the significant decisions in life. While he could have been perfectly happy with a career as a mathematician or counselor; he is delighted to get to be both...often within the same meeting or even sentence. Justin thrives on being able to transform complex financial and relational issues into practical plans and clear action steps.
Justin Smith