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Steve Jobs's family has been giving money away anonymously for more than 2 decades

post #1 of 147
Thread Starter 
While late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs never brought public attention to his philanthropic efforts, he and his family have been giving money away anonymously for more than 20 years.

The rise of anonymous giving in Silicon Valley was detailed on Friday by The New York Times, with a particular focus on Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple's former CEO. She also participated in a rare interview for a profile that was published last week, discussing her agendas in education, global conservation, nutrition, and immigration policy.

Powell Jobs
Laurene Powell Jobs at the 2012 State of the Union address.


"We're really careful about amplifying the great work of others in every way that we can, and we don't like attaching our names to things," Powell Jobs said.

Her organization, Emerson Collective, is structured like a small business and is set up as an LLC rather than a tax-exempt 501?(3). That gives her the ability to make grants, investments and political donations without publicly reporting them.

Powell Jobs told the Times that she and her organization value the ability to remain anonymous, as well as "nimble and flexible and responsive" in giving.

It was the same newspaper that caused a controversy in 2011, when reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote a piece entitled "The Mystery of Steve Jobs's Public Giving." That piece questioned why there was "no public record" of Jobs donating his money to charity.

That prompted U2 lead singer Bono, who is a friend of Jobs, to pen an op-ed noting that Jobs's contributions to fight AIDS in Africa were "invaluable." Bono is the founder of (Product)RED, a charity aimed at battling AIDS that Apple has supported with various products since 2006.

Bono revealed that Apple had been the largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, and noted that the company has given tens of millions of dollars toward H.I.V. testing, treatment and counseling.

Last year, current Apple CEO Tim Cook also noted a number of private philanthropic efforts undertaken by Jobs during his life. Among those was a $50 million donation for Stanford hospitals, half of which paid for a new main building, while the rest was used to build a new children's hospital.

But despite his philanthropic efforts, Jobs remained intensely private, and even refused to discuss his giving with biographer Walter Isaacson before his death. Jobs also refused to participate in "The Giving Pledge," a campaign started by billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that asks rich people in American to donate most of their money to philanthropic causes.

Since the death of her husband, Powell Jobs has taken a more public role in support of her causes. In January, she launched a website advocating the "Dream Act" for immigration reform, and in April she participated in an interview with NBC's Rock Center for the same cause. Last year she also joined the governing board at Stanford University, she serves on the White House Council for Community Solutions, and she also serves as president of the after-school program College Track, which she founded in 1997.
post #2 of 147
I'm actually against this anonymous donating. I understand their position on it, and respect that, but I think the greater good is for those with celebrity status in society to set an example. I believe the greater good would be to donate openly and encourage others follow suit either in money and/or time. Just by their actions celebrities can get others to react but when you're silent the totality of the effort will be muted. Just because you are donating openly or setting up charities it doesn't mean you are looking for accolades. The better move is to not care what others will ultimately think for against your motives and actions.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/24/13 at 6:02am

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post #3 of 147
Why is it that the media assumes that you are not giving because it is not a public spectacle. Kudos to the Jobs family for the work he did both public and especially the private work that he sought no recognition for. Most well to do folks would have wanted their name on the hospital(s). Not Steve. He saw the real purpose - to help people in need, not as a PR stunt.
post #4 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm actually against this anonymous donating. I understand their position on it, and respect that, but I think the greater good is for those with celebrity status in society to set an example. I believe the greater good would be to donate openly and encourage others follow suit either in money and/or time. Just by their actions celebrities can get others to react but when you're silent the totality of the effort will be muted.

 

I understand your point, but if I were Jobs, I would have done exactly the same thing. 

post #5 of 147

It's the creation of Apple that makes Steve Jobs a hero, the simple giving away of money is nothing compared to that, no matter how much.

 

I mean, think how much thought and effort was needed to create Apple: strategic decision making and product instincts, etc vs. just signing a check.


Edited by ascii - 5/24/13 at 6:09am
post #6 of 147

The greater good is that individual freedom is more important than a collectivism.
 

post #7 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

...when you're silent the totality of the effort will be muted.

 

 

I dare say that those that rec'd treatment for HIV/AIDS don't feel that way, nor do those that receive treatment in the Stanford hospitals.

 

I understand what you are saying about using it to garner more support but I completely disagree with your implication that because a donation is silent the effort is muted. Also I doubt there was anything preventing Stanford or others from saying "we got a $50 million anonymous donation". 

post #8 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm actually against this anonymous donating. I understand their position on it, and respect that, but I think the greater good is for those with celebrity status in society to set an example. I believe the greater good would be to donate openly and encourage others follow suit either in money and/or time. Just by their actions celebrities can get others to react but when you're silent the totality of the effort will be muted.

I disagree. To be cynical, people should donate in what they believe in and not because some celebrity is doing it. Personally I think some celebs do it for attention. There are so many charities out there and most, if not all, deserve attention.

Also. If steve jobs was alive, these articles wouldn't see the light if day. 1smile.gif
post #9 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I understand your point, but if I were Jobs, I would have done exactly the same thing. 

I might have, too, I can't honestly say, but I hope that I'd donate in a way that made the greatest impact for others without any concern for it affected me or my life.

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post #10 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post


I dare say that those that rec'd treatment for HIV/AIDS don't feel that way, nor do those that receive treatment in the Stanford hospitals.

I understand what you are saying about using it to garner more support but I completely disagree with your implication that because a donation is silent the effort is muted. Also I doubt there was anything preventing Stanford or others from saying "we got a $50 million anonymous donation". 

Sure it was muted. If Jobs announced that he was giving $50 million to Stanford hospital and wanted others to donate via iTunes or a special iMessage text I bet there would be many millions more, even though Stanford means nothing to most people that would donate. I use that example because despite unrealistic to ask others for assistance for something that regarding Jobs and his family's smaller community efforts people would have added to it greatly.

I'm sure I've see Apple already donate to disaster relief efforts around the world and have links to also get their customers to add these efforts. This is basically what I stated in my initial comment except the celebrity is the corporation using their mindshare to get others to contribute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

I disagree. To be cynical, people should donate in what they believe in and not because some celebrity is doing it. Personally I think some celebs do it for attention. There are so many charities out there and most, if not all, deserve attention.

Also. If steve jobs was alive, these articles wouldn't see the light if day. 1smile.gif

I agree with you and I wish more people would contribute because they can, not because someone they want to be or be with is doing it, but that simply isn't the case, and as far as I can see it's never been that way or ever will be.


PS: An interesting example is Celebrity Apprentice. Regardless of how you feel about the show, the celebrities, or Donald Trump it's simply amazing how much money that show has raised for charity. From what I've seen none of the proceeds from the tasks to raise money go to the show, but straight to the charities of the winning project manager's choice.

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post #11 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It's the creation of Apple that makes Steve Jobs a hero, the simple giving away of money is nothing compared to that, no matter how much.

I mean, think how much thought and effort was needed to create Apple: strategic decision making and product instincts, etc vs. just signing a check.

Which one is more important?
post #12 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I agree with you and I wish more people would contribute because they can, not because someone they want to be or be with is doing it, but that simply isn't the case, and as far as I can see it's never been that way or ever will be.

I think more people give than you suspect, it's just everyone's quiet about it.

post #13 of 147
Nice to see, but giving should be a private matter. Steve knew this. The spectacle takes away the true meaning, or at the very least, it gets in the way in our celeb-obsessed culture.
post #14 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post


Which one is more important?

Long term, Apple is more important. It's the creation of new technology that ultimately will move humanity forward and get us all out of poverty, charity is just a temporary measure compared to that.

post #15 of 147

IT IS SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND.  JOBS HAD BELIEF IN HINDUISM AND EVERYONE KNOWS HE IS AVID READER OF THE BOOK "AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI".  HINDUISM ASKS TO DO ANONYMOUS DONATIONS.  HE PRACTICED ZEN BUDDHISM.  I KNEW THAT THIS NEWS WOULD BE COMING AFTER HE DIES.  IT CAME.

post #16 of 147

She really is a beautiful woman.

post #17 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

IT IS SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND.  JOBS HAD BELIEF IN HINDUISM AND EVERYONE KNOWS HE IS AVID READER OF THE BOOK "AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI".  HINDUISM ASKS TO DO ANONYMOUS DONATIONS.  HE PRACTICED ZEN BUDDHISM.  I KNEW THAT THIS NEWS WOULD BE COMING AFTER HE DIES.  IT CAME.

 

You don't have to shout....

post #18 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm actually against this anonymous donating. I understand their position on it, and respect that, but I think the greater good is for those with celebrity status in society to set an example. I believe the greater good would be to donate openly and encourage others follow suit either in money and/or time. Just by their actions celebrities can get others to react but when you're silent the totality of the effort will be muted. Just because you are donating openly or setting up charities it doesn't mean you are looking for accolades. The better move is to not care what others will ultimately think for against your motives and actions.

 

The idea of anonymous giving is to not draw attention to oneself.  The Bible says to give in secret and you will be rewarded openly.  I do believe he was rewarded with a very successful company so he had more money to give away. (just discussing principles as I know he was not a follower of the Bible but Buddhism)

 

I would agree with you for special things where celebrity's can challenge each other to give for things like Sandy relief or Oklahoma relief but anonymous is much better and I respect those people more than those who toot their own horn about what they give.  Their only reward is their image.

post #19 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm actually against this anonymous donating. I understand their position on it, and respect that, but I think the greater good is for those with celebrity status in society to set an example….

 

Well, I see you have edited to clarify your post. Glad to see you expand on your thoughts because your previous words made it sound like it somehow neutered the actual donation. I get your desire to have celebrities lead by example but I really wonder how many times people actually donate to a cause because a celebrity does. I know in my case I have charities I donate to and I can't think of a time that I have donated to a cause because a celebrity did (unless you somehow count Product (RED)).

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngexec View Post

The greater good is that individual freedom is more important than a collectivism.
 

 

It would be nice if this were really true. I am one who believes that if the govt. did not rip us off to pay for all the entitlement programs that charitable contributions in general would go up. Maybe that is utopian thinking. I know as long as we are forced to pay into SS, MediCare/MediCade, housing for the poor, clinics, ObamaCare, FEMA, billions for foreign aid for refugees, or to fight other peoples wars, investing in ethanol refineries, etc. It limits the disposable cash I have available to donate to the things I feel are important. Where is our freedom to support the charities/non-profits we want to? I think we have been stripped of a major portion of our right to support what we (as individuals) want to support.

 

Just my two scents sense cents. 1hmm.gif  1wink.gif

post #20 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

IT IS SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND.  JOBS HAD BELIEF IN HINDUISM AND EVERYONE KNOWS HE IS AVID READER OF THE BOOK "AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI".  HINDUISM ASKS TO DO ANONYMOUS DONATIONS.  HE PRACTICED ZEN BUDDHISM.  I KNEW THAT THIS NEWS WOULD BE COMING AFTER HE DIES.  IT CAME.

Any mention of Boo-Boo Bear or Ranger Smith in the book?
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post #21 of 147

 

Quote:
Quote: Originally posted by icoco3 View Post
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

IT IS SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND.  JOBS HAD BELIEF IN HINDUISM AND EVERYONE KNOWS HE IS AVID READER OF THE BOOK "AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI".  HINDUISM ASKS TO DO ANONYMOUS DONATIONS.  HE PRACTICED ZEN BUDDHISM.  I KNEW THAT THIS NEWS WOULD BE COMING AFTER HE DIES.  IT CAME.

 

You don't have to shout....

You could have tried closing your ears a little. 

post #22 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Any mention of Boo-Boo Bear or Ranger Smith in the book?

I smell some burning lol.gif

post #23 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm actually against this anonymous donating. I understand their position on it, and respect that, but I think the greater good is for those with celebrity status in society to set an example. I believe the greater good would be to donate openly and encourage others follow suit either in money and/or time. Just by their actions celebrities can get others to react but when you're silent the totality of the effort will be muted. Just because you are donating openly or setting up charities it doesn't mean you are looking for accolades. The better move is to not care what others will ultimately think for against your motives and actions.

I disagree. The wealthy have every bit as much right to privacy as you or I do. It's no one's business what the Jobs family chooses to do with their money - just as it's no one's business what brand of toilet paper they use or what kind of fruit they put on their cereal.

This infatuation with sticking their noses into people's private lives is part of the reason the press is only a shadow of what it once was.

If the family wants to publicize their donations, they're free to do so. But EXPECTING them to is unreasonable.
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post #24 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

She really is a beautiful woman.

 

Agreed but WTF does that have to do with this thread?

post #25 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

I smell some burning lol.gif

Hopefully Boo-Boo got some donated picanee baskets. lol.gif
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post #26 of 147
I have no problem with anonymous donation - we still have some freedom in this country.

Speculation on my part here but it could have been in part due to a feeling that he wanted to be celebrated for the things he was directly involved in and not the efforts of other which he simply helped to fund. And actually, if you think about it, it was all of us who bought Apple products an made the company profitable who donated all that money, indirectly of course.

But perhaps one of the reasons was so that he would not be inundated with people asking for money. Imagine how much of your day would be taken up with turning people away and how difficult it might be to turn people down who are supporting a worthy cause.

Beside it would be very un-Steve-like to follow someone else's agenda when it comes to philanthropic areas of his life just as it was in all others.
post #27 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Agreed but WTF does that have to do with this thread?

Beautiful women have to do with everything 1wink.gif
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post #28 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

The wealthy have every bit as much right to privacy as you or I do.

Absolutely! But that makes that aspect of it about their needs and desires if their reason for anonymity is retain a certain level of seclusion. There is nothing wrong with it, as I clearly stated already, and if that anonymity allows for the greater good to be accomplished then so be it, but don't it's foolish to claim that someone held on high in a society giving anonymously would bring in just as much as if they openly donated and encouraged others to follow suit.

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post #29 of 147
When did it become required to give? I say that, since the method of giving is now under discussion, like we in the community have some sort of say or requirement on how that happens.
post #30 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm actually against this anonymous donating. I understand their position on it, and respect that, but I think the greater good is for those with celebrity status in society to set an example.

Donating anonymously allowed Jobs to support liberal causes without hurting Apple's sales to conservatives, or making Apple a partisan issue in government. And I think he was probably right that diminishing Apple's positive effect on the world by being public in his giving would hurt more than being an example would have helped. Moreover, he wanted to live as normal a private life as possible, in a normal house in a normal neighborhood without drawing more attention to his family than necessary.
post #31 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Well, I see you have edited to clarify your post. Glad to see you expand on your thoughts because your previous words made it sound like it somehow neutered the actual donation. I get your desire to have celebrities lead by example but I really wonder how many times people actually donate to a cause because a celebrity does. I know in my case I have charities I donate to and I can't think of a time that I have donated to a cause because a celebrity did (unless you somehow count Product (RED)).

It would be nice if this were really true. I am one who believes that if the govt. did not rip us off to pay for all the entitlement programs that charitable contributions in general would go up. Maybe that is utopian thinking. I know as long as we are forced to pay into SS, MediCare/MediCade, housing for the poor, clinics, ObamaCare, FEMA, billions for foreign aid for refugees, or to fight other peoples wars, investing in ethanol refineries, etc. It limits the disposable cash I have available to donate to the things I feel are important. Where is our freedom to support the charities/non-profits we want to? I think we have been stripped of a major portion of our right to support what we (as individuals) want to support.

Just my two scents sense cents. 1hmm.gif   1wink.gif

If everybody was created equally we would not need the so called entitlement programs you refer to. As it is, however, one percent of the people own over 90 percent of the wealth. Further, those folks control the political system making it ever more difficult for people to go out and be the next Steve Jobs.

I for one think the foundation of a successful democracy requires people not to worry about health care, education, or homelessness. That helps level the playing field for those not born into entitlement. Further, elderly, disabled, or people who can't get a job through no fault of their own should be provided for. That should be a function of government.

People who get upset over safety net programs rarely mind the obscene amount spent supporting other governments, and through our military.
post #32 of 147
Originally Posted by NormM View Post
Donating anonymously allowed Jobs to support liberal causes without hurting Apple's sales to conservatives, or making Apple a partisan issue in government.

 

The word for why this is just totally wrong escapes me right now. It's something to do with false logic…

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post #33 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by NormM View Post

Moreover, he wanted to live as normal a private life as possible, in a normal house in a normal neighborhood without drawing more attention to his family than necessary.

You state that he wanted a certain life, which is perfectly reasonable, but it's a choice for his own comfort not the comfort for the recipients of the funds. I have no idea why but it should be crystal clear that anonymity is not be a noble act in and of itself. It's the reasons for it that determine if it falls under the purview of selfish or selfless, noble or ignoble.

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post #34 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by NormM View Post

Donating anonymously allowed Jobs to support liberal causes without hurting Apple's sales to conservatives, or making Apple a partisan issue in government. And I think he was probably right that diminishing Apple's positive effect on the world by being public in his giving would hurt more than being an example would have helped.

 

1rolleyes.gif

 

Yes, because so many conservatives are such cold-hearted evil bastards that they would hate Steve and Apple because he donated to things like hospitals (including a children's hospital) and helping people get medical tests and treatment for HIV and AIDS.

 

If the Huffington Post told you that, maybe you need to stop reading it.

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post #35 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Absolutely! But that makes that aspect of it about their needs and desires if their reason for anonymity is retain a certain level of seclusion. There is nothing wrong with it, as I clearly stated already, and if that anonymity allows for the greater good to be accomplished then so be it, but don't it's foolish to claim that someone held on high in a society giving anonymously would bring in just as much as if they openly donated and encouraged others to follow suit.

So in your view, societal needs take precedence over personal decision making?

OK. Let's start with the following:

1. Society benefits from less pollution and global warming. In the future, society will dictate what car you should buy - and it will be the smallest, most fuel-efficient car available.

2. Society benefits from educating its kids. So in the future, society will insist that you donate 20% of your income to education.

3. For that matter, society benefits when people are fed and clothed. So, in the future, society will allow you to keep just enough money to live on and you must give the rest to people who are struggling.

Sorry, but I don't buy the principle that society should dictate individual actions.
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post #36 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It's the creation of Apple that makes Steve Jobs a hero, the simple giving away of money is nothing compared to that, no matter how much.

 

I mean, think how much thought and effort was needed to create Apple: strategic decision making and product instincts, etc vs. just signing a check.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post


Which one is more important?

 

Apple is more important, without question. The existence of Apple made the philanthropy possible. Add to that the jobs created, both within the company and the companies surrounding Apple as suppliers, marketers, financiers, etc. Then there's the technology aspect which made it possible to actually DO something with the money given,  such as medical research and the like using technology invented or simplified by Apple.

post #37 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm actually against this anonymous donating. I understand their position on it, and respect that, but I think the greater good is for those with celebrity status in society to set an example. I believe the greater good would be to donate openly and encourage others follow suit either in money and/or time. Just by their actions celebrities can get others to react but when you're silent the totality of the effort will be muted. Just because you are donating openly or setting up charities it doesn't mean you are looking for accolades. The better move is to not care what others will ultimately think for against your motives and actions.

 

I understand and appreciate what you say here, but I think you are likely incorrect on this.  You seem to be predicating this on the belief that "leading by example" will shame others into donating but I just don't see that working.  It's my experience that people are either charitable or they are not, that (to use a cliche) "it comes from the heart," and that rarely if ever does someone leave one group and join the other.    

post #38 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngexec View Post

The greater good is that individual freedom is more important than a collectivism.
 

 

Wahat?  Where did you get this?  It would seem to directly argue against almost all civilisation.  A recipe for anarchy if you will.  

post #39 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

It would seem to directly argue against almost all civilisation.  A recipe for anarchy if you will.  

 

No it doesn't. No it isn't.

 

Try again.

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post #40 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Any mention of Boo-Boo Bear or Ranger Smith in the book?

 

I was always a follower of the Boo-Boo philosophy rather than the Yogi.  

Yogi was always about the "freedom" to steal picnic baskets.  What a jerk!  

Boo-Boo was a collectivist and a sweetheart. 

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