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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Columnist: Many among super-rich have been exceedingly generous, with a notable exception: Donald Trump

How Giving Became Cool

From the piece:

Turner channeled his money through the United Nations Foundation, where it was leveraged to get other contributions so as to bring $2 billion to finance causes from malaria to polio, from climate change to family planning.

The gift brought new respect to the United Nations and made it increasingly fashionable for billionaires to worry about global poverty. These tycoons bring not just their checkbooks to the table but also a business sensibility that introduces greater rigor and evaluation to the world of bleeding hearts.

All this has helped shine a greater spotlight on neglected issues — which, in turn, has led to extraordinary results. A study this month reported that infant mortality around the world dropped by more than half from 1990 to 2010. That’s millions of lives saved each year.

Of course, not everybody has gotten the memo. Take Donald Trump, who has contributed his name to a foundation but little more. An investigation by The Smoking Gun Web site described him as possibly “the least charitable billionaire in the United States,” for he apparently gave the foundation just $3.7 million — over 20 years. Trump, who has said he is worth $7 billion, is not even the largest contributor to his own foundation.

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