Top 10 Charity Wine Auctions in the U.S.

Last week, Wine Spectator magazine released their annual report on the top 10 charity wine auctions in the U.S. Using data gathered from previous years, the publication has determined that overall revenue was down in 2016. In total, $33 million was raised from live auction bids in 2016, compared to $36.9 million in 2015.

Nevertheless, charity wine auctions are still a very effective means of fundraising. Here, we’ve listed the top 10 based on how much money was raised from live bids.

1. Naples Winter Wine Festival

Located in Naples, Florida, the Naples Winter Wine Festival raised a whomping $10,485,000 for charity. This will be the 11th time that the Naples Winter Wine Festival has made it into the top 10.

2. Auction Napa Valley

Based out of St. Helena, California, Auction Napa Valley closed in at $9,800,000. All proceeds went towards local health and children’s charities.

3. Destin Charity Wine Auction

This Florida-based charity wine auction raised an impressive $2,359,225. The money was used to support local children’s organizations.

4. Auction of Washington Wines

Washington State came in at number four with a total of $1,900,500 raised during the Auction of Washington Wines.

5. Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction

Trailing just behind Auction of Washington Wines, Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction raised $1,862,500.

6. Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest

Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest managed to raise $1,549,584 during their annual event.

7. Rusty Staub Foundation Wine Auction Dinner

New York made the list of the top 10 with The Rusty Staub Foundation Wine Auction Dinner. During this event, organizers raised $1,524,350.

8. Classic Wines Auction

The Classic Wines Auction, based out of Portland, Oregon, came in at $1,514,565.

9. V Foundation Wine Celebration

Based out of Oakville, California, this charity wine auction raked in $1,377,850.

10. Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction & Dinner

And at number 10 we have the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction & Dinner. This Texas charity wine auction raised $1,304,500 for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Harvard Business School Grads Give Back to Their Alma Mater

The year was 2013, and it was time for the Harvard Business School Class of 2008’s five-year reunion. As usual, two alumni stepped up to chair the committee that planned the reunion, and as usual, there was a lot of discussion on how to make the event both a fun experience and a meaningful way to fundraise for their alma mater.

Reunion committee co-chair Alex Crisses decided to take on the fundraising element. He had some ideas about what would appeal to his classmates, but he wanted help from a mentor who had a lot of experience in raising funds for Harvard Business School. He found that mentor in Alan “AJ” Jones, who had been involved in HBS fundraising since he received his MBA in 1987.

Together, they formulated a plan that led to a great deal of support for Harvard Business School’s HBS Fund for Leadership and Innovation.

“AJ did a phenomenal job of helping us see the connection between support of the HBS Fund and the priorities of the school,” said Crisses, now a managing director at global private equity firm General Atlantic. “He spoke at our class event in New York about why HBS is important to him. It resonated deeply with our class members.”

As well it should. The HBS Fund for Leadership and Innovation supports four major areas: fellowships, educational innovation, global understanding, and research.

Fellowships are need-based financial aid awards that enable Harvard Business School to attract the most talented students regardless of their financial circumstances. Through its educational innovation initiatives, the fund allows HBS to continue to develop its curricula, most recently adding more hands-on learning and online content. Gifts supporting the development of global cases and courses allow students and faculty to get firsthand experience in markets around the world. Support of research allows faculty to pursue their own ideas without the constraints of sponsored research.

“AJ gave us the blueprint for talking about what the HBS Fund supports,” said Crisses. “Together, we developed a fundraising mantra—educate people about what’s going on HBS and tell them how we are raising money for change and transformation.”

The HBS Fund allows the school to quickly and thoughtfully pursue innovative ideas because, unlike other funds, it is not restricted.

“In business, venture capital or R&D budgets seed the most promising new ideas,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohira. “In academia, where endowments are generally restricted to donor-defined purposes, there simply aren’t funds earmarked for advancing the next big idea. The school relies heavily on annual gifts to the HBS Fund for early-stage support of breakthrough projects, courses, programs, and other initiatives.”

Given the importance of the HBS Fund for Leadership and Innovation to their alma mater, it’s no small wonder that Crisses, Jones, and many other Harvard Business School alumni enthusiastically support it. It’s a powerful way to directly and immediately support the school in delivering on its mission to build leaders and foster ideas that can help solve the complex challenges facing business and society.

Four Newcomers Shake Up Bloomberg Brackets for a Cause

March Madness isn’t just for small bets at the office. For some of the biggest names in business, it means big money. Big money for charity, that is.

Bloomberg brought together what they refer to as “a group of titans from the world of business and finance” to fill out March Madness brackets for its Brackets for a Cause initiative. Each of the participants has picked a charity and donated $10,000. When all is said and done, the total pot—upwards of $350,000 this year—will be divided between the charities of the three participants with the most accurate brackets.

This is the third year of Brackets for a Cause, and this year some newcomers are shaking things up.

William E. Ford, President and CEO of General Atlantic, is playing for Shining Hope for Communities, an organization that combats gender inequality and extreme poverty in urban slums by linking tuition-free schools for girls to holistic social services for all. So far, Ford is in 8th place, with a total score of 83 and 37 of 63 correct picks.

Tony Ressler, Chairman, CEO, and founder of Ares Management—and co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks—is playing for the Atlanta Hawks Foundation, whose mission is to increase access for metro Atlanta’s youth to play, grow, and learn life and leadership skills through basketball. So far, Ressler has 79 points, with 34 out of 63 correct picks

David Solomon, President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs, is playing for Room to Read, an organization working to transform the lives of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. At this time, Solomon has 77 points, with 34 of 63 correct picks.

Ken Moelis, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Moelis & Company, is playing for Minds Matter New York, whose mission is to help accomplished high school students from low-income families by preparing them for college success. Right now, Moelis is right behind Ford, with 83 points and 36 out of 63 correct picks.

“This is hugely exciting for us,” said Jason Kelly, Bloomberg Executive Editor. “This is the third year we’re doing this contest, and it’s amazing how many people really pour in to participate. The spirit of competition is alive and well on Wall Street.”

The current leader is Jeannie Buss, President and Part-Owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, with 89 points and 39 of 63 correct picks. Defending champion Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, is back again, but he is trailing with 72 points and 33 of 63 correct picks.

To follow the action, visit Bloomberg’s Brackets for a Cause page.

Trump to Donate His Presidential Salary to Charity

Back in November of 2016, newly elected President Donald Trump said that he would not be taking the $400,000 a year presidential salary. His reason for doing so being that he’s already a wealthy man. How wealthy? According to Forbes, Donald Trump is worth a whopping $3.7 billion.

Makes sense; $400,000 means nothing for a man of that worth. But it would certainly mean a lot to nonprofits and charities that are working towards the greater good. And that’s precisely why Trump plans to donate his salary to these organizations.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made the announcement this past Tuesday. During a press briefing, Spicer told reporters that the president would donate all of his federal earnings come the end of 2017. But that’s not all. Spicer also had a very unusual—and very unexpected—request of the press.

“The president’s intention right now is to donate his salary at the end of the year, and he has kindly asked that you all help determine where that goes. The way that we can avoid scrutiny is to let the press corps determine where it should go,” Spicer said to a room full of chuckles.

Yep, you read that right. Trump wants the press to help decide where that money goes. Remember that old adage about being careful what you wish for?

Well, the press already has a couple of ideas in mind, one of which is for Mr. Trump to donate to The Committee to Protect Journalists—a world-wide campaign dedicated to advocating for freedom of the press. Other reporters have suggested that the president fund a journalism scholarship.

The overall reaction surrounding the announcement has been quite humorous. But Spicer wants to remind the public that President Trump is indeed committed to his promise.

“In all seriousness, I think his view is he made a pledge to the American people he wants to donate it to charity and he’d love your help to determine where it should go.”

3 Generous Billionaires You’ve Never Heard Of

Everyone knows who Bill Gates is. He and his wife Melinda started one of the world’s largest nonprofit organizations: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Additionally, most people are familiar with Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO who vowed to put 99 percent of his shares towards good causes. He and his wife Priscilla started the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a limited liability corporation that is focused on expanding education, curing diseases, and promoting equality.

But there are other billionaires that are just as generous (if not more) than those listed above. Here are some of those unsung billionaire heroes who are using their fortunes to make the world a better place:

  1. George Roberts

George Roberts is an American financier who co-founded the private equity firm KKR. Roberts has put his $4.8 billion worth towards helping society’s most marginalized members attain hope and independence. As the founder of the San Francisco-based nonprofit REDF, Roberts provides resources that help homeless people and other disadvantaged groups find jobs.

  1. Manoj Bhargava

Manoj Bhargava is the founder and CEO of 5-Hour Energy. In truly honorable fashion, he promised to give 90% of his $4 billion dollar worth to charity. In 2015, he founded Billions in Change, a limited liability corporation that strives to lift people out of poverty by making clean water, renewable energy, and healthcare more accessible.

  1. Sara Blakely

Sara Blakley is the founder and CEO of women’s intimate apparel company Spanx. Over the years, she has supported numerous causes and organizations that focus on female education and entrepreneurship programs. Her net worth is estimated to be at $1.2 billion.

These stunning examples of generosity prove that the wealthy aren’t always the selfish, greedy people that they are often portrayed to be in the media. Kindness comes in all forms, both rich and poor.