Franklin & Marshall College Establishes Revolutionary New Educational Program, Thanks to Generous Gift By Alumnus

Franklin & Marshall College Establishes Revolutionary New Educational Program, Thanks to Generous Gift By Alumnus

May 05

Franklin & Marshall College has introduced a radical new program that is designed to help students develop the characteristics that are most often associated with success. The program, called the Mehlman Talent Initiative, is funded by Ken Mehlman, who earned his B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College in 1988. Throughout his many years as a successful businessman, Mehlman has found that grit is the number one attribute that all successful people have in common. And he’s not alone in this theory. An article published in The Muse lists “resilience” as the number one quality that all successful people have in common. Even Business Insider credits “persistence” as a collective trait that the world’s most successful people share. But how does one teach the qualities of resilience and persistence (commonly referred to as “grit”)? That’s what Mehlman is trying to figure out. The entire focus of the Mehlman Talent Initiative involves studying the ways in which high-achieving, disadvantaged students have overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges. These challenges range from poverty to disability to illness and even discrimination. “At a time of increased global competition, accelerating technological evolution, and rapidly shifting business, political, and social environments, resilience and the ability to rebound and reinvent are critical,” Mehlman stated. “Young men and women who have already overcome adversity bring different life experiences and are well positioned for 21st century success, but they need practical tools to flourish. This initiative will support these students and provide a framework for the rest of us to learn from them.” Daniel R. Porterfield, president of Franklin & Marshall College, couldn’t be more excited about the program. He praised Mr. Mehlman’s dedication to the project, and even likened it to an empowerment program. “As a Trustee, Ken Mehlman has been deeply involved in our collective decision-making to pursue an expanded financial aid strategy for talented students that has reshaped the College dramatically in the past decade, making an F&M education available to many more first-generation, lower- and middle-income students from all across the country,” Porterfield stated. “With this tremendous gift—half of which is dedicated to financial aid—he further enables the College to cultivate the greatness of high-achieving students so that they will be empowered to achieve big goals in their lives and make disproportionately positive contributions to society. The Mehlman Talent Initiative will continue to make F&M a stronger school and help us create an...

Top 10 Charity Wine Auctions in the U.S.

Top 10 Charity Wine Auctions in the U.S.

May 03

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...

Harvard Business School Grads Give Back to Their Alma Mater

Harvard Business School Grads Give Back to Their Alma Mater

Apr 21

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...

Four Newcomers Shake Up Bloomberg Brackets for a Cause

Four Newcomers Shake Up Bloomberg Brackets for a Cause

Mar 24

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...

Trump to Donate His Presidential Salary to Charity

Trump to Donate His Presidential Salary to Charity

Mar 16

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...

3 Generous Billionaires You’ve Never Heard Of

3 Generous Billionaires You’ve Never Heard Of

Feb 24

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: 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. 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. 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...