For Charles Feeney, giving is not an event, it’s his lifestyle. And he plans on giving as much as he can in his lifetime. Charles Feeney began his career as a co-founder of the Duty-Free Shoppers Group, and he’s been a successful businessman since. After he had accumulated his wealth, he looked immediately toward how he could use his resources to improve the world around him.
In 1982, Feeney founded The Atlantic Philanthropies, one of the world’s largest private foundations. The Atlantic Philanthropies makes grants to promising organizations that work on a range of social issues such as reconciliation, human rights, health, and education. By the end of 2011, The Atlantic Philanthropies had donated over $6.1 billion.
Charles Feeney believes in a philosophy called “Giving while Living,” which emphasizes donating most of one’s personal wealth in one’s lifetime. The logic follows that when large problems exist, one should commit all of one’s resources to solving the issue immediately before it can worsen. They seek “to capitalise on significant opportunities to solve urgent problems now, so they are less likely to become larger, more entrenched and more expensive challenges later.”
Charles Feeney would like to give all of his wealth away. He knows that a better world takes time, resources, and a deep faith in humanity, and he’s willing to commit them all.