John and Laura Arnold began the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in Houston, Texas in 2008. The Arnolds earned their wealth through the hedge fund Centaurs Energy and through Laura Arnold’s work as a corporate lawyer. Determined to give back, the young couple has since donated over $101 million to non-profits.
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation focuses on criminal justice, education, and improving the public sector. The foundation distributed approximately $40 million last year to public schools, charter school programs, and an organization that works to free wrongly imprisoned inmates called the Innocence Project. The couple is responsible for donating over $700 million to the foundation in 2011 alone. Outside of the foundation, the Arnolds donated around $17 million to other charity groups.
John Arnold retired early in May 2012 in order to focus on his work at the foundation because, in his words, “I came to the conclusion that I was more excited by working at the foundation coming up with effective ways of creating change and solving problems.” Laura Arnold quit her work as a lawyer in 2005, so now the couple is 100% dedicated to their philanthropic work. John and Laura Arnold stand as a strong example of how those with the means can give back in a meaningful manner.