Jeff Bezos was the biggest donor of 2020. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, he donated $10.2 billion to his Bezos Earth Fund. Bezos’ ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, was the second largest donor. She donated $5.7 billion to various causes. They are leagues ahead of the next in line, Michael Bloomberg, who donated $1.6 billion. It’s nice to see America’s wealthiest stepping up to the plate and doing something positive for the world with their wealth.
These sums are so huge it is hard to even imagine what you could do with so much wealth. So I had to laugh when I saw this funny, but also enlightening piece by Elizabeth Lopatto: Some Things Jeff Bezos Can Do with his $193 Billion. I was struck that his entire fortune wouldn’t be enough to buy a small fraction of the US defense budget for an F-35 aircraft. Did you know that the US government could end hunger in the USA simply by buying a few less fighter jets for its fleet? It appears we might not have our priorities in the right order.
I once read a creative idea that suggested we should let Americans choose how to spend their tax dollars. I doubt most Americans would be willing to let people go hungry in exchange for a few more F-35 fighter jets. But that is exactly what we are doing.
When I first realized that I could achieve financial independence doing what I love and that it was possible to accomplish that without spending 40 years of full-time work, I was astounded. This is what I had been prepared to spend the rest of my life achieving. I figured that once I had done it, that was enough and I could die fulfilled. I hadn’t even considered what would be next.
Financial independence and a life doing what I loved to do appeared to be the ultimate objective when I was broke and hated my job. Now, however, I realize that financial freedom is only the beginning. It is the foundation upon which to create an incredible and inspiring life. An inspired life to me means building a legacy and leaving the world a better place. That is why I’ve created LifeCoach.com. I want to provide life-changing coaching at a fee so affordable, just about everyone can enjoy the benefits. The Coach Yourself to Success course and other courses and books I’ve created form my legacy. I won’t always be around to provide coaching in person.
Okay, this is a drop in the bucket compared to the $10 billion dollar gift that Bezos (and high sums other donors) give. However, it is something that I can do in my own small way to help make a happier world, using my own unique gifts. (And no, it’s not free because if you don’t have some skin in the game, you aren’t likely to do the work and then won’t get the life-changing results. People rarely appreciate free advice).
The Coach Yourself to Success course contains the secrets to living a successful life. Real success is living your life in the way you want to, doing what your heart desires. If you aren’t already on the path to financial freedom and independence, get started so you can get to the next level in life and become a philanthropist! The world needs more successful donors like Bezos chucking billions at the problem. And, like me, you don’t have to wait to become a billionaire to be a philanthropist, even giving blood counts.
In case you were curious, here is an excerpt of the top five donors from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
(A searchable database with more information on the donors and their beneficiaries is available at philanthropy.com.)
1. Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, $10.2 billion
Biggest gift: $10 billion to Bezos Earth Fund
2. MacKenzie Scott, Author and ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, $5.7 billion
Biggest gift: Various
3. Michael Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg financial news company, $1.6 billion
Biggest gift: Various
4. Philip and Penelope Knight, Nike co-founder and wife, $1.4 billion
Biggest gift: $900.7 million to Knight Foundation
5. Jack Dorsey, Co-founder and CEO of Twitter and Square, $1.1 billion
Biggest gift: Donor-advised funds