Philanthropy in 2020 is much more focused on helping those in need to achieve a better future, rather than just handouts to help with a short term problem. 

We look at 3 philanthropists who, with their funding and commitment, have the power to change the world by making positive changes to help those less fortunate in ways that will have an impact both today and into the future.

Firstly, we look at American businessman Arthur Blank, who co-owns The Home Depot and owns the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and the MLS’ Atlanta United. Blank’s Philanthropy venture, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, has a mission to “promote positive changes in peoples’ lives and builds and enhances the communities in which they live.” Since its inception in 1995, the Blank Foundation has invested more than $425 million in a variety of different projects including childhood development, education and arts, all in aid of affecting positive change in the world. Despite coming from New York, Blank has an affinity with Atalanta, owning two of their sports teams (mentioned above). Blank has also invested in the local community, with a $15 million investment made back in 2017 which will help fund the Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, which will make a huge difference to the quality of life experienced by residents. 

Indian Tech and real estate entrepreneur Tej Kohli has invested significantly in his well-publicised mission to end poverty blindness. Kohli set up the Tej Kohli Foundation, which aims to ‘develop solutions to major global health challenges whilst also making direct interventions that transform individual lives around the world.’  Kohli, much like Blank, believes in focusing his philanthropic efforts in the areas and communities that are close to him and will have the largest impact, his country of birth India, former home Costa Rica and in his current home in the UK.  

Like Kohli, Jonathon Gray is also focusing on medical research investments which he hopes can leave a lasting impact. The president and chairman of Blackstone Group launched the Gray Foundation in 2014, in order to accelerate research into breast cancer and maximise opportunities for young people in New York City. Along with wife Mindy, Gray also set up the Basser Research Centre in 2012 in honor of Mindy’s sister Faith Basser. Basser died of ovarian cancer at the age of 44 and is a primary reason for Gray’s philanthropic efforts. Gray has since donated over $30 million to the Basser Center, which focuses on researching BRCA-related cancers, providing education and genetic counselling. 

The good work achieved by the philanthropists above demonstrates the efforts being made to create a better future for us all. With more research being undertaken, more discoveries being made and more solutions being available, surely the world will continue to change for the better.