Internet businessmen like eBay’s first president, Jeff Skoll, helped cement that new model when he established a foundation in 1999 with eBay stock, Ibarguen explained.
“He goes over to the San Jose Community Foundation and says, ‘We’re going to change the world and with the money I make changing the world of shopping, I’m going to change the world of social interactions,’ ” he said. “He’s applying business ideas about performance impact — not about trying — but getting the job done.”
For its part, Miami is uniquely positioned because it is relatively new and can change rapidly, he explained.
“It allows for the mindset that says we can do things because there aren’t rules disallowing us. There’s too much activity for effective gatekeepers.”
In a 2009 report, Barclays Wealth Management predicted that the new philanthropists emerging from the Internet boom would be more socially aware, and apt to give not just to their own communities, but the world at large. (In fact, overseas giving in the U.S. exploded in the last 10 years, rising 240 percent according to Giving USA’s 2012 report.) The new breed of philanthropists tends to fund projects directly, the report concluded, and combine business and charitable work to create new commercial ventures with philanthropy at their core.
But what some have found is the tools of business don’t always work in the nonprofit world, said Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy.
“By definition, they’re the most difficult issues,” he said. “They’re issues that business and government haven’t successfully addressed, so they’re tough. It can be a sobering transition.”
So here we are in this new world order. What does that mean for you, the giver? It all depends on time and money.
You can immerse yourself, as Miller says, “up to my neck,” and follow the path of someone like Ishoof.
Groomed for success, Ishoof attended Gulliver Academy before graduating from Georgetown University, the University of Miami’s law school and launching a software company in renewable energy. But three years ago he quit the private sector to become executive director of City Year Miami, the national corps of young volunteers started by two Harvard Law School roommates in 1988.
“Remember the Bonfire of the Vanities where they talked about the hedge fund guys being masters of the universe?” he asked. “That phenomenon returned again in the buildup to the 2008 meltdown, and I knew a lot of really smart people who fell into the bucket. For me, I was by no means a master of the universe, but I felt like, what is a guy like me, who has made it and is privy to a lot of experience, what about using that for the broader social good?”
But that doesn’t mean the old philanthropic models don’t work. Last year the Arison family, which founded the New World Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas in 1991, unveiled an old-fashioned bricks and mortar concert hall designed by Frank Gehry. In hiring Gehry, whose Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao ushered in a new kind of public building, and inventing the Wallcast, they shrugged off the trappings of the traditional symphony. New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ourousoff pronounced it both “raucous” and erupting with life. Then, just last month, they unveiled plans for another Gehry-designed campus around the iconic Bacardi buildings in Miami’s burgeoning midtown neighborhood.