Why Felix Can’t Wait to
Give Away A Lot
WILL YOU JOIN US?
Amid our daily encounters with so many worries, consequences and catastrophes, I find I’m waking up in the morning with increased purpose. Even happiness and satisfaction as I see sparks of hope and plan next steps.
When I talk about a bigger way to respond now to our crises of democracy and of climate, species extinction, injustice, racism and inequality, I’m getting encouragement and offers to help.
Thinking especially of We Can’t Wait, I ask individuals and leaders of potential partner groups, “Do you think that together we can achieve our ambitious goals?" They ALL answer that it’s possible, and that I might be onto something big! That’s plenty for me. Now I’m starting to invite many of them to be Cofounders, Advisors, and Convenors.
Our world faces multiple dangers and opportunities. We have no time to waste. I aim to have as much impact as possible, now, not years from now. And I hope to inspire others to actively hope for a safe, healthy, just world, and make that our goal.
To complement my advocacy and activism, I’ve now decided to fast-track my financial and estate planning and philanthropy. As I talk about this new approach, I hear what I’m onto might spread. I’m having promising personal conversations with entrepreneurs who are wealthier than I am. Some are young and “get” our crises. Most are over 50, thinking about the arc of their lives and legacies. I’m 72 and a new grandparent. Here’s what I'm saying:
I’m taking my cue — in a small way — from MacKenzie Scott. At 51, with $50+B in Amazon stock, she’ll “give the majority of my wealth back to the society that helped generate it, to do it thoughtfully, to get started soon, and to keep at it until the safe is empty.” I’m also encouraged by the urgency of the Climate Emergency Fund, whose new director says, Only Emergency Mobilization Can Protect Humanity Now.
I’m giving my time. Now I want to respond financially, at the scope, scale and speed our overlapping crises call for. Taking into account other spending plans and how much we need until we die, my wife and I have resolved to give $1M away — a stretch for us — in ’21-’22. To bold and effective organizations, in the service of urgent causes and essential solutions, to invest in a flourishing future. And we won’t wait to put in our wills some personal gifts, especially to young people who could benefit now from support.
I’ve been trying out “We Can’t Wait to Give Away A Lot” on people. Many non-wealthy colleagues and friends say they know someone with >$10M assets who could resonate with “I have more than I need” and “Why not give now when it matters most?”
If you have over $10M in assets, might you ask yourself, how much do you need? Are you open to a big and consequential step? Could you envision you or your household — either publicly or privately — giving $1M this year to respond to our emergencies on democracy, climate, species extinction, injustice, racism and inequality? I invite you to explore that in talks with those you trust, and with me.
Below that level, if you’re well off, could you dig deep and send $25-50K, this year to your top cause?
Or can you simply give as much as you can — idelly ten times as much as you've ever given at a time — now, to the single organization or campaign you want to support most?
I’ve felt happier and more hopeful as I began to Give Away A Lot. I look forward to meaningful and pleasurable interactions with people as I refine this idea and put it into practice. And, however much you can give, might you join me in advancing this idea?