Empathy and compassion receive support

Read today about a $100 million gift to UCSD to study empathy and compassion and to cultivate those qualities in physicians. The donor, Denny Sanford, said his donation was influenced by a private meeting he had with the Dalai Lama when His Holiness visited UCSD in 2017 to give the commencement address. “I have been inspired by the work and teachings of the Dalai Lama, whose interest in the intersection where science and faith meet is deep and profound,” Sanford said, “I have had the opportunity to see how grace, humanity and kindness can change people and the world. This gift extends that vision.” Sanford grew up during the Great Depression, lost his mother to breast cancer when he was four, and began working in a warehouse when he was eight. Today, he is a philanthropist billionaire. Mr. Sanford’s total giving to date worldwide is over one billion dollars, demonstrating his commitment to his own humble motto: “Aspire to inspire before you expire.”

His Unconquerable Soul

Nelson and HHDLWhile in prison, Nelson Mandela found strength in the words of William Ernest Henley’s poem Invictus:

“Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be, For my unconquerable soul.”

My deepest gratitude to Mr. Mandela for being such a generous teacher and soul. His passing makes me all the more grateful that in just two months, I will again be seeing my other great teacher, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In the Presence of Goodness

Marc BenioffMarc Benioff spoke at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and knocked my socks off. Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce, spoke of the moral imperative to help others. He walks the talk. In 2010, he and his wife made a $100 million gift to UCSF Children’s Hospital. At Salesforce, Benioff pioneered the 1/1/1 Integrated Philanthropic Model, by which companies contribute 1 percent of profits, 1 percent of equity, and 1 percent of employee hours to the communities they serve. At the time he launched the 1/1/1 model, Salesforce had no profits, no equity and no employees. Over the past 13 years, Benioff has overseen $40 million dollars in corporate grants and 400,000 hours of donated employee time. “When it comes down to it, philanthropy isn’t just about big gifts,” he says. “It’s about participation. It’s about the grace that comes from working together, the grace that connects us, and that connects everything together. Nothing feels better.” (P.S. For more philanthropic inspiration, follow my posts by subscribing below to this home page.)