There seems to be a growing global trend in the communities of the prominent billionaire global elites, one which, luckily, has seen some of the world’s richest families carve out swaths of their income dedicated to improving the Earth through charity.
The most well known billionaire philanthropists is Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, who, through the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, the largest charitable organization in the world, has donated over $36 billion since 2000. Other household names also top the list of charitable donors: Warren Buffet, Carlos Slim and Sergey Brin to name a few. But there is a man who is not as well know, but is quietly doing his part to make the world a better place.
Brian Sheth made his fortune as the co-founder and President of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm which owns over 50 software companies and employs over 65,000 people worldwide. Together with his wife, Adria Sheth, Brian founded The Sangreal Foundation, a charitable organization focused on conservation and environmental protection.
Through a hands-off approach, The Sheth Sangreal Foundation identifies global issues, partners with select organizations, builds a team of world-class specialists, enables them through funding and back-end support and then let the experts do their work.
It’s an interesting take on the normally routine charity structure. The Sheth Sangreal Foundation focuses on building teams and giving them the tools to tackle the problem themselves. The Sangreal Foundation website claims “Sangreal’s hands off approach keeps our teams supported without monopolizing our efforts. Because of that, we’re able to find new and diverse causes to support so we can continue to help change the world.”
The foundation consists of two initiatives: children and conservation. Each leg focusing on causes that support their namesake.
The conservation leg touts a number of successful case studies including the preservation of the Sumatran Rhino, protection of 100,000 acres of Philippine rain forest, as well as launching the “largest global quest for species lost to science.” In addition, Sheth has donated millions of dollars to partner conservation groups and works to help drive funding. For example, in September 2018, The Sangreal Foundation pledged a $15 million challenge grant to
which helped raise an additional $17 million and “resulting in more than $32 million in support of GWC’s vital mission of conserving the diversity of life on Earth. The gift matched donations to GWC dollar-for-dollar and has helped accelerate the pace of GWC’s conservation efforts.”
The children initiative boasts work such as creating the Anguilla Music Academy a “3500+ Square Foot Recording Studio With a Technical Production Lab, Office Space, Classroom Space and a GRAMMY Museum Annex,” the creation of a new Boys & Girls Club headquarters in Austin and the creation of Discovery Woods a nature playscape that “steers kids away from sedentary activities and inspires kids play outside and be active, healthy future stewards of our natural world.”
It’s easy to focus on some of the grand objectives of other billionaire philanthropists, such as working to eradicate polio or rid the world of malaria, but it’s a refreshing change of pace to see the wealthy focus on making change on a more micro level. Famine, sickness and disease are global crises, but the education and well-being of the world’s youth is something that deserves some of the attention.
In a world where the mega-rich are under an ever-increasing level of scrutiny over what they do with their wealth, a number of billionaires are embracing the challenge and using their immense resources to build a better planet for everyone. It’s a trend that will hopefully continue.