Learning From Role-Models In Corporate Philanthropy

In the wake of the International Philanthropy Summit held in Monaco on 15 February 2018, Founder of The Philanthropic Collection™ (Pty) Ltd — home to The SleepOut™ Movement — South Africa, Founder and Trustee to The CEO SleepOut™ Trust, Ali Gregg takes the time to reflect on some of the world’s most inspiring philanthropists.

Organised by philanthropist and entrepreneur Alex Antropov, The International Philanthropy Summit assembled distinguished philanthropists, thought leaders and entrepreneurs from Germany, France, UK, Russia and Monaco to review philanthropic trends and discuss current issues in global philanthropy.

“Whether we are everyday philanthropists or leaders of business, we can feel inspired by the men and women who continue to make a difference in this world,” says Gregg.

Here we showcase just a few extraordinary philanthropists – Bill and Melinda Gates, Sir Stelios Haji Ioannou, and Lisa Cashin – from across the globe and some of their inspiring words.

Bill And Melinda Gates –
Improving Lives Through Innovation And Optimism

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has made a significant contribution to the field of philanthropy globally in numerous ways, through the reach of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and by inspiring other billionaires to pledge portions of their wealth to philanthropy.

The Foundation — under the direction of Bill Gates, his wife Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett — supports grantees in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. In the US, the Foundation seeks to ensure that everyone — especially those with the fewest resources — have access to the opportunities they need to succeed. The Foundation also helps initiatives that improve people’s health and overcome hunger and extreme poverty in more than 100 countries.

Bill and Melinda Gates comment, “Some of the projects we fund will fail. We not only accept that, we expect it — because we think an essential role of philanthropy is to make bets on promising solutions that governments and businesses can’t afford to make. As we learn which bets pay off, we have to adjust our strategies and share the results so everyone can benefit.”

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou –
Enabling Dreams To Take Flight

In 2017, founder of the low-cost airline easyJet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou joined other billionaires who pledged to donate some of their wealth to helping people in need. He joins the Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson, the transport group Stagecoach’s co-founder, Ann Gloag, and British business man and politician, Lord Sainsbury.

This is not Haji Ionnou’s first philanthropic gesture. He also established the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, which supports education, entrepreneurial and environmental initiatives. In addition to providing undergraduate scholarships, the foundation transcends borders by providing funding and advice and sponsorship for entrepeneurs in the UK, Greece and Cyprus.

His Foundation joined the relief effort to help those in Greece and Cyprus worst affected by the economic downturn. Haji-Ioannnou was also among the benefactors of the “Make a WISH” charity event held in Monaco in June 2015. The Event was  organized by the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta to the Republic of Serbia.

As reported in The Guardian newspaper, Haji-Ioannou shows his humility when he said: “Allow me to start by saying that I am not sure I am a worthy member of this group of extraordinary individuals. I consider that I have been lucky in life at least twice”.

Lisa Cashin –
Inspiring Today’s Youth To Be The Philanthropists Of Tomorrow

Through her years of work as an employee and board member of the 40-year old LISC community in the US, Lisa Cashin continues to be an inspiration to community development leaders and the field of philanthropy in future. LISC is a smart and savvy non-profit that connects hard-to-tap public and private resources in the US with hard-to-reach communities struggling to revive.

As part of this organisation, Cashin has toured communities across the US to celebrate the outcome of mission-driven investments: from a hydroponic farm that produces healthy food and jobs for local residents to a new affordable-housing complex and co-located health centre with easy access to the regional train line.

Cashin says, “The earlier we can teach and inspire kids to be leaders the better it is for our communities.” Whatever careers these children choose, LISC believes that they will also be showing up in the offices and boardrooms of philanthropists over the next few decades, bringing with them the spirit of curiosity, sustained attention, and unfailing generosity that philanthropists and educators have handed to these influencers and leaders of tomorrow.

Like South Africa’s most inspiring philanthropist and former president Nelson Mandela, the corporate philanthropists who leave a lasting legacy embrace philanthropy passionately and in everything that they do. As Mandela once said, “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”

– By The Philanthropic Collection –


The Philanthropic Collection™ is a boutique social enterprise,
where we tailor haute-couture brands for philanthropy.


Our appliqué is made up of global leaders, influencers and forecasters,
all creating conscious capital for humanity.

  • International Philanthropy Summit Held in Monaco – View Online
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Fact Sheet – View Online
  • Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou Pledges To Give Half Of £2bn Fortune To Charity – View Online
  • Stelios Haji-Ioannou – View Online
  • Thank You Lisa Cashin – View Online
  • Nelson Mandela Fought Poverty, AIDS, Supported 50 Charities – View Online