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CNN IN THE MONEY
The Philanthropy Fad
Aired November 25, 2006 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, "HEADLINE NEWS" CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to a special holiday edition of IN THE MONEY mind over money. I'm Jennifer Westhoven. Coming up on today's program, Kool-aid. Some of the biggest names in the business are making philanthropy chic. On this holiday weekend we will check the state of giving in America.
Plus hands off, we will hear from economist who thinks foreign aid isn't a good use of your donor dollars.
And class act. See how one of Apple's cofounders took his instinct for helping back to school.
Joining me today Ali Velshi for our special holiday edition. Where we are focusing on philanthropy.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What a big business story in 2006, the idea of philanthropy, Gates, Buffet, and buying red iPods. One of the things that have come out 2006 and 2005 after Katrina is that philanthropy is starting to be thought of as a good business decision, and not just that a decision that business seems to be able to execute better than government can. So it's not really about donations anymore, it is about creativity, lending your name, your brand. It really has I think we'll go into 2007 with the idea that philanthropy is a big brand.
WESTHOVEN: I think it is amazing too, how people who have just been renowned for their genius in the business world and here we are talking about Buffet and Gates really taking that smarts and putting it to something that we think could be great for the world.
VELSHI: But as you know Buffet and Gates are the ones we hear about. There are many others who have been doing this. I mean there is a culture in Corporate of America of taking your skills and your expertise and your know how and your contacts and applying it to the world that needs help. We'll talk about that today.
For some of America's richest people, making money is easy. Figuring out what to do with it is the hard part. But a new generation of philanthropists is taking that challenge on and bringing the innovations that they brought to the business world to the nonprofit world.
VELSHI (voice over): It's a small world when it comes to big money philanthropy. Warren Buffett's gift to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation created a $50 billion dollar behemoth. Today the world's richest men have created the world's biggest foundation. And as you would expect from Bill Gates he is running his charity like he ran his company. Focused on results and accountability and its core missions of global poverty and education. The Gate's Foundation tactics may be new, but the concept has been around for 100 years. At the start of the 20th century steel barren Andrew Carnegie was the world's richest man. In 1911 he decided to give away the bulk of his fortune, founding the Carnegie Corporation with $125 million. Today's philanthropist see themselves as Wall Street investors and they are demanding strong returns from their investments that they bring the skills of the business world to the nonprofit world.
STEVE GRUNDERSON, CEO, COUNCIL OF FOUNDATION: The new generation of philanthropists I think is different in two ways, both in processes and in product. They are very much different in process in that they are looking for those ways in which you can very effectively combine technology in the marketplace, et cetera, and try to an outcome.
VELSHI: Venture philanthropy of the non-profit world way of creating business relationship. Groups such as the Acumen Fund don't give money away. Instead they fund startup companies dedicated to improving health or clean water and expect them to become sustainable. These companies can repay their startup costs, allowing new companies to get funding. Innovative thinking and accountability may be driving the new players, but the old foundations say that some results are hard to measure and that there is still a place for them next to the new players.
VARTAN GREGORIAN, PRES., CARNEGIE CORPORATION: Without American philanthropy, most of them museums and cultural organizations, opera and so forth. All of them will be either bankrupt or be a hand to mouth operations. Foundations are taking care of, so suppose I'm giving to opera, I bring Pavoratti (ph) here for two seasons to sing, how do you measure the results? He came, he sang, he enchanted people.
VELSHI: Citigroup chairman Meredith Sandy Weill bridges the old and the new worlds of philanthropy. He has donated more than half a billion dollars over 25 years. By his reckoning he has even raked up a record, while 70th birthday celebration at Carnegie Hall brought in $60 million for music education. That is the most raised in a single evening for a charitable cause. Sandy Weill has a new book out it is called "The Real Deal" my life in business and philanthropy. He joins us now. Sandy Weill good to have you here, thank you for being with us.
SANDY WEILL, AUTHOR, "THE REAL DEAL:" Good to be here. Thank you.
VELSHI: One of the things you say is that people have been giving money away for a long time. You have to think creatively about your time and your energy and sort of that is where the new thrust is going to be. To some degree that is what you have been doing, it is then money but it is also your expertise like Jennifer was talking about earlier.
WEILL: Well philanthropy is not just money. It's really taking somebody's passion, a person's energy, their ability, their intellect and getting them to contribute that to philanthropy course to make the community a better place. I think it is very important to start with giving people that really don't necessarily have the money yet, but to get them involved in thinking that way and letting them think that's part of their career. And I think also important; the people that are the busiest are the ones that you want to get involved in doing more things, because they are the ones with the most creativity.
WESTHOVEN: You actually talk about the fact its not just about giving money. It's really starting to hook a lot of different people in to these kinds of organization to get them to work for places like Carnegie Hall and I wonder you know in addition to bringing money, energy, work people there what do you think would your legacy be at these kinds of institutions?
WEILL: Well I hope my legacy is yet to really happen and I'm lucky enough to have the time to work in the fields of education and the arts and in healthcare to really try and contribute to making this world a better place, and I think what you talked before about Gates and Buffet, I think it's very important that American business leaders and American people set an example and we recognize that it is not just governments that we should rely on, but the brain power that has created this great country of ours, can also be used to help the social institutions make them better places. That's what we can be as an example to other countries.
VELSHI: Now the business roundtable, a group you well know, CEOs from across the country, has a particular disaster relief effort, where different companies can take their expertise and help out. If there is a disaster both here in the United States or overseas. Citigroup was very involved for instance in the helping out of the earthquake victims in Pakistan. Why is it that the business community has taken on this role that's traditionally been thought of as a government role, governments helping other governments when there is a crises?
WEILL: I think the public-private partnerships is something that has really worked in the state and local area, but the federal government never really did it, and I guess when the Pakistan earthquake happened, Bush came to me and four other business leaders and said that we're going to contribute $500 million to the victims of the Pakistani earthquake, we'd like to the business community to see if they can raise $100 million of that, 20 percent of it and we did that.
I think the real important thing is that the Pakistani people understand that American people really care about them. It's not just our government and it is not just politics, but there is a big population of American people that are really their friends. That is very important.
WESTHOVEN: When are you trying to coordinate an enormous effort like that, you are someone whose known in your business history for putting together deals and they just get bigger and bigger and bigger. How do you find those skills that you have used in the business world, is it the same atmosphere in philanthropic world? You know the culture is a little bit different, how do you put together deals and get people working over there?
WEILL: I think it is very important that when you start working on something that you are working with somebody in the area that's really good, whether it's in music or in healthcare or education. And that you can contribute so much of what you learn in your business life. In thinking about an organization going global and helping other parts of the world and thinking the importance of our world coming together. I think you just use all of what you learn, and it's transferable, and it's partnerships, so it's bringing what the businessperson has with the person that's an expert in whether -- in music or what have you.
VELSHI: You know, one of the things I've heard in the last year, is with Buffet and Gates and these big names involved, and are you no slouch yourself in the amount of money that you have donated. Some people have said you know these guys drown out the little people who give all the time. Now my feeling is that the tide rises all boats and that you -- it's become a sexy topic, philanthropy.
WEILL: I think it's terrific what Gates did, and that he and his wife did it at a very young age and it is a great example to other people. I think you are going to see philanthropy expand a lot in the United States and I think you are going to see foreign countries adopting some of the same things that we do here and not just relying on their government for help. It can be small people because as I said before philanthropy is not just money, but it is the passion to make something better and the passion to help make this world a better place.
VELSHI: Sandy Weill, good to have you here, thank you so much for being with us. And congratulations on your continued efforts.
WEILL: Thank you very much.
VELSHI: We are going to take a break. When we come back, continental divide the money America gives to help the developing world may not be as effective as we think. We will hear from an author about the problems with the AID business.
Plus better business, find out how Bono got into charity work and see how easy it is for a company to do the same thing.
And later Woz 2.0. We will tell you about Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and his journey from the computer business to education philanthropy.
WESTHOVEN: Over the last 50 years, programs from the western world have spent $2.3 trillion on foreign aid. But our next guest says the political obsession with curing problems in poor countries is often worse than the disease. Bill Easterly is a former World Bank economist; he is a current NYU professor and is the author of the book "White Man's Burden, Why the West's Efforts and the Rest have done so much Ill and So Little Good." Welcome to the programs, thank you for joining us. That's certainly a provocative title "White Man's Burden." What kind of passions were you trying to stir up with that?
BILL EASTERLY, AUTHOR, "WHITE MAN'S BURDEN:" I'm trying to stir up passion and maybe even some anger about the scandal that so little of this aid money reaches the world's poor.
VELSHI: Bill, you note in your book that we think that aid has to go through governments or these large institutions, these sort of aid organizations, but, in fact, what we were just talking about with Sandy Weill is that so much of the goes through private organizations, private institutions, people who are entrepreneurs in their approach that should help your thesis, shouldn't it?
EASTERLY: I think it will. The great economist Milton Friedman who just passed away had a great line, that you always have better incentives when you spend your own money than when you spend someone else's money. Official aid's agencies are spending someone else's money. Maybe these private philanthropies spending their own money could do a lot more efficiently.
WESTHOVEN: If the money isn't going to poor people that we are giving to, where is it going? Can you give us some examples of where things have really gone wrong?
EASTERLY: 0For example, all of the money that went to aid last year in Africa, the total budget for Africa was $25 billion in foreign aid, soon to increase to $50 billion to Africa, and yet we still had one million people die from malaria for lack of 12 cent medicine. That's all it costs to save a life. A 12-cent dose of medicine. Somehow the money is not translating to results on the ground.
Instead, it disappears into government bureaucracies, sometimes into outright corruption and it's absorbed by very ineffective aid agencies bureaucracies like the World Bank and U.S. AID and the British Aid Agency, all of these national aid agencies, are huge bureaucracies that are just sort of money sinks that are not really delivering the goods to the poor.
VELSHI: Bill, there's a great deal of knowledge and experience in the aid world, however. Are you not suggesting we throw the baby out with the bath water?
EASTERLY: No, no.
VELSHI: We have to continue to donate. There is a role for the developing world to aid the developing world. How do you suggest we do it better?
EASTERLY: We need a coming of age of accountability where we hold aid agencies responsible for actually getting results in the field. Up until now, they have been just grading themselves and giving themselves a passing grade, and, unfortunately, that's not a good way to motivate people. I don't let my students at NYU grade their own exams. We need independent auditors that are out there in the field saying are these guys really doing the job of making the money reach the poor? Maybe they will feel more motivated to get results. WESTHOVEN: Is there some kind organization, like I'm just trying to get at how we actually find a solution to this. Because we really do, right the goal is to help people. What kinds of organizations could provide that kind of auditing or be responsible for the accountability factor here, which you know is lacking in so many ways. Accountability is a great thing, but really hard to put it in practice.
EASTERLY: I'm definitely not saying it's easy. Think of how it works in the corporate world. We don't have a big central organization of auditors, auditing all of the corporations in the United States. We have this decentralized system of independent auditors and accountants who meet minimum professional standards who are called in to pass independent judgment on a company's books. We could have pretty much the same thing in the aid business. There are plenty of professionals that could go out there in the field, check whether the goods reached the poor, and ask the poor whether they are satisfied. Some how that is not happening because there is no political pressure to make it happen.
VELSHI: Bill this has been a long-standing problem. Do you think it is getting a little better? Do you think that we are becoming more accountable and the shift to more private organizations undertaking a lot of this work? Do you think all of that is helping?
EASTERLY: I hope so, I'm an optimist. I believe people are caring more and more about the poor, because of the images they see on their TV screens. And I think that people are starting to demand much more accountability to see money actually reach the poor.
WESTHOVEN: When you say that rock bands or economists who are out there, being do gooders and funding aid, are doing more harm than good. Are they really doing harm or do you really think they are just not doing enough good? What kind of harm could you mean?
EASTERLY: Well I think what they do is they create sort of a feel-good experience for all of us rich people that is -- it's satisfied just by the act of spending the money on the poor.
WESTHOVEN: And not making sure it gets there.
EASTERLY: And not making sure it gets there. And actually I actually all of this publicity on the amount spend actually substitutes for any scrutiny of whether the money gets there. Our taste for helping the poor is satiated by just having a rock concert and saying you know $100 billion dollars was raised spent on foreign aid last year.
WESTHOVEN: Bill Easterly a former World Bank economist and author of "White Man's Burden." Thank you so much for joining us and for making sure that what we give actually ends up helping the poor.
Coming up after the break, a back off is in plan for charities. Find out some techs brought solid business sense to the non-profit world.
Plus glitz meets grit. We'll hear about Bono's knack for using celebrity for the cause of philanthropy.
And short and sweet Allen Wastler tells us what he found out about volunteering for busy people.
VELSHI: Most charities and nonprofit are created to help people in need. But sometimes, these organizations need some help of their own.
VELSHI (voice over): In the late '90s, Seattle's tech boom created a generation of Microsoft millionaires and a group of former executives wanted to use the skills that made them successful to help kids in the Pacific Northwest.
PAUL SHOEMAKER, EXEC. DIR., SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS: They looked around the country for different kinds of models and what were the needs that were out there. And they heard kind of two resonant ideas. One was a desire from non-profits to get not just financial help, but human capital and expertise and business skills and expertise, and they also heard desire from philanthropists to be more engaged in the work.
VELSHI: Social Venture Partners invest in groups with growing pains. Ones with successful programs but lacking the back office infrastructure to keep growing.
SHOEMAKER: We're trying to put the right person in the right place. So a CFO will go in and do an accounting project. A management consultant will go in and work with a company on a three-year strategic plan. A developer will go in and help an organization develop its Website.
VELSHI: When the Wonderland Developmental Center applied for aid, they had not seen growth in 30 years.
JANA PETTIT, WONDERLAND DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER: We didn't even have somebody to put something into quick books and track our finances.
LARRY WALLACH, SVP LEAD PARTNER: There was real problems with their infrastructure, with their finances, with their organization it really lacked a lot. It was ready apparent that I could do a lot to get them on the path to meet their mission.
VELSHI: SVP commits funding for five years. But the money comes with strings attached.
PETTIT: They require a work plan and they require us to tell them where we are in line with that work plan.
VELSHI: More than a dozen SVP partners have volunteered at Wonderland in the last five years. WALLACH: The helping with marketing, helping with negotiating leases, helping in setting up the agency for an external audit to make sure it's financial systems are honest and accountable. There have been people that have come in and helped with delivering services directly to the children. The list goes on and on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One, two, throw, up we go. Shake out your legs.
PETTIT: It's been amazing. I think that when they first starting, our budget was $250,000. Our budget this year is $650,000. We served about 30 kids a month now we're serving on average 65 kids a month and their families.
VELSHI: Back at Social Venture Partners they are discussing plans for the future.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We neat to define a broader world.
VELSHI: Their idea is catching on. Sharing the model of giving both money and skills, 23 SVP affiliates are in business around the world.
SHOEMAKER: There is a southwest tools and systems that we can bring to a new city, just like any business would that has franchised or grown or expanded. You figure out the things that you can give to the next site that helps it get up to speed faster.
VELSHI: To find out how to start a Social Venture Partner Group in your community, check out SVPINTERNATIONA.org.
Coming up on IN THE MONEY from rock to a hard place we'll see how the U2's singer's desire to help connected him to the suffering of a continent.
Also ahead making change find out why celebrities are doing more for charity when we speak with the founder of "Good" Magazine.
And it is time to hear from some of you as we read your e-mails from the past week. You can send us an email right now; we are at INTHEMONEY@CNN.com.
COSTELLO: IN THE MONEY continues next. First, headlines. Now in the news, a 24-hour curfew extended until Monday is not stopping the violence in Baghdad. Mortar attacks in the northwestern part of town killed one person and wounded three others. Five more people were wounded in other attacks around the city.
A 23-year-old father of two is dead on what was supposed to be his wedding day after being shot by New York City police. The Associate Press reporting two other men were wounded. The three had left a bachelor party at a club in Queens. CNN's Mary Snow will bring us more information as soon as she has more developments to tell you about.
Vice President Dick Cheney hoping Saudi Arabia can help restore calm in the Middle East. He's in Riyadh for a day of talks with King Abdullah. They are expected to discuss Iraq, Iran's growing influence and Syria's isolation.
Teams continue searching for two missing brothers; they disappeared Wednesday morning from outside of their home in Minnesota. The FBI says it's not sure if the boys wandered off or were abducted. It is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to their recovery.
Coming up in the next hour, polygamist sex leader Warren Jefz is accused of marrying off young girls to older men. We'll look at the case against him at 2:00 Eastern. Now back to IN THE MONEY.
WESTHOVEN: He's been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, rumored at one point to be a candidate to run the World Bank and he is the lead singer of one of the best-known rock bands of all time. U2's Bono isn't the first celebrity to bridge the gap between fame and philanthropy but he is doing it in a different way. To give his causes a huge boost and give shoppers a chance to make a difference, he teamed up with some big-name companies. We recently sat down with Bono to talk about his work and his newest program, Product Red.
BONO, LEAD SINGER, U2: It's really hard to say this, but my time spent in Africa got me interested in commerce, you know, in trade. Africans love to trade. They are very entrepreneurial people. They have to be. If they are not, usually they are dead. On any street corner you will find that. And I also picked up from Africans that they want to do business with us. They -- that dignifies the relationship, rather than being the recipient of aid. So now enter the Gap. So the Gap already making clothes in Africa but they don't -- they don't particularly tell that story through Product Red, they are getting tell that story.
They are committing to the work force that they have in Africa; they are making more and more stuff in Africa, because they see this is a continent in crises and this is smart. Now, Gap, are in Product Red. Giving 50 percent of net profit to buy aid strokes through the global fund. So it's winning, you know, everywhere. And now, today, I'm coming through the Lincoln Tunnel. There's this everywhere. There's red advertising. Not paid for by the world or aid suffers, or indeed by me. I can't afford that. As rich a rock star as I am. But they can. Gap can. Or the "New York Times" they bought it cover to cover. Filled with advertising. Motorola had to spend a fortune on TV advertising. Apple is using their iconic brand iPod to promote these things.
Now cut to just earlier this year, and all of our organization has met on a two-day outing in France. There are the data people, the one campaigner, there is Product Red. And after two days, we finished our annual meeting, we walk down the road, sitting in the restaurant and the phone rings and it's Bill Gates. And he said, are you sitting down? I said, well, actually, I'm just about to. Just opening a bottle of wine. He said, listen, you need to sit down. He said I've got somebody who wants to tell you something here. So Warren comes on the phone. Hi, Bono. Listen, I want to tell you, you know, I got all this money, and, you know, I don't want to spend it. I said, sorry, Warren? He said it's about $32 billion. And I said would you mind if I put you on speakerphone? So Warren Buffett was talking now to all the people who really do the work. I mean, I'm the rock star; these are the people who actually are changing the world.
WESTHOVEN: Product Red launched in October in the United States and just three weeks into the campaign, enough money was raised to provide 650,000 HIV tests as well as a year's worth of anti retroviral treatment for 10,000 HIV positive men and women.
There are lots more to come here on IN THE MONEY. Up next, get engaged. "Good" Magazine is about making the planet better, not just going along for the ride. We will speak with the founder.
Plus, change the world in 15 minutes. Find out about a charity that knows about how much you can accomplish in just a quarter hour.
WESTHOVEN: Super rich twenty-and thirty-something aren't usually the people who step forward to try and change the world. But 26 year old Ben Goldhirsch is one of those very rich young people who is not only trying to change things, he is trying to make good sexy. Ben Goldheirsch is the founder of "Good" Magazine, which is available on news, stands now. Welcome to the program. Thanks for joining us. For those of you who haven't seen the magazine, what's it really about? Are you doing it to sort of give praise to people who do something good in your opinion or to inspire or both?
BEN GOLDHIRSCH, FOUNDER, "GOOD" MAGAZINE: I mean, basically, we think there's an emerging right now of moving things forward. I think people mistake us to be specific to the nonprofit space because of the name Good, but in reality this is incarnating in a number of different ways. In business, it is in politics, it is in culture, and we want to be a platform to celebrate the sensibility wherever it's coming to life. So that is the basic effort and you know we are pushing it in all fronts.
VELSHI: Ben I don't know what you have been looking at, but you notice what people are buying at news stands, the idea of an altruistic magazine may not be at the top of the list. Who are you selling this to?
GOLDHIRSCH: We are selling this to people that we think give a damn. There are a lot of people who are digging in. We are 70 percent sell through at most college campuses. We are a 100 percent sold out on the coastal markets. Something is really happening, and we're here to cover it. I look at the analog being the evolution of technology over the past 25 years, how it went from in other (INAUDIBLE) esoteric to powerful and sexy. I think the same thing is happening with "Good" an engagement. I think if "Wired" was the publication. I think "Good" Magazine is the publication that is dealing with this transition. WESTHOVEN: OK so for now the fee is $20, but the total fee goes to charity. So obviously that is not really a sustainable business model. Are you planning to change in the future?
GOLDHIRSCH: Let me interrupt right there. Because I actually think it is a sustainable model. I mean basically a core tenet of this magazine is doing well by doing good. We're trying to talk about that, we are trying to walk the walk as well. So with the choose good campaign we teamed up with 12 organizations that we think mesh with our ideas and values. When people subscribe to the magazine a GOODMAGAZINE.com, they get to choose one of these 12 organizations to donate the entirety of their subscription fee to.
A lot of people think this isn't sustainable. We have one insentivized the consumer with the added benefit of their money going to charity, two we have created a story that gets PR like what we're getting now, and three we have activated the marketing infrastructure of these 12 organizations which we could never afford. So in an industry where people actually loose money (INAUDIBLE), we think we have a more efficient and cost-effective model of increasing our readership.
WESTHOVEN: Right but you still, I'm just saying, OK the $20, if all of that goes to charity, somebody has to pay for actually putting the magazine together. Are you saying that the ads will pay for all of that, is that what you mean sustainable?
GOLDHIRSCH: Exactly. That's the goal. That we'll use the choose the "Good" campaign to build up significantly enough readership where the advertisers will fund the growth of the company. Our goal is to 50,000 subscribers this year and raise a million dollars. And I think we are on the projectory, but we really need help. We are hoping that around the holiday season people really dig in and choose "Good" as a gift for people. We think it is great magazine, and we think the added benefit of the money going to the charity makes it a hell of a sell.
VELSHI: Ben I am just looking at the TV screen and underneath your name, it alternately says "Good" Magazine and reason pictures, what are reason pictures about?
GOLDHIRSCH: Reason pictures are the film arms of the company. It's basically the same rubric, it is relevant, entertaining content, but making sure that the theoretical foundations are there but that the narrative is excisable and of interest to wide audience. That's the same thing with "Good" we are really trying to bring content that we think is interesting and important. We are making sure it fits with the interest of our audience; one certainly fits the sensibility of our audience, which is one that's very creative, very smart, very hungry, and just to move things forward and push it.
WESTHOVEN: One thing I want to ask you about was the change in culture from 30 years ago, right you are aimed at younger people and 30 years ago, 40 years ago they were having sittins and protests, and you say that now we're more comfortable with the structure and working inside the structure as opposed to distrusting it. GOLDHIRSCH: Yes, I think you have a lot of kids who grew up with the benefits of capitalism so there is not distrust of the infrastructure and I think people rather see how they can employ this. And we have moved from protest to pro action. Where people want to just utilize any asset they have, whether it be physical capital, their human capital, their position in their career just to make sure they are involved with moving things forward. I think people are really aware that the stakes are high right now.
Stuff needs to get done. So people are digging in. Whether that's with volunteer hours they are donating, whether that is the product they are choosing to purchase, and demanding that their money enjoys some positive externality. Or whether it is coming out to vote. You look at what happened at the mid terms and it exploded. You know this idea of engagement is happening in a big way. And we're excited to support that and service that; we are part of this emerging sensibility. We want to make sure that we're celebrating as best as possible.
VELSHI: Congratulations on what you are doing. It's very impressive.
GOLDHIRSCH: Thank you. I really appreciate it. We will see what happens; I think in another year, we'll get a sense of whether this magazine is working. Right now, the reaction we're getting from the audience, the reaction we're getting at the events and conferences we're holding are really wonderful and we're trying to build a brand that represents intelligibly and stiminulating media. We are trying to see that creative across the media spectrum. You know analogs like "National Geographic" is something that we aspire to. The way they have a particular market and where they service it on TV, on film, on print, online. So that's our goal for "Good."
VELSHI: Ben Goldhirsch, is the founder of "Good" Magazine, and the founder of Reason Pictures, he is 26 years old and he is doing good things with his money.
GOLDHIRSCH: CNN, we love you guys. Thank you so much.
VELSHI: Thank you Ben.
They are a large part of my money, so I have to love them too. Money isn't always the reason why more Americans don't give to charity however. Time is often a bigger stumbling block for a lot of people who would rather do more than just write a check. Our man Allen Wastler has a look at a couple of Websites for busy do gooders.
ALLEN WASTLER, CNNMONEY.COM, AND MANAGING EDITOR: The first one Charityguide.com you go to this one OK, you click down and they have basic categories. You can take a charity vacation, or you can do a few projects. I have them listed and stuff. What I found really intriguing, because I tend to be very time compressed, they have 15- minute do-good type things, suggestions, where you go out, in 15 minutes you can do something that is good and worthwhile.
WESTHOVEN: Can you really do it? WASTLER: We went into the field to test it out to see whether or not we could do it.
VELSHI: Did you take the camera?
WASTLER: We took the camera. There I am. This is donating a gift. Toys R Us, downtown Times Square. At the time we did this, they had a little set up. Who wouldn't want a stuffed penguin? We got "Happy Feet." We got everything. We don't down there, bought the gift and at this Toys R Us at that time they had a little Toys for Tots donation. There are plenty of places you can drop the toy to.
Timed it. Took me not counting the CNN camera stuff, about eight minutes. No biggy. It would have been a charm had we not decided to drive back from Times Square that was a major error. That was good in 15. Now a couple other ones here. Another one, does this charity do good? Charitynavigator.com. It is sort of like this clearinghouse thing for charities. You go in there and they have rated charities. They will look and give you the studies, discussion groups which charities seem to be more effective than the others, which ones are more organized.
WESTHOVEN: Is this one like a Morningstar rating or a place for just griping?
WASTLER: Well they are pretty scientific.
VELSHI: Let me tell you how much they spend.
WASTLER: The dollar that you give, how much goes to the organization. They do all of that.
And finally, a real tiny one. You will love this concept. Goodsearch.com. We all search on the Internet. I have to look for this and I got to look for that. If you use Goodsearch.com. The search- based advertising that comes up with it and everything, that goes to the charity. You name which charity you want to.
VELSHI: That was started by one of our old colleagues.
WASTLER: That is right one of our old colleagues. We like that a lot. You can find these sites and do some good.
VELSHI: In less than 15 minutes.
WESTHOVEN: That's the key.
Coming up next, it's about time. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak had millions to give. But see how he discovered that offering time felt better than handing over cash.
And it's time to hear from you as we read some of your emails from the past week. Send us an e-mail right now to INTHEMONEY@CNN.com.
JEN ROGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Love to shop until you drop? Well consider this. Your credit history could affect your shopping future. Here is how to keep track of where you stand. Order a copy of your credit report every year. It's free. Thanks to a federal law. As of September 2005. Consumers across the U.S. can order free credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. These reports are available through annualcreditreport.com Read your report carefully, if something is there that shouldn't be, contact the credit agencies. While it takes time to clear up any mistakes, if something looks suspicious, place a fraud alert with the credit bureaus and contact your local police department to file a police report right away.
And finally, watch out for scams. There are a lot of businesses out there that offer credit reports and credit counseling. Before doing business with any of these groups, check them out with your local Consumer Protection Agency or Better Business Bureau. For more information, log on to the Federal Trade Commission Website at FTC.com. For "Family Fortune" I'm Jen Rogers.
WESTHOVEN: Joining us now on the program, Jen Rogers with this week's "Life after Work" story -- Jen.
ROGERS: It's an interesting story. The story of Steve Jobs has been well documented. You probably don't know as much about the other Steve. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, he is arguable the inventor of the personal computer. But he decided to forgo the executive suite at Apple and all the money that goes along with that. Instead this enigmatic subject of this week's "Life after Work" seems happier giving money away.
ROGERS (voice over): Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs co founded Apple Computer three decades ago, revolutionizing the computer industry and becoming very rich along the way.
STEVE WOZNIAK, CO FOUNDER, APPLE COMPUTER: It was way too much.
ROGERS: As his bank account grew, so did Wozniak's desire to do something else.
WOZNIAK: I had way, way more than you could ever use in life and I wanted to go out early and just start doing some good things to make me feel about myself.
ROGERS: Wozniak left his full-time job at Apple in the '80s and went back to college, he produced music festivals, funded a children's museum and even underwrote the local ballet. He eventually focused on philanthropy on education, providing computers to schools. Soon, he started teaching and found giving his time more rewarding than giving money.
WOZNIAK: I didn't write classes and publish a book for 100,000 people. What I wanted to do was touch 30 kids.
ROGERS: His philosophy in teaching as well as life is to have fun. This attitude on display at a recent signing for his new book, "IWoz" won him a loyal following. His resources aren't what they used to be.
WOZNIAK: What I have left gets smaller and smaller. I wanted it to be smaller.
ROGERS: Wozniak says he never wanted to be defined by wealth, which may be why he's had so much fun giving it away.
ROGERS: Of all he's done in technology and philanthropy. Wozniak says he's most proud of having a street named after him in San Jose, it is called Woz Way he got the honor as a thank you for all of his work in the community. And honestly the man gets very giddy telling you that you can find it on an honest to goodness map and if you rent a car this is on a GPS.
VELSHI: He really has given it away; he gives less as you said over time. Does he seem happy to not be as wealthy as he once was?
ROGERS: He said he never wanted to be rich. He loves the engineering process. He wanted to be an engineer. And he said Apple is the bane of my existence in some ways. It gave me so much, but then it also put so much attention on me. He would rather not be in the spotlight.
WESTHOVEN: What are some of the things that he does donate to, what are some of the charities and events that have come up because of his money?
ROGERS: Well a lot of interesting things out there, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is a pioneering legal organization for digital rights. The Tech Museum, which is trying to preserve the history of Silicone Valley, and things like ballet. I asked him how do you decide what are you giving to? Because it's very diverse. And he said I go with my gut. It's interesting for somebody that's so logic based. I just find people and if they seem like they are doing a good thing and I'm convinced by it, I'll give them money.
VELSHI: What is he doing at Apple right now?
ROGERS: He's still on the payroll at Apple; he always has been kind of interesting he is a fellow. He doesn't get very much, just a little stipend. But he wanted to have some connection to the company. He basically goes around and when he's talking he's a represent if of the company. He has a couple tech projects that he's working on, on his own on the side.
WESTHOVEN: Jen, we often have your stories on, and it is great to have you on the program. Thank you.
WESTHOVEN: We are going to be right back with more IN THE MONEY.
WESTHOVEN: Now it is time to read your answers to our question about who you think can do a better job at wiping out poverty governments or corporations.
J.A in New Jersey writes, "The only answer is governments. Corporations are run for profit and are not set up for helping people. Greed, creates poverty, it doesn't eliminate it."
Monty in Texas said, " You're asking the wrong question. The question is who will do a better job. Both could do a decent job, but political and corporate greed prevents them from succeeding on a grand scale. When we see how much few individuals like Bono and Bill Gates can do, it's clear government and corporations are slacking off."
And Gerald writes, "The answer is: 'both.' But would Washington ever giver Halliburton a no-bid contract to fight poverty instead of supplying a war? Not a chance."
And remember you don't have to wait for us to ask a question to send an email; you can always reach us with your thoughts, comments, suggestions, anything you want. At INTHEMONEY@CNN.com.
And visit our show page CNN.com/inthemoney.
Thanks for joining us for this special holiday edition of IN THE MONEY. And my thanks to Ali Velshi and CNNMONEY.com managing editor Allen Wastler.
We will see you back here next week Saturday at 1:00, Sunday at 3:00. See you then.
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