“Legacy Leadership” Series

Empowering Women Through Work Wear

Milana Shapira - 7/8/19

I look forward to building an organizational culture that reflects the crucial elements of my womanhood. A culture of caring for and supporting each other. A culture that celebrates collaboration and respects the importance of work-life balance, family and relationships.

Investing in Racial and Gender Equality Through Venture Capital and Education

Mercedes Bent - 7/10/19

When I began my career I didn’t have a purpose, [but] that would all change two years later when I’ve realized that education is a tool I can use to actualize my purpose of helping disadvantaged groups, specifically [through] improving the plight of Black people, gender equality, and education quality.

Living My Legacy Through Teaching

Keith Calix - 7/9/19 has equipped me with the confidence and passion to teach in a way that matters more. [And now] I will dedicate my life to ensuring that every student I work with feels loved, seen and empowered to create a life for themselves that is filled with promise, success and joy.

Living and Leading with a Sense of Agency

Joey Gutierrez - 7/11/19

We, as a society, are losing talent because we are robbing people of their agency. […] I have always felt a powerful sense of agency over my life, and I want to create systems, programs, and organizations that empower people to influence their own lives and the world around them.

“Her Story” Series

The Beauty of Boldness


She believes in the power of questions, the importance of optimism and the beauty of boldness, and recognizes that it always starts with people. Had I not learned these lessons from her, I never would have had the courage to launch my own organization.

Strength, Courage and Family


When I think about the way I want to live my life, I think about my Nani. I think of all the hopes and dreams she gave to me, how I carry the weight of her struggles, how the opportunities I have to succeed have made her sacrifices worth it.

Unapologetically Herself


I met Jenny Xia Spradling for the first time in September 2016, at an event for the social-good minded at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. It was just a few minutes, but she was obviously brilliant, tenacious, and kind. I didn’t realize how quickly she would become one of my heroes.

The Power of Belief


Anyone can verbalize support or wish you luck in your endeavors, but it takes an exceptional leader—a legacy leader—to put time and energy into paving the way to your success. Boryana not only does this herself, but she established an entire organization on this premise.

Hometown Heroine


If you ask a Clevelander to name their hometown hero, I suspect they would probably say someone like Jesse Owens or Lebron James. For me, however, a heroine would come to mind.

Pivotal Leadership


I think back often on the female legacy leaders I have been lucky enough to have in my life – my mother, my teachers, and my mentors. These women have instilled in me the need to pay this inspiration and empowerment forward.

The Taste of Dreams


History is circular. I am who I am because of the sacrifices and resilience of my ancestors. In time, my sacrifices will honor my roots, paving the way for my children.

A Beacon of Success


As a woman of color, Shellye is a beacon of success for individuals who have traditionally lacked equal access to leadership positions and she speaks openly and honestly about her experiences.

“I Am a Philanthropist” Series

Colliding Corporations with Nonprofits


Are corporations evil? It depends on who you ask, but they don’t have to be. I want to enhance the system through which corporations and nonprofits interact.

Combating Loneliness in Baby Boomers


My philanthropic purpose is to improve quality of life and combat the epidemic of loneliness, which increases the risk of mortality, for aging baby boomers.

Increasing Young, Rural Civic Engagement


As a philanthropist, I believe my private resources should be used to reinforce democratic institutions and facilitate public-spirited reforms. American democracy today feels deeply flawed. Wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small minority, working class wages are stagnant, and, for some, the government feels oppressive …

Maximizing Impact with Intentional Life Planning


I hope to help others align how they live their lives with what they care about so as to maximize their impact on what they value. But doesn’t everyone already do that? It might sound easy, almost obvious. I thought so until I came to the end of my PhD and, for the first time, really had to confront what I would do in the future.


Providing High-Quality Teachers for All Children


My philanthropic purpose is to ensure all children in the United States have high-quality teachers. As a former educator, I witnessed firsthand the disparities between students with and without privilege in our country.


Other Blog Posts

Give Away $100K


How would you like to help give away $100,000? It’s not often that an opportunity like this comes your way. But thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Learning By Giving Foundation, any student taking Giving 2.0: The MOOC, a free six-week MOOC (massive open online course), that I’m launching on October 6 can participate…

The Limitless Potential of Giving


In 1955, a young man with an irrepressible will and a voracious appetite for learning embarked on a degree at Stanford University. One of five children born and raised in Inglewood, California, he’s now among Silicon Valley’s most active real estate developers and one of America’s most generous philanthropists…

Philanthropy and the Wild West


 As technology changes the way we communicate, connect, create, consume and innovate, it is democratizing access to opportunity. Education is no exception. New models of learning are emerging and MOOCs (massive open online courses) are reshaping the pedagogical landscape…

Giving Your Way to Happiness


Sex and giving — what do these two things have in common? They both feel fantastic! In fact, giving stimulates the same part of the brain that is charged up when we have sex. No wonder it’s addictive. Like giving, making love reflects our passion, but it often happens in a spontaneous, unplanned way…

Expressing the Divine (Part 2) - Worship through Giving


The fact that 35 percent of all American giving went to religious organizations in 2010 reflects how closely bound many of us are with our place of worship. The power of this personal interaction cannot be underestimated…

Expressing the Divine (Part 1) - Tenets into Transformation


Countless forces inspire giving—the public library that showed you a new world in your childhood; the scholarship that enabled you or a relative to attend college; the family member who survived her battle with breast cancer. These are the personal, tangible reasons that compel us to act…

Raising Giving Children (Part 4) - Ten Ways to Give with Your Family


As philanthropists, the most powerful legacy we can create is one that keeps on giving–through our children. Here are ten easy ways to help your young children make giving become a core value of their own…

Raising Giving Children (Part 3) - Philanthroteens: Transforming Teens into Givers


When it comes to giving, we can draw inspiring lessons from today’s youth. The volunteer rate among sixteen- to nineteen-year-olds, in terms of hours given, has almost doubled since 1989, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Last week…

Raising Giving Children (Part 2) - Generation Give


In an op-ed in last weekend’s New York Times, William Deresiewicz talked about “Generation Sell”—a youth culture in which everyone treats themselves like small businesses that need managing and promoting. I believe...

Raising Giving Children (Part 1) - The Apple Falls Not Far from the Giving Tree


We all know the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, the same can be said about giving. Giving, it seems, helps you stay healthy and happy. People who volunteered through their job rated their physical and emotional health more positively than non-volunteers, according to the 2010 survey…

The Giving Legacy


Giving stories often have powerful beginnings. Whether that’s an event, a set of experiences, or encounters with certain individuals, something usually inspires us to embark on a lifetime of giving. My giving story started with my parents…

Do You Give in the Dark? Some Scary Philanthropic Realities


How many times have you given based solely on the fact that your heartstrings have been tugged? Perhaps it was by an online video or a late-night television commercial? Perhaps in response to a disturbing photo in a mail solicitation? Or…

How Innovation Can Fuel Your Giving


“What you are will show in what you do.” —Thomas Edison When I think of innovation, three definitions come to mind. First, the introduction of something new (Merriam Webster); second, the process of renewing something that already exists…

Don't Give More - Give in a Way that Matters More


Amid economic gloom, the news just gets worse. Last month, the unemployment rate rose in most states (in some cases as high as 11 percent), hitting millions of Americans in their pocketbooks. We also learned that in 2010, one in fifteen Americans slipped below the poverty line. Meanwhile…

Welcome to LAAF!

Every day, millions of ordinary people exhibit extraordinary generosity. You and I are among them. Giving inspires our thoughts, reflects our beliefs, and fills our hearts. It brings meaning to our lives, channels gratitude for our blessings, and gives us hope for the future. We give because…