Has philanthropist Charles Feeney donated his last $millions?
Five years ago, in the East side of Manhatten, businessman and philanthropist octagenarian Charles Feeney was contemplating how he was going to give away millions of dollars to worthy causes. The final $7million charitable donation went to Cornell University to assist students undertaking community service work, bringing the donations to a staggering $8billion in their entirety.
In the early days most of Mr Feeney’s donations were shrouded in secrecy causing Forbes Magazine to call him ‘the James Bond of Philanthropy.’ New Jersey native, Chuck Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies has supported human rights and higher education amongst other things for decades. His aspiration of ‘giving while living’ as he is quoted as saying, has allowed him to support those deemed worthy whilst maintaining a modest lifestyle. He admits that it can feel quite nerve-wracking handling huge amounts of cash but ultimately it’s a means to an end.
Comparisons have been made between Chuck Feeney and Donald Trump, often described as mirror images. However, whereas Mr Trump has fully embraced the spotlight and its rich lists, Chuck works hard to stay off them. You won’t see Chuck’s name in marble, gold or any other form on any of the buildings that his $billions have contributed towards. In fact, a condition of the mammoth donations is that the beneficiaries of the cash do not reveal where it came from.
Many might wonder how someone manages to find themselves in the enviable position of having so much cash that are able to give most of it away and keep a roof over their head whilst putting food on the table. How so Chuck? Well, he initially set up a company selling alcohol and cigars to those who frequented airports, namely the duty-free shops. He’s also invested in aspiring technological companies and went on to secretly transfer all of his assets to Atlantic Philanthropies further expanding by investing in the likes of Facebook and E-Trade.
I’m sure gratitude played a small part somewhere along the way…
Mr Feeney drew the three of Hearts, the three of Swords and the King of Hearts.
The Three of Hearts is the card of celebration and gratitude. Mr Feeney embodies this card wholeheartedly. Whilst he may be instrumental in making the huge cash donations, this is not something that he did alone, he understands that there is no ‘I’ in team and the art of sharing, whether it be wealth or something else, this card tells us that whatever we give, we will get back a millionfold.
The Three of Swords is the card of loss and the realization of incompatibility. Not everyone within Mr Feeney’s radar wished to serve in a similar manner and so in order to grow, Chuck reminded himself of his true identity as a spirit in the flesh whilst concentrating on his true purpose gaining knowledge born of experience. Life goes on with any inner pain being endured as life’s lessons.
The King of Hearts is the man himself, Chuck Feeney! For anyone who has struggled financially, it may be difficult to understand how someone could give away their wealth in this manner. The King of Hearts is an understated, unassuming man. Like the King of Hearts, Chuck saw beauty in the ordinary, his blue-collar background ensured that his feet were firmly on the ground. His presence inspired confidence due to the non-judgmental and kind manner in which he dealt with the rich and poor alike.
The reports say that Chuck is down to his last $2million and lives in a rented apartment. I feel that Chuck Feeney will continue to give, both his time and his money, but of course, it will be his decision as to whether we hear about future donations. Well done Mr Feeney, we salute you!
Diana-Julie is an international life coach and spiritual counselor. She has worked with numerous people globally in their quest for personal empowerment and manifestation of dreams. A Reiki Master and natural healer, her personal passions of writing and spirituality serve to assist in removing obstacles for those seeking her guidance.