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Anonymous Millionaire Gives Entire Fortune to SF Nonprofit

Updated: Jul 22, 2019 15:53
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Image: Kelly Finnamore via Flickr

An extreme act of charity has hopes of remaking the San Francisco social services landscape. One businessperson has just donated their entire fortune — and all their possessions — to a philanthropic nonprofit dedicated to helping San Francisco’s neediest and homeless residents.

The individual has to remain anonymous until various transactions are complete, but can confirm this person’s net worth and donation of the whole fortune in savings and tech stocks. The entire sum has been kicked down to a new nonprofit called the Foundation for a Better Society that aims to help the unhoused and San Franciscans in crisis by giving them support and tools to lead happy, comfortable, productive lives.

“It’s a newly formed nonprofit, we’ve just received our 501(c)(3) in late June,” Foundation for a Better Society board member Jen Arens tells “We came about because a very wealthy business[person] had a psychotic break and realized money was getting in the way of their life. They wanted to give all of their money away to help make a better world.”

You may already be familiar with Foundation for a Better Society board member Jen Arens. She was the winner of our 2015 Funniest Pooping Story Contest, and her story got the $600 bidet grand prize.

Jen Arens signs papers of funds of funds being transferred to Foundation for a Better Society.

Now she’s working with a much larger gift to provide free social and legal services in San Francisco, with a new nonprofit vision that hopes to collaborate with multiple social service organizations and create a model that can be replicated and copied in cities elsewhere.

The Foundation for a Better Society will give direct funds to individuals for specific purposes, as well as funding to other organizations with aligning missions. “We’re trying to figure out how we’re going to utilize those funds,” says Arens, a lifelong social worker.

“The old model of service and help was ‘I’m going to help you do better, I’m going to pull you out of this poverty,’” she says. “The new model a lot of people are going to is, ‘I’m going to walk alongside you, as a friend would, until you figure out how to do what you need to do.’”

The foundation will take donations, but is more interested in building a volunteer community.

Image: Salavations Army USA West via Flickr

“Nonprofits are always asking for money,” Arens says. “We don’t want to take your money until you volunteer with us at least once. Get to know us. We would love the money, but we don’t want it until you’ve spent time with us. It could be just walking around the streets with us and talking to homeless people, or volunteering with us if you have a specialty.”

Their first big outreach program is scheduled for August, and is also unconventional.

“We’re taking 30 men who are formerly incarcerated, newly out, and formerly homeless, we’re taking those guys to Yosemite for the weekend to just experience nature,“ Arens tells us, adding the foundation is paying all the expenses. “A lot of them have never, ever been on a hike. It’s just not part of city life.”

If you want to help the Foundation for a Better Society, Arens tells us, “We’re always looking for volunteers who want to make a difference. Not the one-and-done volunteer, but volunteers who can give a little bit of time — and it’s not a lot of time, maybe once a month — to really walk alongside individuals.” If you’re already involved with a nonprofit, she notes, “We’re also looking for ideas on how we can direct the funds to nonprofits who are willing to work with us.”

“It feels good to give money away, but it’s so much better to see a life changed,” she says.

You can get in touch with the Foundation for a Better Society right here.

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.