Recently, I have been writing a series of articles focusing on the generosity of business leaders and entrepreneurs.
It's a positive spin and a way to share the charitable efforts of people. So today, we will take a quick look at the richest person in Providence and how he is giving away his fortune.
The richest person in Providence is giving away his fortune
The richest person in Providence is Jonathan Nelson. He is the only billionaire living in Rhode Island.
Nelson was born in Providence. Rhode Island in 1956. He graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics before completing his MBA at Harvard.
After Harvard, he started working in private equity and, in 1989, launched his own business- Providence Equity Partners. Despite being based in Providence, Nelson never had trouble attracting great staff.
''In the beginning, the question was, 'Could we compete from Providence?' '
Nelson has grown this business into the world's leading private equity investment firm focused on media, communications, education, and information investments. It has invested in over 160 countries across these sectors and has assets of $31 billion.
Despite the massive success of his business, Nelson was never tempted to leave Providence and move the head office of his company to New York.
The success of his business has led to Nelson having a net worth of $2.2 billion. And he has promised to give most of it away.
The Giving Pledge
Nelson signed the Giving Pledge, in which he promised to give away the majority of his fortune while he was still alive.
“One of the admirable qualities of our great country is the history and culture of helping those less fortunate. In America giving is not unusual; it is mainstream. I always thought if I were lucky enough to be in a position to help others, I would. The vast majority of Americans are this way. This is who we are. And while separate acts of generosity are generally not remarkable, taken as a whole it defines us. I never imagined not doing my part.”
Many people ask why billionaires like Nelson have to comment on their donations publicly. Nelson has an answer for that.
The issue for me then was the public disclosure of the Giving Pledge. In the end, I came to the view that by openly joining other Pledge partners I might encourage others to follow. This thought makes disclosure compelling.
Readers, what organizations in Providence would you like to see Nelson supporting through his donations?
Please leave your comments below.