Jimmy Lustig is an active philanthropist. He and his wife created the Lustig Family Foundation.

Tag: Budget

Robert Downey Jr.'s Latest Philanthropic Investment

Robert Downey Jr.’s Latest Philanthropic Investment

Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. has been covertly making headways into the world of environmental research the last few years. In 2019, Downey Jr. founded the Footprint Coalition, an organization geared toward supporting scientific research and sustainability technologies. Earlier this week, Downey Jr. revealed a new arm of the Footprint Coalition at the Davos Agenda of the World Economic Forum: Footprint Coalition Ventures. Downey Jr. explains that Footprint Coalition Ventures will be the investment branch of the organization and that its mission will be seeking out and supporting companies that research sustainability.

Downey Jr. went into further detail on the goals of Footprint Coalition Ventures in an interview with reporters from Fast Company. Downey Jr. explains that creating Footprint Coalition Ventures will put the Footprint Coalition in a better position to help answer vital sustainability questions. Continuing, Downey Jr. says that Footprint Coalition Ventures have two types of funds, one for preliminary investments and the other for subsequent investment opportunities. Furthermore, the company follows a rolling fund investment schedule. In this manner, investors will be able transfer funds to companies on a quarterly basis, making Footprint Coalition Ventures more accessible to different kinds of investors. Downey Jr. adds that such a schedule opens the company to as wide a pool of investors as possible.

Footprint Coalition Ventures focuses on funding companies that research in six areas, including food and agriculture, energy, education, and advanced environmental solutions. Thus far, five companies, including Arcadia Earth and Cloud Paper, have received funds from Footprint Coalition Ventures.

Looking to the future, Downey Jr. says that he plans on using his status as a celebrity to raise awareness on the Footprint Coalition and sustainability ventures in general. While many other celebrities who are involved in similar organizations tend to keep a low public profile, Downey Jr. feels that it is his responsibility to use his platform to influence others. Jonathan Schulhof, who runs the day-to-day business of Footprint Coalition Ventures, points out that the company has used a YouTube video of Downey Jr. detailing the differences between plastic and polyhydroxyalkanoate, a new type of sustainable polymer invented by RWDC Industries, to help woo investors. Schulhof continues that such content can inspire audiences by making something extraordinary seem commonplace.

Five Great Books About Philanthropy In 2020

Five Great Books About Philanthropy in 2020

With so many options out there, how – and why – should people consider giving? The five books below provide many answers to these and other questions, making for fascinating reading, both inspirational and impactful.

One of the best guides to the giving process is the traditional Inspired Philanthropy: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Giving Plan and Leaving a Legacy, by Tracy Gary. Efficient covers everything from the basics of plan making, working with advisors, the right questions to ask non-profits, and much more. The inclusion of worksheets, resource lists, and descriptions of planning tools is beneficial.

The Promise of a Pencil, by Adam Braun, tells the story of how one man’s actions impacted thousands of lives globally. After encountering a begging child and starting with only $25, Braun built an organization that has helped build over 250 schools worldwide. Inspirational and uplifting, if ever there was an argument for the power of giving, this is it.

In The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources, Lynne Twist offers positive proof that changing our attitudes towards earning and spending money can make our lives more meaningful and fulfilling. Challenging everyday assumptions about society’s views of money, the author illustrates her journey from conspicuous consumer to non-profit activist in an honest, no-punches-pulled way.

Sharna Goldseker and Michael Moody bring a fresh perspective in Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving. Moving between first-hand accounts and analysis of a new class of doner’s work, the book shows the impact of young rising stars of philanthropy in disrupting traditional giving models and creating entirely fresh approaches to the field.

Another disruptive approach to giving is Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference by Antony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson. The new field of impact investing is thoroughly explained, showing how it’s possible to “blend” investment success with positive change.

This year, perhaps more than in most, it’s essential to consider how a charitable contribution can positively impact peoples’ lives. The wisdom and practical advice that abound in the five volumes discussed will hopefully inspire and energize in equal measure.

Jimmy Lustig Giving Back On A Budget

Giving Back On A Budget

While it’s admirable to want to donate to groups of people in need, sometimes it’s just not within our budget. Depending on your situation, you could be in a lot of debt due to school, or maybe you have a family you must support. Whatever it is, you, unfortunately, don’t know how to give back to those in more need than yourself. You’d be surprised, but many people have managed to find new ways to give back to their community without having to break the bank. If you’re on a budget but want to give back to your community, read on.

Donate Used Goods

Donations don’t always have to be in the form of money. If you’re like most people, chances are you have older and slightly used clothing and other items that you don’t use any longer just sitting in storage somewhere. If you’re truly never going to use these items, you should donate them! Most organizations are happy to take nonfinancial donations such as nonperishable food items, clothing, old toys, and much more. This is a great way to give back while also freeing up some of your own space by getting rid of things that are just hiding in a closet somewhere anyway.


If you can’t volunteer your money, volunteer your time! Most nonprofit organizations need help with their daily operations or when they’re throwing events and the like, so see if you can help out in that department. You can often find opportunities in schools, hospitals, food pantries, libraries, and much more. Think about things you care about and where volunteering would mean the most for you, and look up groups in your area on the internet that work toward those causes. You can even volunteer by asking neighbors if they need help to mow their grass or doing their grocery shopping.

Purchase Wisely

You have a lot of power over how you spend your money and the way you use that power can actually be a way of giving back. For example, you can give back to your community by purchasing from local businesses. This is an especially great way to give back after events such as natural disasters. If you’re going to be making purchases from bigger corporations, try to buy from the ones that do a one-for-one business model where they will donate something based on every sale they make. This encourages sales and helps a good cause.

Jimmy Lustig Build Philanthropy Into Budget

How to Build Philanthropy into your Budget

Incorporating philanthropy into your business plan is one of the most effective ways to make a difference. It allows you to put more money and muscle behind your efforts. However, it can also cause some companies, especially smaller ones, to struggle financially. Most companies don’t have the resources of Google, which gives 1 percent of the company’s total equity and profits to charity, but every company can make an impact. While it’s not recommended to bankrupt yourself to incorporate a corporate social responsibility initiative, there are ways to make philanthropy work for your budget. Here are three ways to make philanthropy more cost-effective for your organization.


Don’t reinvent the wheel

Throwing money at different causes isn’t the most effective approach to philanthropy. The best way is to incorporate social responsibility into your business model organically. Look at what your organization already does well and determine how philanthropy fits in with those strengths. It isn’t a requirement that you think outside of the box to have a social impact. Often, what you already do well is what you can do for others. For example, TOMS philanthropy is tied directly to their business offering. For every pair of shoes purchased, a pair is given to a child in need.


Join forces for a broader reach

When working alone in philanthropy, your impact is limited to your own expertise and resources. If you want to have a more significant impact, it’s necessary to partner with other organizations. Look for relationships that are mutually beneficial and will result in long-term results. Collaboration helps to expand the mission of your organization and lessen the financial and operational load for smaller businesses.


Get your hands dirty

You may be tempted to outsource your community involvement work, but a hands-off approach means that your employees have little opportunity to be involved with the project. Hands-on involvement with philanthropy will help your employees to feel connected to your mission. This doesn’t mean you need to send your employees across the world to see the impact of their work. Work on initiatives either taking place in your local community or even inside of your office. You can start a green initiative to reduce waste and save on energy consumption within the workplace. These types of efforts help your employees to feel a sense of ownership over the corporate philanthropy and allow them to see the direct impact.

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