Craig Newmark is one of the original tech billionaires, having made his considerable fortune founding Craig’s List back in 1995. For the past five years, he has given away hundreds of millions of dollars through his Craig Newmark Philanthropies to causes ranging from veteran support to increasing the hiring of women in tech to supporting teachers.
At its heart, in his words, his philanthropy is “about fairness, opportunity, and respect.”
“A lot of it has to do with what our country aspires to be,” Newmark says. “I believe that the arc of the moral universe is long, but that it does bend towards justice. So people of goodwill should protect the country, should protect those values, should move them ahead.”
“We should not only push towards those values, but we need to protect the people who have fought for those values,” he adds. Much of Newmark’s philanthropic efforts are focused on helping the military connected community.
“We need to protect the people who are fighting for those values, like the people who fought in kinetic wars towards those ends. Those are our veterans and their families.”
“I figure if someone’s going to risk their life to protect me, I should stand up for them. Our country is kind of forgetting how much we owe vets. I’ve also learned that their families give up a great deal while the active service member is deployed, maybe overseas, maybe in harm’s way. So, I’ve been doing what I can to support vets and their families.”
In this special edition of the Work in Progress podcast for SxSW EDU, Newmark and I discuss how he leverages his money and influence to help bring attention to this issue and the others he supports, and we discuss the breadth of organizations he gives his money to.
You can watch or listen to the podcast here or download the audio version wherever you get your podcasts.
Episode 188: Craig Newmark, founder, Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Host: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch, Melissa Panzer, and Ramona Schindelheim
Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0.