Anonymous Donors Inspire
Others to Make Gifts
blog ( http://guerrillagiving.org),
but do not reveal their identities
except to say they are a family of four who live on modest
In an e-mail exchange with
The Chronicle, the father, who
signs his messages “G.G.” for
Guerrilla Giver, says his family plans to give 10 percent of its
annual gross income through
the unusual methods.
While describing the pledge
as “not astronomical, but not insignificant either,” he declines to
disclose the actual amount and
says it’s not important.
“Money, in the case of guerrilla giving, is merely the chosen
means of communicating something higher, namely that we
are all interconnected and that
the glue that holds us together
is love,” he writes.
He argues that modern philanthropy, in which donors receive public recognition, or at
least a tax deduction, has generated billions of dollars for important causes, but it also has
somewhat corrupted the charitable spirit. And it has given
rise to a “nonprofit industrial
complex,” in which charities
must please foundations, government agencies, and other
“Sadly, in many cases, founding visions are diluted by concerns for salaries, survival,
and keeping donors with myriad agendas satisfied instead of
focusing solely on the needs of
providing humanitarian aid to
those in need,” says G.G.
His writing may sound like
the manifesto of a charity Che
Guevara, but it has started to
attract followers. Copycat anon-
Continued from Page 1
ymous donors have popped up
in Calgary, Alberta and Mission, British Columbia.
And people who have found
gifts, which are often a bag of
$1 Canadian coins, have written comments on the Guerrilla
Giving Web site saying they will
pass the money on to charity or
“I found a green envelope on
the drive this morning,” writes
someone named Nika on the
Guerilla Giving blog. “It was
a very pleasant surprise and
a wonderful idea. I often give
money to those on the street,
and I plan to give this money to
someone in need.”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF GUERRILLA GIVING
Along a jogger’s path is
a gift left by a family
that gives anonymously.
Marking Significant Days
The “family adventure,” as
G.G. calls it, began in September. He left a gift on a tree
branch outside a school. With
each donation, the secret philanthropist puts on the Web site
a photo and a flowery explanation of it that sometimes reads
The inaugural gift marked
the first day of the school year.
“It’s a day of beginnings; the
smell of new sneakers, freshly sharpened pencils, bleached
hallways; the crack of a book’s
spine,” G.G. said on his blog.
A week later, G.G. celebrated
Greenpeace’s birthday. He put
coins at the Vancouver harbor
where in 1971 the environmental activists launched a boat to
protest nuclear testing off the
coast of Alaska.
“May today’s Guerrilla Gift
recipient feel blessed by Earth’s
goodness and feel inspired to
set sail into new beginnings as
well,” G.G. wrote.
The yearlong giving experi-
ment was inspired by a diverse
group of people, including St.
Francis of Assisi, the Dalai
Lama, and people who perform
commonplace acts of kindness.
“The list also includes a man
we met on a bus recently who
spotted a woman whose hands
were shivering from the cold,
He took off his expensive leather gloves and gave them to her,”
The rogue donor doesn’t disparage big-time philanthropists like Bill Gates who give in
a public manner.
“Guerrilla Giving is not antithetical to traditional philanthropy,” he writes. “It is simply
another approach, a different
angle or trajectory toward the
same goal: to make the world a
Ultimately, he says, the quiet
approach may just be more fun.
“Giving without any expectation of reward,” he writes, “lifts
the human spirit like nothing
Persistence Pays Off for Military College
With a $6-Million Gift From Ross Perot
How much: $6.175-million
Who gave it: Ross Perot, a Texas entrepreneur who ran unsuccessfully for president in 1992 and 1996.
Who got it: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Foundation, the fund-raising arm of the college, a graduate school for
Purpose: The pledge will endow a professorship in ethics and finance the Col. Arthur D. Simons Center for the Study of Interagency Cooperation, which will focus on improving collaboration and
communication between military and civilian agencies. Mr. Perot
asked that the center be named after the late Col. Simons, a former U.S. Army Special Forces officer who led a rescue of two of Mr.
Perot’s employees after they were imprisoned in the midst of the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
MARK H. WIGGINS
Ross Perot meets
with Brig. Gen.
How it happened: Bob Ulin, chief executive of the college’s foundation, first approached
Mr. Perot, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, in 2006. Mr. Perot turned him down
several times over three years, but Mr. Ulin kept in touch with him. The college named Mr.
Perot the recipient of its 2010 Distinguished Leadership Award and Mr. Ulin flew to Texas to
meet him. He did not plan to ask for money, but when Mr. Perot asked how he could help the
college, Mr. Ulin suggested that Mr. Perot visit it. Soon after the visit, Mr. Perot made the
pledge. —CAROLINE BERMUDEZ
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