Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs never sought out attention for any of his charity related efforts, but now a new report says his family has been donating to various charities and causes anonymously for over two decades.
The rise of anonymous giving in Silicon Valley was detailed on Friday by The New York Times, with a particular focus on Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple’s former CEO. She also participated in a rare interview for a profile that was published last week, discussing her agendas in education, global conservation, nutrition, and immigration policy.
“We’re really careful about amplifying the great work of others in every way that we can, and we don’t like attaching our names to things,” Powell Jobs said.
Powell Jobs’ organization, the Emerson Collective, is structured similar to a small business, and was set up as an LLC, not a tax-exempt 501©(3). This enables her to make grants, investments and political donations without the requirement to publicly report them. Jobs says both she and her organization value anonymity, and the ability to be “nimble and flexible and responsive” in giving.
Steve Jobs remained intensely private during his lifetime, refusing to even discuss his charity related efforts with his biographer Walter Isaacson. Jobs even refused to participate in a campaign started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that asked the rich to donate most of their money to philanthropic causes.