Goldman to Build $1B Philanthropy Fund

Whitney Tilson noted the following in his recent email newsletter. I think this is amazing and hope that our buyout and venture brethren follow suit. I have always believed that the philanthropy tsunami unleashed by Gates, Buffett & the Silicon Valley crew would lead to new era of giving equal in impact to the robber barons. The latest move by Goldman only adds momentum to this…

"Kudos to Goldman!  Goldman really is an exemplar in many, many ways.

On the back of record profit so far this year, Goldman Sachs, the global investment bank, is starting a donor-driven philanthropy fund that aims to reach $1 billion over the next few years.

The fund, GS Gives, is initially focused on the firm’s roughly 350 partners who will be strongly encouraged to donate a fixed amount of their compensation.

If each partner gives $250,000, the fund will begin with $87.5 million. Eventually the fund will be open to a larger group of Goldman employees. Goldman’s asset management group will manage the fund free.

The program comes at a time of tremendous wealth creation for Goldman employees. The firm is one of a few that has been largely untouched by the meltdown in the subprime mortgage market and it stands out among its peers in the amount of money it has been able to make so far this year. In 2006 Goldman made $9.4 billion in profit; for the first nine months of 2007, it earned $8.2 billion.

“We know we make a lot of money, and we know that we live in this world and we have a responsibility to give something back,” said Lloyd C. Blankfein, chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs.