Sharing Silicon wealth – Bay area foundation assets surge

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are changing their stingy reputations by making major gifts, setting up philanthropic funds, and networking with celebs for charity, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Last week, for example, Silicon Valley executives raised $1.2 million by auctioning off prizes like golfing with Tiger Woods, with investor Warren Buffett as caddy.

Assets of the Community Foundation Silicon Valley have increased more than 60 percent to $500 million this past year due to stock appreciation and recent gifts.

Younger generations of Internet millionaires are discovering philanthropy, and the area’s most famous success stories continue to give away wealth at unprecedented rates.

For example, Jim Clark, Silicon Graphics and Netscape founder, announced last year he will donate $150 million for cross-disciplinary studies at Stanford University.

James Barksdale, former Netscape CEO, donated more than $100 million to the University of Mississippi to create the Barksdale Reading Institute.

And EBay founder Pierre Omidyar created a foundation to help nonprofits rebuild a sense of community in the United States. The foundation should have assets of about $100 million by the end of the year.

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