Serial entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky has developed a reputation as an astute business person and as one of the country’s foremost philanthropists. Lefkofsky reportedly has a net worth of approximately $1.6 billion. He built his fortune by starting and managing numerous businesses. Most recently he has served as the Chairman of the Board of Groupon, as the founder and CEO of Tempus, a company which hopes to use data to cure cancer by assisting physicians in providing personalized cancer treatment, and as founder and managing director of Lightbank, a venture capital firm specializing in disruptive technology businesses. Rather than spend his riches, Lefkofsky has decided to put much of it back into the community through his philanthropy endeavors.
The Lefkofsky Family Foundation:
In 2006 Lefkofsky and his wife Liz formed the Lefkofsky Family Foundation as the primary vehicle for their charitable giving. Through the foundation, the Lefkofskys support charitable endeavors in the areas of education, the arts, medical research, and human rights.
The Foundation has donated millions to over 50 organizations. The Lefkofskys are noted for their donations to disadvantaged schools, before and after school programs, and programs that promote innovative education. The Foundation has also been a strong supporter of efforts to cure cancer and other diseases. They have also donated millions to local Chicago arts and cultural groups.
Some of the groups the Foundation have supported include:
The Giving Pledge:
- Comer Children’s Hospital;
- American Brain Tumor Association;
- NorthShore University Health System;
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center;
- Lurie Children’s Memorial Hospital;
- Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center;
- Chicago Institute of Art;
- Citizen Schools;
- After School Matters;
- Planned Parenthood;
- Academy for Urban School Leadership; and
- Several Chicago theater groups.
The Lefkofskys have also shown their life-long commitment to philanthropy by signing The Giving Pledge. The Giving Pledge is an effort founded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in 2010. The program hopes to gain commitments from the world’s wealthiest to donate the majority of their net worth to charitable endeavors. In 2013 the Lefkofskys signed the pledge and committed to donate over half of their wealth to charity.
Lefkofsky (https://www.amazon.com/Accelerated-Disruption-Understanding-Speed-Innovation/dp/0979824826) has not limited his charitable endeavors to just donating money. He has also committed considerable time and energy to personally working for charitable organizations. He has volunteered his time for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Steppenwolf Theater Company. Lefkofsky was also a key player in Chicago’s efforts to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.