Andrea Taylor, Director of Community Affairs at Microsoft, talks with Tom Becker, President of the Chautauqua Institution, about the importance of philanthropy. She discusses her past experiences in the field, and explores the changing nature of philanthropy in light of the recent economic crisis.
Tom Becker is the president of Chautauqua Institution. Becker joined Chautauqua in March 1985 as a vice president of the Institution and vice president of the Chautauqua Foundation. Over the years he was promoted to executive vice president and CEO of the Foundation.
In 2001, he continued as chief executive officer of the Foundation and was named executive vice president of Chautauqua Institution. As chief executive, Becker oversaw the growth of the Foundation into a professional fund-raising organization and led it to raising over $100 million in support of the Institution.
Andrea L .Taylor is Director of Community Affairs for Microsoft North America, based in Redmond, Wash., where her team manages the Giving Campaign and Employee Engagement. She develops strategy and oversees implementation of Microsoftâ€™s Unlimited Potential Community Technology Skills program, a global initiative that promotes digital inclusion and increased access to training in underserved communities. Taylor also works closely with nonprofit organizations, governments and businesses while making company investments that support economic development by advancing employability and workforce development.
Taylor's extensive career in media, philanthropy and education includes prior work at The Boston Globe, the Ford Foundation, Education Development Center, Film Forum, and Harvard Graduate School of Education, and board memberships on the Council on Foundations and the Cleveland Foundation.
Andrea Taylor, Director of Community Affairs at Microsoft, discusses the importance of teaching adaptability in any philanthropic effort. She explains that Microsoft, both in its philanthropic efforts and within the company itself, focuses on "providing people with a way of thinking…that allows them to be open and receptive to constant learning."
Voluntary, organized efforts intended for socially useful purposes. Philanthropic groups existed in the ancient civilizations of the Middle East, Greece, and Rome: an endowment supported Plato's Academy (c. 387 BC) for some 900 years; the Islamic waqf (religious endowment) dates to the 7th century AD; and the medieval Christian church administered trusts for benevolent purposes. Merchants in 17th- and 18th-century western Europe founded organizations for worthy causes. Starting in the late 19th century, large personal fortunes led to the creation of private foundations that bequeathed gifts totaling millions and then billions in support of the arts, education, medical research, public policy, social services, environmental causes, and other special interests. SeeAndrew Carnegie; B'nai B'rith; Bill Gates; George Peabody; Rockefeller Foundation; Straus family.