December, 2009Renowned financial publication Barron’s Magazine has ranked Donna and Philip Berber of Austin, Texas sixth on its list of The World’s Top 25 Philanthropists.
This puts them one spot ahead of Bill and Melinda Gates, seven places ahead of Bill and Hillary Clinton and 11 ahead of Brad Pitt. Other notables ranked behind them include Jimmy Carter, Richard Branson and Magic Johnson.
According to the cover story (on newsstands now): “The name of the game in philanthropy this year is to make your dollars go far - very far. While rankings in other publications highlight those who give the most money, we chose to focus on those who are getting the results.”
In what Barron's magazine describes as a surprise, the Berbers beat out the aforementioned philanthropic heavyweights and others because of the efficiency and effectiveness of their efforts.
“Who would imagine, for instance, that a targeted effort to alleviate the worst poverty in a single country, Ethiopia, could end up having a greater impact than the massive $34 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its myriad education and health programs worldwide? By our standards, the Ethiopian initiative, launched by Donna and Philip Berber, wins by dint of immediacy. It could take a decade for some of the Gates Foundation's research into vaccines to translate into an impact on people's lives. By contrast, when the Berber's A Glimmer of Hope digs a well and provides clean water to an Ethiopian Community, people's lives are improved immediately and critically,” writes Suzanne McGee.
Recognition is starting to pile up for the Austin couple despite their low-key approach to their work.
In September, at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, Philip Berber presented a progress report during the Economic Empowerment Session, emceed by James Carville, which exemplified the CGI’s mandate to turn ideas into action.
At the time, he was heralded as “the real star at the Clinton Global Initiative” by the Wall Street Journal.
Support for their efforts - and their unique 100% Promise - has been growing too. In November, A Glimmer of Hope held its first-ever fundraising event that raised over $1 million to rehabilitate two impoverished Ethiopian villages.
A Glimmer of Hope
Michael O’Keefe, 512-328-9944, ext. 105