Philanthropist & Founder
About Grant Gordon
Grant is a philanthropist and social entrepreneur. He has founded and built up a small portfolio of charities, which the Reekimlane Foundation has helped to support. The family Foundation’s mission is to strengthen communities and to rebuild social capital in the UK.
The portfolio of grantees includes the Childhood Trust, London’s child poverty charity, and the Cabrach Trust promoting regeneration in a rural community in NE Scotland, both of which Grant chairs.
He is a member of The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW), an international network helping to achieve greater impact. Prior to his current activities he co-founded and directed the Institute for Family Business (UK).
Grant holds an MBA from Northwestern University.
Grant Gordon, philanthropist and Founder of the Reekimlane Foundation, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss high-net-worth (HNW) family philanthropy and responsible stewardship of wealth.
Grant encourages global listeners who are interested in philanthropy to take the first step and connect with likeminded individuals who are attracted by philanthropy.
Grant founded the Reekimlane Foundation, which grants out approximately $1m annually. The foundation is a grant maker and also acts as a conduit for various other philanthropic endeavours launched by Grant.
Child poverty and community regeneration are two thematic areas close to Grant’s heart. Currently, he’s also exploring early childhood development as a potential area for more philanthropic engagement.
When asked about what prompted him to get into philanthropy, he notes that, for him, it’s about values. Grant grew up in an affluent family and he was brought up knowing that there are certain responsibilities associated with having wealth. Philanthropy came naturally to him.
For those individuals who are thinking about getting into philanthropy, but haven’t done so for one reason or another, he simply suggests one start by having a look around to see what issues resonate most so that what one really cares about is identified. He references the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a good starting point -- Goal No.1 is about tackling poverty.
Everyone is different and determining how much money and resources one should donate is a personal decision. In Grant’s case, there’s an ongoing family discussion on what it means to be a responsible citizen which, in turn, helps him and his family decide what works best for them.
There are two key insights Grant brings from his private sector experience: one is the importance of ‘mission’ and ensuring that all Trustees on your board are fully aligned; the other pertains to leadership, where one needs a CEO who’s not just passionate but also who has the skills and resilience to do the job.
Grant’s takeaway for listeners: as a philanthropist (or potential philanthropist) never regard yourself as being on your own. Go out and talk to others!
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