I was recently watching the Golden Globe awards show with my wife. A lifetime achievement award went to comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
She's funny, for sure.
But more importantly, when I saw her live at a Brad Pitt-led gala to support the building of net zero energy homes in the lower 9th ward of New Orleans after the hurricane, and during this awards show, I was reminder of her use of "power and platform for good."
During her show's 15-year history, she's purportedly donated, or catalyzed the donation of, $50 million to charities and individuals in need.
Below is a list of some of her good deeds, in collaboration with her corporate partners and film/music/athletic celebrities.
Paying off $20,000 in student debt for a Sudanese refugee
Giving $30,000 in Christmas gifts to a struggling family
Raising $1,000,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
Donating $1,000,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief
Paying for 42 students from Brooklyn to go to college ($1.6M)
Donating $500,000 to upgrade a "decrepit" elementary school in Detroit
But for me, and for us Entrepreneurs for Impact, I think it's a reminder of our responsibility to do more good in the world, with the power we have or that we create through our business ventures. This becomes a focus for our masterminds, too.
To those ends, one of my favorite quotes is this one: "To those to whom much is given, much is expected in return."
I've been lucky regarding when and where I was born, as well as the kind of education and gifts I've been given. Accordingly, as I tell our kids, we've got a duty to give back, and not just with our income.