When the subject is philanthropy, it's natural to think of such heavyweights as Gates, Buffett, and Soros. Even Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has started a foundation. And then of course there's Fung.
That would be Coleman Fung. He came to this country from Hong Kong when he was 16, got degrees from Berkeley and Stanford, and eventually started Openlink Financial, a Long Island software firm whose annual sales now exceed $90 million. Says Fung: 'I am your classic poster child for the American dream.' Recently, Fung decided it was time to 'give something back,' so he plowed $18 million into the new Coleman Fung Foundation, which he'll use to support education and environmental causes. He hopes to get his kids involved when they're older, and to challenge--by his example--other well-to-do Asian Americans to step up their philanthropy. As the end of the year approaches, you may be scrambling to get your charitable donations done in time for your 2006 tax return. Go ahead and give generously. But then sit down and think about whether something grander might be in order. Think about making like Coleman Fung."