The 3-minute interview with Richard Goldman

The 87-year-old native of San Francisco and president of the Richard and Rhonda Goldman Fund recently made news when he fell off the Forbes 400 Billionaires List because of what Forbes describes as his “selfless” philanthropic work. Goldman, who has donated more than $78 million through the fund to environmental causes and organizations in the last 10 years, will be honored at the Full Circle Fund Forum 2007 today at San Francisco City Hall. Former Vice President Al Gore is scheduled to speak at the event.

Do you feel an ironic sense of honor in falling off the Forbes list? I take it as a compliment to be taken off the list.

Do you think the other billionaires should be doing more? They should be giving more away is what they should do. Most philanthropists follow the rule of giving away 5 percent; well, I’ve been giving away about 10 percent for the past four years and this year I hope to give away 13 percent. I feel like you shouldn’t sit on the money.

With the market in a slide, is this a better time for philanthropists? Or should they hold back? It’s tough to answer that, because if you expect a drop then you have to let the people who you’ve pledged money to know that they should be prepared for anything. But it would be embarrassing if you can’t meet the pledges you’ve made. I’d rather have my check bounce. That was a joke, but I hope that there’s some meaning to that.

Any advice for the next mayor on the local economy? Well, Gavin Newsom will likely win the election and I think he’ll become more active since his first term. I don’t know anyone more dedicated to The City than Gavin Newsom.

bliou@examiner.com


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