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relates to Want to Help Others? Philanthropy Experts Share Their Most Personal Advice

Illustration: Uli Knörzer

Pursuits
Businessweek

Want to Help Others? Philanthropy Experts Share Their Most Personal Advice

We asked 18 leading activists, nonprofit executives and donors to write a letter to their 18-year-old self—and share what they wished they’d known before starting out on a career in public service.

The world’s greatest philanthropists weren’t always so sure they’d end up changing the world. In fact, they started out like most every other teenager on Earth: unsure, unknown and oblivious to the challenging paths ahead. How did they get from there to here? What did they learn along the way? What lessons would they share?

As fortunes are made and lost in the blink of an eye, and buzzwords like “effective altruism” blaze across the headlines, we wanted to know.