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Saturday, February 28, 2015

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Capitalist Crusaders - Glimmer of Hope
Jeffries Blackerby

December, 2010

Eleven years ago, Donna and Philip Berber had a Texas-size life — a booming tech company in Austin (Cybercorp), three sons and, “you know, flowers in my garden,” says Donna, who started A Glimmer of Hope, a foundation to help the rural poor in Ethiopia. Then, after seeing a video of his wife handing out bread to the hungry in Addis Ababa, Philip made a trip there himself and decided to “turn my back on my commercial career.” With $60 million from the recent sale of Cybercorp to Charles Schwab (for $488 million), he joined the foundation full time, and the couple (he’s Irish, she’s English) became pioneers of philanthro-capitalism. The Berbers’ endowment covers all of Glimmer’s operating costs, which has allowed the foundation to spend $40 million and counting to help alleviate poverty in Ethiopia. “One hundred percent of the money, not 50 or 80 percent, needed to get to the people,” says Philip, comparing Glimmer’s business model with that of other charities. “We had to start with a clean piece of paper.”

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