All that said, it would be wrong to think that Ballmer
is totally starting from scratch.
does have a philanthropic track record (see IP's profile of Ballmer) and we can say a few things about his
likely future giving:
1. Connie Will Play a Huge Role
When billionaires are too busy at the office to think much about giving, it's often their wives who emerge as the philanthropic leaders in the marriage, and this has been the case with the Ballmers.
has taken the lead in managing the family giving, and her
biggest passion has been children.
After reading stories about kids lost in Washington's foster system, she
played an instrumental role in founding a regional nonprofit in 2007, Partners for Our Children.
The Ballmers underwrote the group's creation with a $10 million donation - by far their largest known charitable commitment.
Connie serves on the board of the group, which seeks to improve the child welfare system in Washington State through a partnership between government, academics, and the private sector.
Connie also sits on the board of the University of Oregon, where she went to school, and previously sat on the board of National Public Radio.
So while Steve has been immersed in the tech world, Connie
has been developing the nonprofit chops needed to jump into large-scale philanthropy.
has given away a huge amount of money and in-kind services in recent years, a lot of it focused on youth, and while it's hard to say how Ballmer
has shaped this giving, he's
definitely been involved.
For example, Ballmer
was on hand in 2012 when Microsoft
announced the largest philanthropic initiative its history- a $500 million three-year effort to expand opportunities for global youth called YouthSpark.