Joe Gebbia: Tech Grants

NET WORTH: $3.8 billion


FUNDING AREAS: Education, Humanitarian, TBD

OVERVIEW: In 2016, the co-founders of Airbnb, Joseph Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk joined the Giving Pledge and committed to giving away the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Gebbia is involved with his alma mater Rhode Island School of Design. 

BACKGROUND: Joe Gebbia attended Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he earned dual degrees in graphic design and industrial design.  Gebbia is the co-founder and CPO of Airbnb, serving on the board of directors and executive staff, while also leading Samara, Airbnb’s in-house design and innovation studio. 


EDUCATION: Gebbia serves on the board of trustees of his alma mater, RISD. In 2014, he donated $300,000 to RISD to establish a $50,000 term scholarship and an endowed fund.

HUMANITARIAN: Airbnb supports the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) through its campaign BelongAnywhere, which aims to draw attention and financial support to refugees globally as they integrate into new communities. In 2012, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Chesky helped establish an Airbnb portal for the public to provide free housing for hurricane victims. Gebbia told the Wall Street Journal, "We have to apply our strengths to areas of the world that need them most."

LOOKING FORWARD: It seems likely that Gebbia's philanthropy will focus to some degree on entrepreneurs. In his Giving Pledge letter, he states that his "philanthropic contributions will aim to build pathways for future creatives and entrepreneurs, no matter their age, gender, or location, to achieve their dreams." Only in his mid 30s, Gebbia is just getting started with his grantmaking.


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