Philanthropic 50: William and Jane Conway

Conway, one of the founding triumvirate of the Carlyle Group. But they don’t make movies like that anymore, so we have to settle for a real life story in which Conway decides – in 2012 – to give away $1 billion of his $2.8 billion personal wealth. But, to whom? Through the Washington Post, he invited public suggestions on how to create new job opportunities for the poor. More than 2,500 ideas came pouring in, overwhelming Conway – by his own admission – and fixing his mind on a more practical approach: use the money to create opportunities for people who couldn’t otherwise afford training for employment in areas where there is already a demand. Earlier gifts went to Catholic Charities, Catholic schools in the District and S.O.M.E (So Others Might Eat), but more recently the Conways’ Bedford Falls Foundation found its true philanthropic niche in the nursing profession, providing funds for scholarships at the University of Maryland’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program (more than $7 million), the University of Virginia’s nursing school ($5 million in 2018) and other schools in the Washington, D.C. area.

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