John D. Rockefeller endeavored to “to solve the problem of giving money away without making paupers of those who receive it.”
Rockefeller went on to say:
“I investigated and worked myself almost to a nervous breakdown in groping my way, without sufficient guide or chart, through the ever-widening field of philanthropic endeavor. It was forced upon me to organize and plan this department upon as distinct lines of progress as our other business affairs.
“I have always indulged the hope that during my life I should be able to establish efficiency in giving, so that wealth may be of greater use to the present and future generations. If the people can be educated to help themselves, we strike at the root of many of the evils of the world.”
During his life, John D. Rockefeller gave away over $530 Million from 1855 to 1934 funding many medical, educational, scientific and religious causes. This legacy of giving has continued generations later.
There are a plethora of foundations and institutions that bear the Rockefeller name. The oldest, the Rockefeller Foundation, is currently chaired by John’s great grandson. Other family members have also started their own charities as a part of their own personal legacies.