When Alexander Gaguine turned 44, his father was planning to hand him a $12-million inheritance. But the son knew he didn't want to keep the money for himself—he wanted the millions to go to a foundation that would focus on causes that mattered to him.
He persuaded his father—a lawyer and successful investor— to change his estate plans, and in 1997, the Appleton Foundation was born.
These days Alexander Gaguine and Appleton give about $1-million a year to programs in the United States that spur economic development and financial equity, as well as to groups that promote peace and justice in Latin America.
For the past decade, Appleton has also been the primary donor to the Center for Genetics and Society, an organization that seeks to limit cloning and other uses of human genetic and reproductive technologies it considers inappropriate.
You can learn more about Mr. Gaguine's decision to give away his fortune and what he has learned about being a big donor to a single group in a conversation sponsored by The Chronicle and Bolder Giving, an organization that works to encourage philanthropists to give more generously.
Mr. Gaguine will be available on Wednesday, April 27, at noon U.S. Eastern time to take your questions. Anne Ellinger, a philanthropist and a co-founder of Bolder Giving, will also join the discussion.