Ben & Jerry's American PieBack in the Reagan era, in order to reduce “Big Government” the President made a call for new volunteerism, and soon after, President George H. W. Bush advised America in his 1991 State of the Union Address:

“We can find meaning and reward by serving some purpose higher than ourselves — a shining purpose, the illumination of a thousand points of light.”

Not to be outdone by dad, playing the faithful optimist in his January 2002 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush called on all Americans to dedicate at least two years—the equivalent of 4,000 hours—in service to their communities, their country and the world. Yeah right!

If it can be agreed that much of U.S. government and politics has been corporatized, then recent developments point out that corporations have taken on more of the tasks that governments are failing at. Most people are working hard to make ends meet, but those who have succeeded at the capitalist game realize that it’s no fun being rich if the world is rapidly filling up with poverty, disease and weapons. They are successful thinkers and doers, who are on the forefront of new social activism and venture philanthropy.

For example, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is kicking off a national Federal Budget Priorities Campaign calling on Americans to reconsider spending priorities. The goal is to heighten awareness of the billions of dollars the Pentagon spends on nuclear weapons vs. a shortfall of spending on basic unmet needs of children.

Then of course there are the billion points of light emanating from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the added 31 billion dollars recently committed to the foundation by their friend, legendary investor Warren Buffett.

Other successful investors are giving back and working towards positive change, such as George Soros Open Society Institute and James Simons’ Math For America.

Jeff Skoll made millions as the first President of eBay, and is founder and CEO of Participant Productions using the power of media for social change. A recent feature film release produced by Participant is Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, which is a tremendous statement of scientific concern for the future of planet Earth. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and helps to organize non-profit leadership through the Craigslist Foundation and their Bootcamp programs.

For additional information, the American Institute of Philanthropy has an online ratings list of many top charitable organizations, their categories and how to contact them.