The face of philanthropy

The world of giving is filled with well-meaning and talented individuals from every background. These influential altruists are making their mark on philanthropy.

The guru
Photographed on Mount Tamalpais, Marin County, Calif.
The guru
Larry Brilliant,
As executive director of, Brilliant runs the cash (some $2 billion so far) that Larry Page and Sergey Brin have committed on Google's behalf to charitable activities, namely fighting poverty, reversing global warming, and tending to the world's neediest patients. Brilliant, the famed epidemiologist known for helping conquer smallpox in India, has a new challenge - creating a corporate philanthropy strategy that's as progressive and fruitful as Google itself. Brilliant's twist: isn't set up as a nonprofit and therefore isn't bound by various IRS restrictions. By making investments, for example, rather than simply giving away money, he thinks can achieve radical change faster.

Last updated January 11 2008: 5:15 PM ET

Larry Brilliant

Jeff Flug and Jeffrey Sachs

Michael J. Fox

Jacqueline Novogratz

Pierre Omidyar and Matt Bannick

Laysha Ward

John Demsey

J.D. Hoye and Sandy Weill
Melinda Gates goes public ... about living with Bill, working with Warren Buffett, and giving away their billions. (more)
Building playgrounds is serious business A nonprofit called KaBOOM galvanizes corporations and communities to build playgrounds in underprivileged neighborhoods. Here's a look inside the vital work behind the play. (more)