In honor of national entrepreneur’s day, we spoke with Derik Stephen Fay, Founder of 3F Management a venture capital and business consulting firm. He shared with us some thoughts on his approach to philanthropy and its meaning to others that share a similar view.
Derik is one individual equipped with a multi dimensional view of giving and has taken philanthropy to a new level. Outside the office, he volunteers his time to run his charitable initiatives and ensure their success and consistency of ab unprecedented 100% giveback.
He accumulated over a $250 million net worth by the age of 40, his story inspiring for anyone not to mention someone from a background infected with domestic violence and neglect.
Derik sharing some of his thoughts on philanthropy was insightful and fun; here is our chat;
How and what inspired you in the philanthropy?
I was born in Westerly, Rhode Island and spent much of my early years in Section 8 housing , more commonly known as the projects. As a young child, with a single mom, who had no job, and an abusive step father, it was not a pretty picture, and I lacked the attention and parental nurture that every kid desires. Until even today, I credit this period of time fore creating a unrelenting desire to make money to free myself and my family from poverty.
Somewhere along the way, however, my ideologies changed. The more successful I became, as I began collecting “things” it didn’t fill the void I had in my heart and mind. It was then I realized the true meaning of wealth. I began fulfilling others needs and found true happiness and fulfillment. As I look back now realize that when my father was finally able to remove me from the abusive environment at the age of about 8 or 9, was pivotal moment that changed my life forever. The Fay family not aware of the abuse simply loved me and provided normalcy and stability. This allowed me create space between the hate, anger, and pain that had been festering indie of me. Absent this I don’t believe I would be here today.
Charitable cause: You discussed philanthropy being more than just giving money. What do you mean?
Charitable giving can be broken down into 3 sections:
- Financial Giving (Your Money)
- On the ground giving (Your Time)
- Mentorship (Your Experiences/Knowledge )
I have rarely seen #1 ever fix any thing long term.
What principles have led to your philanthropic success?
Commitment to consistency is the number one driving force. Effective philanthropy is about more than writing a check. You need to implement a clear plan of action that addresses not only the current needs, but also addresses what lead to the current situation, and educate how to avoid similar situations the future. To achieve your intended outcome of your charitable activities requires far more than most think of. This is the reason many charities, no matter how well intentioned, fall short of its core goals.
How would you choose what amount of your wealth to give philanthropically?
I do not think there is a universal answer to that question. That answer is different to everyone, and not a single answer is wrong. I often choose to donate directly to families and or companies in need on the community level. Because of this I often give my financial donations anonymously and do not expect anything in return. I do this for a variety of reasons, the most compelling reason being that I feel giving is a very personal and an intimate action that if made public can often make the recipient feel worse and embarrassed. I remember the pain of poverty, and I do not want my giving to make another person feel that way by publicizing it.