Actually, there's no shortage of ways to "give back" today whether what you are rich in is capital, ideas, time or your network of relationships.
Charities suffer from chronic lack of funding, poor IT set-ups, and second hand everything. Nathan Betheridge, founder of Everyday Hero, launched Heroix in 2007, a platform to raise capital for charities, and has helped 86 charities in Australia to raise $9 million from 160,000 funders. Someone had to build an efficient online fundraising platform for the not-for-profit sector. Nathan married his understanding of brands and the internet with a successful business model - a blend of membership, transaction and license fees.
Martin Armstrong, the extremely successful recruitment entrepreneur, founded Greenvoice after moving to the country and seeing the need for sustainable farming. Greenvoice today is providing the tools for people to be serious about the cause which matters to them. In a world where many Corporate Social Responsibility programs seem disconnected from the life of the firm, Greenvoice has an opportunity to enable management to devolve responsibility to the individuals who may want to back different causes with their time, networks and money. Whereas Greenpeace and the rest of them failed to engage the mass market, Obama's campaign shows that organisation and passion can change the world. Greenvoice is part of this 21st century People Power paradigm.
And last week, I caught up with my old friend, Seb Bishop, who founded Espotting, which had - before Google - the business model which the advertising industry operates on, back in 2000. He sold it successfully in early 2004 for millions. Seb took over Red, the "agency" launched by Bobby Shriver and Bono, whose call to action is: "buy red products from top brands and fight aids in Africa." They have raised more than $125 million to date.
When I arrived in London in early 1998, I was a babe in the woods. I wanted to make my fortune, and I was confronted with a Chairman at New Media Investors, Tom Teichman, who gave me my first job. While I was worrying about my bonus, he was promising to give 1% of NMI's profits to charity. It was the best framework I could have had to begin my new life in venture capital. Make money then give money.
With the G20 riots threatening to come this week, we owe it to ourselves to remember the choice we have - to marry personal gain with individual philanthropy, no matter how small. In the moment of choice, choose to help others.