Robert F. Smith’s Philanthropy
Philanthropist and entrepreneur Robert F. Smith is committed to uplifting the human spirit, particularly in underrepresented and underserved communities. Smith’s work with Fund II Foundation as the founding director and President has helped fund racial equity and educational reform initiatives, as well as outdoor access and historic preservation efforts. Additionally, his partnership with the foundation led to the creation of internship and career pipeline opportunities for Black Americans and other marginalized groups.
“There’s nothing greater than liberating the human spirit.”
-Robert F. Smith
Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners
Paying it Forward
Smith learned about the importance of giving back to others at a young age. This early understanding inspired Smith throughout his personal and professional endeavors and has helped to shape who he is today. As a result, Smith hopes to teach younger generations about the importance of giving back through his philanthropic efforts. Ultimately, he hopes to inspire others to step forward and become community leaders and philanthropists who will help make the world a better place.
Smith aims to encourage outdoor preservation and access by working with organizations like Lincoln Hills Cares.
Smith’s Partner Organizations
For example, Smith supports the work of Southern Communities Initiative. The Initiative is a nonprofit organization dedicated to boosting racial equity in six Southern U.S. communities that are home to the majority of Black Americans. To drive lasting impact, the Initiative partners with corporate and philanthropic organizations to support four main racial priority pillars. These focuses include supporting minority business enterprises, boosting community access to capital, education and workforce development and ensuring digital access for underrepresented communities.
As a husband, father and Black man attuned to his cultural heritage and history, Smith has also contributed to such organizations that reflect his values and legacy.
About Robert F. Smith
Smith is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners (Vista), a leading global investment firm that launched in 2000. Since its inception, the firm has exclusively invested in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses. The idea for this stems from Smith’s belief that the health of our society, economy and planet lies in the transformative power of technology.
As Vista expanded, Smith broadened the scope of his philanthropic goals, but his original inspiration remains his mother’s monthly $25 gift to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). In 2017, Smith became the first Black American to sign the Giving Pledge. With his wife, Hope Dworaczyk Smith, by his side, he committed to investing half of his net worth in charitable projects that liberate underrepresented communities and support ecological initiatives that will ensure a better future for humankind.
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