Jean Shafiroff devotes his life to philanthropy
Few people are dedicated to philanthropy like Jean Shafiroff, an author, television host and humanitarian who is one of Palm Beach County’s new owners.
Shafiroff currently sits on nine charity boards and chairs several annual galas and other fundraisers. She has been honored by dozens of organizations and is widely recognized as an authority on philanthropy. His contributions include helping other philanthropists raise awareness of their important causes on his TV show, Successful philanthropy. The TV show is an offshoot of Shafiroff’s 2016 book, Successful philanthropy: how to make a living from what you givewhich serves as a practical guide to modern giving.
“The whole concept of my book is that anyone can be a philanthropist, even if they don’t have any money,” Shafiroff says. “You can volunteer your time and knowledge. Our country is founded on this principle. Many people have told me that my book has inspired them to become more philanthropists, and that means a lot to me.
The introduction to the book was written by Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of businessman, philanthropist and 2020 presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.
“Georgina comes from a family that’s very committed to service and generosity, and she represents the next generation of philanthropists — a group that I think is really important to cultivate,” Shafiroff says.
Many charities and the people they serve have faced unprecedented challenges over the past two years.
“It’s been an extraordinarily difficult time in history, and it’s very important that we all do what we can,” she said. Fundraising has declined due to the pandemic, threatening the survival of many organizations. Many animal shelters across the country, for example, are struggling to keep their doors open. As national spokesperson for American Humane’s Feed The Hungry campaign, board member, donor and fundraiser for the group, Shafiroff has helped the charity reach its goal of raising $1 million. to feed one million shelter animals through the Feed the Hungry COVID-19 program.
In addition to American Humane, Shafiroff currently serves on the boards of the Southampton Hospital Association, New York City Mission Society, New York Women’s Foundation, Casita Maria, French Heritage Society, Couture Council of the Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and Global Strays, an international charity founded by one of his two daughters. She is also an honorary board member of the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation and an honorary trustee of the Jewish Council, where she previously served for 28 years as a board member. “I’m Catholic, but I love this organization and the work it does,” she says.
Her other philanthropic activities include hosting fundraising cocktail parties at her home and chairing or co-chairing about eight or nine galas each year for various charities. Chairing an event has multiple responsibilities, from fundraising to generating interest.
“Usually a chair buys a table, sells tables and tickets, brings in sponsors, gets involved in the planning process, helps form a host committee, and builds excitement for an event,” he explains. -she.
Low overhead is key to good charity fundraising, she adds. “There are exceptions, but in general overhead should be no more than a third of all the money that is brought in.”
Shafiroff believes part of his mission as a philanthropist is to give others a platform to talk about the work they do. On her television show, which airs in the Hamptons and New York, she has given voice to various causes through her interviews with nearly 100 philanthropists, celebrities and politicians, including Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela and founder of the Mandela Institute. for Humanity ; Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, an advocacy organization; actress and model Carol Alt, who spoke about her work with animal charities; and actor and philanthropist Tony Danza.
“My TV show is designed to inspire and motivate others to get involved in philanthropy, and I plan to expand it and try to make it national,” says Shafiroff, who is also about to complete a second. book, with an expected release date in 2022.
During the 2020 lockdown, Shafiroff recorded some of her TV show episodes remotely from the Palm Beach area, where she and her husband, Martin Shafiroff, spent three months. Martin is Vice Chairman of Stifel, an investment company.
Now that they own a home in the area, the Shafiroffs plan to spend more and more time in Palm Beach in the months and years to come.
“Palm Beach is a very beautiful and friendly place, and it’s a very philanthropic community,” Shafiroff continues. “We have supported a number of Palm Beach causes and as we spend more time in Palm Beach I will become more and more involved in local charities. I’m excited to be more involved, but as I’m already heavily involved with many charities, I want to add wisely – sitting on nine boards is a lot of work.
Shafiroff says she feels “blessed” to be able to do all the philanthropic work that she does.
“I feel that since I’m able to do it, I have a responsibility to do it,” she adds.