Organizations Profiles

Michael and Susan Dell’s Career of Giving

Michael and Susan Dell
IMG: via Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

You might think that the founder of Dell Inc., one of the world’s leading sellers of PCs, would be interested in philanthropic causes pertaining to technology. However, with Michael Dell, this simply isn’t the case. The self-professed “homegrown geek” turned multi-billionaire, and his wife Susan Dell, are much more interested in giving to causes that impact the well-being of children, paying particular attention to health and education.

Known as one of the wealthiest businessmen in the world, Michael Dell has dedicated much of his successful career to philanthropy, sharing his wealth with worthy causes. In 1999, the husband and wife team created the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which focuses on education grants, urban education, childhood health, and family economic stability, among many other causes. The foundation seeks to “transform the lives of children living in urban poverty,” and attacks issues of poverty by implementing better health and education.

Michael Dell believes that “One of philanthropy’s most valuable roles lies in identifying innovative entrepreneurs and organizations who specialize in looking at old problems in a new way.” Dell himself has spent a career innovating technology; he’s a business leader, an entrepreneurial pioneer, and a generous philanthropist, all three of equal importance to him. The Dells know that it takes an innovative idea to spark change, and their connections have allowed them to seek guidance from some of the world’s most dedicated experts to help transform the lives of children in need, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Bloomberg Business Week ranks the Dells at number thirteen on their list of the “50 Most Generous Philanthropists.” They have donated an estimated $674 million to causes that provide healthcare services and education to children in recent years. In 2012, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation committed $50 million for medical education to the University of Texas at Austin, Michael’s alma mater. The Dell School of Medicine will begin enrolling students there in 2016, with the help of the Dell’s commitment to supporting higher education and the future of medicine. According to Bloomberg Business, “Since 1999, the Dells have given more than $1.2 billion to improve the lives of children living in urban poverty. After Hurricane Katrina, the Dells responded personally with a $5 million check to help storm victims. With an eye toward tackling issues of poverty globally, the Dells fund micro-finance efforts in urban India.”

Michael and Susan Dell are true models of innovation and philanthropy. To learn more about the Dells, check out our profile.