So Wagner opted to start his own multimillion-dollar foundation rather than pour millions into ex-isting funds. He follows a model that Morino calls "venture philanthropy," combining tough-minded business precepts with the softer, traditional model of charitable giving. Wagner donates to inner-city youth programs, but his foundation also trades capital for an equity stake in minority-owned businesses doing high-tech work.
Wagner requires "accountability, responsibility, all the things we're used to in the business world," even when donating to small, nonprofit organizations like Dallas' Oak Cliff Boxing Club, which gives underprivileged youngsters a place to go for recreation after school.
He understands that a nonprofit's success can't be measured exactly like a corporation's, but he insists that some benchmarks be set and met.
"We're going into this just like a VC would," Wagner says. "We're going to say this is what we expect in 90 days, 180 days. We'll have mutually agreed-upon targets, and they'll have to meet them."
As Wagner makes clear, the techneau riche philanthropists bring more than their ample money to the table. After all, these are people who made it with their brains, so they're confident that intellect and expertise, properly deployed, can work wonders.