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Inspired by such luminaries as Elie Wiesel and Paul Newman, Marc Pollick founded The Giving Back Fund. He spoke to CL about the role of giving and the cult of celebrity in today’s world. — N.A.

CL: WHAT FIRST INSPIRED YOU TO SET UP YOUR COMPANY?
MP: Having established a nonprofit for Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, I was intrigued by the power inherent in leveraging wealth and celebrity on behalf of philanthropy and good works. I came across a newspaper story about several highprofile athletes and the mismanagement of their charitable foundations. I decided at that moment I would try to become the answer to that problem.

CL: WHAT IS THE GIVING BACK FUND?
MP: Basically, the fund was created to provide expert professional management services for high-profile people seeking to do serious philanthropy.

CL: WHAT IS THE ROLE OF CELEBRITY IN GIVING?
MP: We are a celebrity-obsessed culture. A strong argument could be made that celebrity is the No. 1 currency in America today. When a celebrity supports a cause, it draws media attention and the attention of fans that follow that celebrity.

CL:WHO ARE SOME OF THE CELEBRITIES YOU HAVE MOST ENJOYED WORKING WITH?
MP: Yao Ming has been an extraordinary role model for philanthropy. So have Rosie O’Donnell and Angelina Jolie. Herb Alpert of the Tijuana Brass has been a trendsetting philanthropist.

CL: HOW DO YOU SEE PHILANTHROPY EVOLVING OVER THE NEXT DECADE?
MP: I see online giving exploding over the next few years and I see social responsibility — double-bottom-line companies — becoming a partner to philanthropy in solving the world’s problems.