Jennifer Leach English (Photo: Ian Whelan)
Jennifer Leach English (Photo: Ian Whelan)

Up Front: December 2015

John Paul DeJoria’s philanthropy can inspire us all.

John Paul DeJoria is as well known for his philanthropy as he is for selling shampoo. In his BJT interview with Cynthia Bowman, the cofounder of the Paul Mitchell hair-care-products line tells a moving story about his mother teaching him and his brother early on that “success unshared is failure.” DeJoria learned the lesson well and today works with many charitable organizations, including his own JP’s Peace, Love and Happiness Foundation. In 2011, he joined Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and about 75 other billionaires in a promise to give at least half of his wealth to philanthropic causes via The Giving Pledge. (The list of billionaires and former billionaires who’ve made the vow has since grown to more than 135.) 

We know that many BJT readers share that elite group’s passion for philanthropy. That’s why we’ve been regularly featuring a column called “Giving Back”  since 2013. All of the charities we spotlight there have the highest possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator, a nonprofit outfit that rates philanthropic institutions based on finances, accountability and transparency. 

The holiday season is when you probably start to feel as if every charitable group in existence is pulling out all the stops to get your donations. The end of the year is overwhelming enough without the added stress of trying to figure out how to maximize your giving, an act that should bring only joy. Our column can help, as can Charity Navigator’s recently published “Holiday Giving Guide” (available at Its suggestions include making a careful review of your donations from last year to gauge progress made; investigating new organizations on your list for signs of transparency and effectiveness; and limiting your donations to just a handful of groups, since a few well-placed gifts can go further than a wide array of smaller ones.

Thank you from all of us at BJT for your readership and support. We look forward to serving you in 2016.

P.S. BJT received three honorable-mention certificates at the 2015 Folio: Awards banquet, which took place in New York on October 19. The judges recognized our February/March 2015 edition in the category devoted to Best Full Issue of a Travel/Transportation Consumer Magazine. Margie Goldsmith’s “Bali and Sumba,” which appeared in that issue, received honorable mention in the category for Best Single Article in a Consumer Transportation Magazine, as did Alexandra Kay’s “The Future of Supersonic Flight,” which ran in our April/May 2015 edition. These certificates bring to 35 the number of editorial awards won by the magazine since 2005

Jennifer Leach English is BJT's editorial director.