Philanthropy and Sponsorship
As a hedge fund specialist, Arpad Busson works in an industry that is focused on capitalism. He was also born into an independently wealthy family. Despite his obvious privilege Arpad was not pampered and sees money as something to be shared with those who need it. According to Busson it is wrong to make vast sums of money and not help others. He has told the media that he sees it as his job to not only help people in need, but also help people with a lot of money part with some of it to help others who are less fortunate in the world.
Arpad is a strong advocate of ‘venture philanthropy’. This is a method of running a philanthropic organisation in which management practices used in business are applied and in doing so, the effectiveness of charitable endeavours are multiplied. Arpad is the co-founder of the charitable organisation Absolute Return for Kids (ARK). He also serves as chairman on the board of directors and has done so since the charity was founded.
What ARK does
ARK raises funds, predominately from hedge funds for children in South Africa, Eastern Europe and the UK who are abused, disabled, and ill or poverty stricken. Every year a dinner is hosted by Arpad in which he invites high-profile individuals with the aim of raising money. Attendants in previous years have included former president of the United States Bill Clinton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Rania of Jordan and Prince William of England. After attending a dinner, Prince William and his brother Prince harry became collaborators of ARK. The financial contributions are used to manage projects that transforms the lives of the troubled children through improved healthcare and access to education.
ARK’s funding activities include providing financial support to AIDS victims residing in Africa, helping children to leave care in Eastern Europe and creating improved educational opportunities for impoverished children who live in India. The organisation is also responsible a subsidiary charity called ARK Academies, which is responsible for the operation of eight education academies throughout London.
Other charitable ventures
Besides ARK, Arpad Busson is also supportive of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and is a co-founder of Theodora Children’s Trust. The Theodora Trust is an initiative in which a group of performers called the ‘Giggle Doctors’ do performances to cheer children up who are in hospital.