Bruce Levenson serves as evidence that the American Dream cannot only be obtained for oneself, but its benefits can be shared with others. Levenson has successfully built several businesses in various fields from business to sports and cooking technology to communication. In fact, as co-founder of United Communications Group back in the late 1970’s Levenson built the company into one which guides companies to solutions for their work in numerous business sectors such as government contracting, energy, healthcare, software, banking, technology, and defense. His financial success has allowed him to take on numerous other endeavors such as becoming an owner of the Atlanta Hawks NBA franchise, and the GasBuddy mobile app that helps drivers to find the least expensive gas stations for filling up.
Profits from his many ventures have also snowballed into donations for many causes about which he and his wife, Karen, are passionate.
The areas that the Levensons have funded include many to help disadvantaged youth and those supporting the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. by providing the education and tools necessary for positive work to be continued by participants. In fact, there are several endeavors that did not pan out, and due to the desire for programs to not only be launched but effectively run with professional managers, the couple took their giving one step further by setting up the Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Management at the University of Maryland to help educate and equip non-profit leaders to effectively oversee non-profit organizations.
The Levensons hope this program will provide undergraduate and graduate coursework that focuses on philanthropy as well, including the opportunity for classes to review grant requests by non-profits on which the class then votes to decide where award money may be philanthropically given. Since 2011, this has resulted in about $40,000 worth of grants being given each year. In 2016, this program will cross into international territory when it expands to China. For the Levensons, projects, profits, and philanthropy are the key to paying it forward. More information can be found on their website.