Society / Profiles

Houston Billionaire Couple Give a Cool Christmas Million to United Way For 2nd Consecutive Year

Rich and Nancy Kinder Keep It Twice as Nice With Generous Grace

BY // 12.21.20

The wizard behind the wildly successful energy infrastructure firm Kinder Morgan, Rich Kinder and wife Nancy have for the second consecutive year gifted the United Way of Greater Houston with a $1 million donation to the annual campaign.

That is just the latest in an on-going flow of personal philanthropy that has generated transformational changes across the city of Houston. Through the Kinder Foundation, the couple has been instrumental in realization of the new wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts; Buffalo Bayou Park; the Memorial Park Master Plan and many others.

Rich Kinder, with a net wealth estimated at $6.2 billion, ranks No. 103 on the 2020 Forbes 400 list of the richest people in the country. In 2011, the Kinders joined Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet and an international coterie of billionaires in signing The Giving Pledge, making their personal commitment to enrich the lives of Houstonians through grants that impact urban green space, education and quality of life, the latter addressed by contributions to the United Way.

“Improving the quality of life for everyone in our community is an important mission we share with United Way,” Nancy Kinder, president and CEO of the Kinder Foundation, says in a statement.

“We support the United Way of Greater Houston’s strategic vision because we recognize the life-changing difference this work can make for families and individuals who need assistance, which is needed now more than ever.”

In addition to supporting the United Way’s work in providing basic needs for those in crisis such as food, utility and rental assistance, the million dollar gift facilitates the nonprofit’s THRIVE program involving 20 other nonprofits, community colleges, government agencies and others in helping families remove barriers to success.

FERN FREEMAN

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“We are grateful to the Kinders for their extraordinary generosity and their continued trust and confidence in the work of United Way,” Amanda McMillian, president and CEO United Way of Greater Houston, says in a statement. “The Kinders are visionary leaders who invest in our local community to create a better quality of life for all and we have the highest admiration for the way they lead by example.

“We sincerely hope others who are able will join them in making a gift to the United Way campaign at this unprecedented time of need in our community.”

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