07/23/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Role Of Private Citizens In Service And Giving

For all staff and volunteers at the Clinton Foundation, a moment wasted is a life that could have been saved...

Since he left the White House in 2001, President Bill Clinton has dedicated himself to philanthropy and continued public service, essential aspects of modern American life. Through the William J. Clinton Foundation, President Clinton is seeking the answers to some of the most difficult questions that currently define our 21st century world, and we are focused on issues at home and abroad that demand urgent action, solutions, and measurable results. The Clinton Foundation has grown from its humble roots as an all-volunteer organization to a worldwide presence: a global 501(c)(3) nongovernmental organization with seven initiatives and 1,400 staff and volunteers in more than 40 countries and with offices in New York City, Little Rock, Ark., Boston, Mass., and other cities around the world. The Foundation makes a significant impact in the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world through work where we can make the most difference as private citizens: global climate change, HIV/AIDS in the developing world, childhood obesity and economic opportunity in the United States, and economic development in Africa and Latin America.

President Clinton's core values of building community, creating opportunity, and demanding responsibility drive our everyday mission of service and giving. He has worked passionately to address over his lifetime of public service that every global problem is not only interrelated but also fixable, with hard work, perseverance, and the right solution put into action. Each project of the Clinton Foundation has one intent and one idea, joined together where we can tip the scales quickly, efficiently, and with long-term impact. Across all of our initiatives, the Clinton Foundation brings together governments, industries, NGOs, partner organizations, and the private sector, and we combine the capabilities and capacities of our partners to marshal the necessary resources to address issues. In all areas, we have continued to work with a sense of determination and urgency, dedicated to our mission of helping people confront global issues that once seemed intractable. As President Clinton often says, we know that a moment wasted is a life that could have been saved or made better through our efforts. Therefore, we establish models that other organizations, governments, and individuals can replicate to solve their own specific challenges, and we deliver measurable and sustainable results that benefit the entire global community while still placing the highest possible value on individual human lives.

As President Clinton often says, intelligence, ability, and aspiration are evenly distributed across societies -- organization, investment, and opportunity are not. The Clinton Foundation seeks to bridge this gap of inequality by using a business-oriented approach and through collaborative and systematic effort. We focus on solutions that impact entire systems while still responding to the local and unique challenges in the places where we work, and we set high goals and form specific, pragmatic plans to meet them. Our business-oriented approach has achieved tremendous results: 2 million people are now accessing HIV/AIDS treatment under our pricing agreements, including two-thirds of all children in under-resourced nations receiving pediatric medicines; 40 of the world's largest cities are making progress in the fight against climate change; thousands of farmers in Rwanda and Malawi are improving their food security and increasing incomes; more than 4,300 U.S. schools are creating healthier learning environments, and more than a million children have pledged to lead healthier lives through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Members of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) have made more than 1,400 Commitments to Action valued at $46 billion to improve the lives of more than 200 million people in 150 countries.

Over the last few years in America, we have seen a remarkable resurgence of public spirit by people young and old in their involvement in presidential campaigns, in voting in record numbers, and also in service activities in their communities and all across America and the globe. One of President Clinton's accomplishments in the White House that's most prescient in retrospection is the creation of AmeriCorps. In 1993, he signed legislation -- with the same pen President Kennedy used to create the Peace Corps -- starting AmeriCorps, and he's still proud of the more than 500,000 young people who have served. One of the Clinton Foundation's initiatives, CGI held its second meeting of CGI U this winter, and more than 1,000 young people attended from across America and more than 50 other countries to discuss education, energy and climate change, global health, peace and human rights, and poverty alleviation and take concrete action. In addition to the Clinton Foundation's initiatives, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, located on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center, is the only graduate school in the nation to offer a Master's of Public Service degree and aims to inspire the next generation of leaders and public servants. Through a program that emphasizes real-life application, students gain the knowledge and experience to further their careers in the areas of nonprofit, governmental, volunteer, or private sector work.

With the giving and service of people around the world, the Clinton Foundation and other service organizations are able to continue to actively build upon our victories -- both large and small -- especially in these tough economic times when our efforts are more important than ever and those most in need are the hardest and first affected. You can get involved as a global citizen at, an online portal that provides each of us with the tools to convert our ideas into action, allows everyone to make a commitment, and connect with others who share their same vision for change. Every person -- regardless of age, income, or education -- can do something that has a lasting impact and makes a difference in the lives of others. We hope you'll give what you can. Together, we will make sure no one is left behind. To learn more about the Clinton Foundation and how to get involved, please visit