Marion's kind heart is revealed in this video about philanthropy. Born into a wealthy family, she had to learn to how to live her life authentically while managing and sharing her gifts of abundance. Finding her own path to philanthropy was challenging, but Marion intuitively knew that her gifts must be based on heartfelt and healing endeavors. The video tells of her journey. Understanding her own spirit and love for nature has inspired her to the create the philanthropic organization, Flow Funding. Her generous gifts through Flow Funding have been full of surprises and blessings, and the flows outward into the world have enriched her life as well as the recipients at a time of great need. Thank You, Marion for all your blessings and support!
As a young Rockefeller, Marion was a girl who loved to explore and plant seeds. She delighted in her early morning adventures with her beloved horse, Queenie. The magic and awe of nature is deeply embedded in Marion’s spirit, rooted in deep love and healing. While raising her young family, Marion opted to live in a tiny caboose off the grid and without running water for several years. The family lived very close to nature and this rustic experience has forever bonded her spirit to the earth and to those plants, animals and humans that live humbly upon it.
Being born with wealth and such a long legacy of family philanthropy can be a heavy burden, with proposals and requests for funding flowing in unending streams. Reading all the requests with an open heart can be overwhelming at times. In order to be authentic to her spiritual self, Marion needed her philanthropy to reach a greater need not always found in proposals. Her idea was to distribute her philanthropic offerings through a nonprofit that she created, called Flow Funding.
In Flow Funding, donors (not only Marion, but also others) entrust their money to social innovators and visionaries who are tasked as volunteers to give away donor’s money to important and sometimes unknown causes that they uncover. Flow Funding is a way to empower numerous new philanthropists to place strategic grants that are heartfelt and effective. This is Marion’s way of nurturing generosity, the way nature seems to nourish us – in a flow – from one person to another. She entrusts her philanthropic flow to be channeled through these hand-picked visionaries, individuals she admires and who have not given money away before. These trusted visionaries choose where the money is to go, but not to their own projects or family. This form of philanthropy is often a transformative experience for everyone involved and creates a meaningful way to help others in our troubled world.
To learn more about Flow Funding, please click this highlighted link.
Huey Johnson: I want to say, Welcome, Marion Rockefeller Weber.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Thank you so much, Huey Johnson.
Huey Johnson: We have been good friends for many years.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: We have.
Huey Johnson: And you’ve been one of the most precious contacts, one of the nicest people.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Thank you.
Huey Johnson: And it is a real pleasure to interview you at last.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Well, it’s my pleasure to be here and to be supportive of your incredible works. It’s a real honor.
Huey Johnson: I don’t think I could have made it without you, and I’m really appreciative. Thank you.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Thank you. Oh my gosh, the blessings, yeah.
Huey Johnson: Yeah, I’d like to introduce the thought that being a Rockefeller is no light burden because of the tradition there and so on. I knew your father, who was a remarkably wonderful guy and who put a lot of his life’s energy into environment and creating national parks. I mean he literally created national parks, and was a very approachable, very human, kind guy and I worked with him and we both benefitted, I think from it.
Huey Johnson: You have a deep love of nature obviously. Give me some reflections on your feelings about nature.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Oh yeah, well ever since I was a little girl, it’s been my friend. My dad gave me a horse named Queenie, and Queenie and I would go out before breakfast in the woods by ourselves and just I was so comfortable with her, bare back and so it started that way. Johnny Apple Seed was one of my heroes, and my mom and dad would look out the window and they’d see me opening up apples and planting seed all over the Rockefeller Estate, and also Albert Schweitzer was one of my heroes. Medicine, nature, and art, that’s my greatest joy – to take care of nature. I also feel very strongly about not letting nature be poisoned and I’ve been active in San Francisco stopping the poison in the parks. All my life I’ve been… if I see poison, I’ll take an action and it’s very upsetting when I see what’s happening to the earth right now and attest to change.
You know I think if people would just go outside every day and notice what’s in front of them — the beauty — so, so deep. With all the emergencies that are going on, there’s always that possibility that when an emergency is happening, you’ll notice all the kindness that happens within an emergency.
Huey Johnson: Yeah.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: And if we could just bottle that and take it –
Huey Johnson: Spread it around.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Take it beyond the emergency and let that loose, you know. That’s a hope I have right now.
Huey Johnson: Amid your unique qualities, one of the most interesting to me was that when you were married and had your children, you lived in a caboose.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: I did indeed.
Huey Johnson: With your kids and raised them. You laundered, you did your laundry in the creek.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: We were part of the “back to the land movement”, which was really very important and has had many ramifications. And we lived in that caboose off the grid, no telephone, no running water for four years. And it totally was a blessing for me.
Huey Johnson: I bet it was good for your kids too.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: It was an adventure for them for sure. We lived by the moon. We went to bed when it got dark. We got up when it was light. Chopped my own wood and hauled my water. It was something we need to remember, this elemental living. It’s very healing. It was a beautiful time, unforgettable and it changed my life.
Huey Johnson: Of all the issues you’ve worked on and projects you’ve helped over the years, do you have any favorites?
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Well, other than of course, your work.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: I think my work with the Flow Fund Circle has been my most wonderful adventure, which I dreamed up myself, and I give money to visionaries to give away. I got the idea for Flow Funding when I was making out my will and I gave money to people in my will to give away who I had given money to, to do their work. I said “now, I would like to give you this to give away,” and I thought well, I’m not dead and this is a darned good idea. I think I’m going to do this.
Huey Johnson: It’s rough when people had never given money away [unintelligible].
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Yeah, exactly. People had never given money away.
Huey Johnson: So you’ve taken 300 of them and given them some money and say “now you go find something meaningful to-“
Marion Rockefeller Weber: But circle by circle. One year we had 32 in the circle, and I have “flow funded” the 13 Indigenous Grandmother’s, the Tipping Point Network, I had circles in Kazakhstan, Burma, South America, so it was incredible. Money went out to the hands of intuitive people, to what they felt their heart was connected to you know, and can’t get better than that.
Huey Johnson: Yeah, that’s wonderful.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: It was beautiful.
Huey Johnson: A form of philanthropy, yeah.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Yeah. So I, you know, I’m hoping foundations will try this form as a way of quickening their work. For me, it was a life saver. It was totally fascinated, and I call it a healing arts form of philanthropy because it’s intuitive, it’s in the moment, you know, you just walk around. Nobody knows you have money, whoa, that’s an incredible thing right there, right? So you get to choose where it should go. For me, it’s not always been that case because people know I have money because my name and my background, so I’m always approached for money. So this was a whole other thing. This was like I picked the people, and they picked the people, you know, it kept going like a waterfall, and it went all over the earth. It was incredible.
Huey Johnson: That’s wonderful.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Yeah.
Huey Johnson: What advice would you have for young philanthropists?
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Well, I would say, consider this a blessing. Be quiet about your work. Just go about noticing what’s important, what touches your heart, and just respond intuitively. You know, don’t surround yourself with advisors — that’s not necessary. Just begin to go outside and just say, “oh you know, I feel this person here. I’ve been just quietly to help you out and could I offer some money for you?” Or “Could I offer my time?” Anything, it’s not just money, the way to practice generosity. You know you’re very lucky to be able to practice generosity all your life with money, but it should be quiet work and a work of the heart, and don’t get hood-winked by what other people are doing, just pay attention to who you are. And don’t start doing your philanthropy until you feel strong inside, and feel that it’s time to do it. There’s no rush, uh uh. And you always can give money to other people to give away, like I did. Faux funding is a really fun way to do it and it creates a community for you, maybe you like to have a little community that you’re working with. That would be nice for you. But be humble, don’t be showy, just follow your intuition.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: The important thing is for young people and everybody, is to have your philanthropy and your investments work together. It has to happen, excuse me for even being upset about it, but its been hard on my family to get to this place, but if they don’t work together, we’re not going anywhere, we’re going backwards.
Huey Johnson: You didn’t like the idea of investing in nuclear energy.
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Oh, no.
Huey Johnson: You went after your family to make sure that that was –
Marion Rockefeller Weber: Things are better but it takes a focus to do that. I mean you know, rich folks out there, pay attention, look and see what your investments are doing. You’ve got to look at it. It’s hard to do that and I practically was sick when I looked at what our investments were doing. Now it is so important to know where do things come from? How do we use it? And where does it go? This is the way of the future. And so you out there, young people, listen up because you’re the ones that will be in the lead and I never was taught what to do, that’s why I’m a maverick.
Huey Johnson: Okay girls and dogs, we did it.