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share the passion and action of [their] time

I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a [person] that [they] should

at peril of being judged not to have lived.

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1884)

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The Philanthropist

My philanthropy is informed through the optics of my personal relationships:

 

• My mother was a special education teacher for more than four decades (Education)

 

• I also just really adore Opera and Theater, and believe in equal and equitable access, so there's that (The Arts).

 

• I have had too many women in my life who are survivors of sexual assault—as both adults and children. (Women & Children's Rights)

 

I may not have the deep pockets of grander philanthropists, but what I lack in treasure I make up for in time and passion. And while I am a funder, I find it is the action of innovating in the Commons to create impact that has the biggest effect of removing the fears of physical harm, inequality, and of the future.

 

N.B. My family has around 400 years of service to the country, which has informed some of my civic duties for the public good.

 

Frederick Douglass (Emancipation Address, August 3, 1857)

IF THERE IS NO STRUGGLE, THERE IS NO PROGRESS.

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. 

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

THE GOOD MUST ASSOCIATE,

When bad men combine,

else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in contempible struggle.

Edmund Burke (Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, 1770)

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

Far too many people in my life are survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. I'm now a father myself. It is my sworn and solemn duty to protect children, and I am so grateful to have served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Communications Officer of the Child Safety Pledge and the Child Safety Coalition, respectively. Both of these have provided me a vehicle to create better outcomes for kids through storytelling and impact investing.

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Men & The Rights of Women

When my daughter was four years old, I asked myself what is the greatest gift I could give her when she turns 18 and enters the wider world? Is it an apartment, an education, what? The answer I arrived at was much more complex: A more just and gender-equal society. That's why I formed The NextMen, a group of influential males advocating for, investing in, and activating alongside on the rights and causes most important to women.

 

We perform three simple activities:

1. We listen

 

2. We show up

 

3. We invest time and treasure

 

If men have created the problem of gender inequality, then we must also be active allies and respectful participants in its solution.

To know how much there is to know is the

BEGINNING OF LEARNING TO LIVE.

Dorothy West (The Richer, the Poorer, 1995)

Promoting Education, Arts, & Children’s Health

Our family has been undoubtedly fortunate. Several years ago we started the St. Clair Family Foundation informally as a way to organize our modest giving activities.

 

Today, our purse is still humble, but we provide support to a variety of wonderful organizations, including Make-a-Wish, Lincoln Center Kids, and The Rise Fund by Sundara

 

We also proudly grant the St. Clair Family Speech & Debate Award annually at Bridgewater-Raritan High School (NJ) to a top forensics performer. Since 2006, we have administered the scholarship to nearly 20 students.

 
 

one million realities.

If one is lucky,

CAN TOTALLY TRANSFORM

A SOLITARY FANTASY

Die Politik ist die Lehre vom Möglichen.

(Translation: Politics is the art of the possible.)

Otto Von Bismarck, Interview in

St. Petersburger Zeitung (1867)

Other Support & Advocacy

I am also honored to serve, or have served, on the volunteer Boards or Advisory Councils of several nonprofits, including: The Academy of St. Joseph (NY), The Birthright Israel Foundation, the Museum of Fine Arts (MA), and BUILD NYC. I also currently serve as President of the Phi Beta Kappa Society of New York, the professional chapter of the national collegiate honors society.

 

Dedicated to Service

I am humbled to have been preceded by more than 400 years of active military and civic service in my family. In keeping with that tradition, I have served when and where I could.

 

Though I have historically been politically unaffiliated, in 2016, I was requested to run for State Committee in the 2nd Suffolk and Middlesex District of Massachusetts by Governor Charlie Baker. While I was endorsed by the Romneys, I narrowly lost to my incumbent, highly-conservative opponent. I was later appointed to a position of public trust as part of the Real Estate Board of Massachusetts.

 

I have also served as an Honorary Commander in the U.S. Air Force, and will soon serve as a Reserve Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard (pending final approvals). I do believe there is more civic duty and political service to my country in the future, but for now, I am more than satisfied to do what I can where I am needed.

 

dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Let us have faith that

right makes might,

and in that faith, let us, to the end

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CONTACT ME FOR

SPECIAL COVID PROJECT

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ENGAGE WITH ME ON

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N.B. Regarding certain quotations used on this site: I recognize the modern controversy following some of the quoted figures. I further recognize the potentially harmful beliefs these figures held in their time. In quoting them, it is not my intention to glorify or demonize. Rather, I cite their discrete thoughts, which represent a moment of interesting thinking, as separate from their total biography.

© Neil St. Clair, 2020-2025

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