For Jim Anthony, it all began in 1983.
An MBA graduate from Duke University, Jim had spent the last four years working as a brokerage professional in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles when he decided to move his family back to North Carolina.
He took a job with a local commercial real estate firm, Carolantic Realty, and that’s when he “woke up” to the importance of personal philanthropy.
“Up until then, I was politically disconnected,” Jim said. “In my Christian faith, I was nominal. Then Steve Stroud, my boss, showed me the importance of investing in our community, both through political involvement and personal giving.”
That, plus some financial wake-up calls in the last real estate collapse in the late 1980s, set Jim on a three-decade course of philanthropic commitment, consisting of political engagement with candidates, public policy organizations, as well as faith groups that share his values.
Along the way, Jim founded his own commercial real estate business in Raleigh. Today, he serves as CEO of Anthony and Company and still uses his success to bless others when and where he can.
“My goal is to see the results of my philanthropy while I’m still living,” Jim said. “Generosity is for now — today. I want to see where the money goes and ensure that it’s helping people and supporting good values.”
Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Jim became a Christian as a teenager in the early 1970s. His giving is born out of his worldview, a belief that the teachings of Jesus Christ apply to every area of life — politics, business, and personal.
“Following Christ means that I will care about the poor and the rich. Both can be impoverished,” he said. “Too often charity is about making the giver feel good, when it should be about actually doing good for others. I believe that we all need to have a sense of responsibility bigger than ourselves.”
As a long-time supporter of conservative candidates in North Carolina, Jim feels that his political donations are part of his charitable investment.
“Political giving gets corrupted when you get something back for a donation,” he said. “I don’t want that. I want to support those who believe in the right principles and values.”
Jim has invested in a wide variety of charitable causes. One of his favorite methods is through the National Christian Foundation, a nonprofit that creates donor-advised funds to support diverse service organizations, including churches, ministries, and nonprofits. He is founder and served on the board of the Raleigh chapter for many years.
In the Wake County area, he has supported causes like the Healing Place, Jobs for Life, Al-Anon, Salvation Army, Raleigh Rescue Mission, Shepherd’s Table, StepUp Ministry, and many pro-life organizations like Gateway and BirthChoice. He also has supported schools, colleges, and youth workers.
On the public policy front, Jim serves as a board member of the John William Pope Civitas Institute, North Carolina’s leading voice for conservative values. He also supports efforts to give parents and children more choice in education, including Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina and Thales Academy in the Triangle region.
“Part of being generous is responding circumstantially,” Jim said. “If I don’t make room in my life to respond to immediate needs that come up, that puts a roadblock in the way of what God wants to do through me. I want to be ready and available, but not just for anybody. I am looking for Divine appointments.”
Jim’s philosophy on giving to the needy is simple: Don’t do it to be seen by men. His philosophy accords with Jesus’ teaching to do good works in secret, thereby gaining the eternal reward from God.
“But it’s also important to set an example for others and encourage them to give, too,” he said with a smile. “That’s why I’m allowing this interview.”