Frank Hanna III

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Frank Hanna III

Frank J. Hanna III is an American entrepreneur, merchant banker and philanthropist. He was one of three entrepreneurs profiled in the Acton Institute's documentary film The Call of the Entrepreneur.[1]

Hanna has been described as "one of the leading Catholics in the USA."[2]

Education and career[edit]

When Hanna was young, his father involved him in the family's real estate business, an experience that he believes helped equip Hanna for his later successes in the business world.[3][4]

After studying at the University of Georgia, where he earned BBA and JD degrees,[5] Hanna and his younger brother David[6] devised a method for helping companies rid themselves of bad loans. This led to the brothers' founding an investment firm they later sold.[4] Further, the brothers began the profitable CompuCredit Corp., a company that markets credit cards to higher-risk consumers.[7]

For a time, Frank was a corporate attorney with Troutman Sanders, an Atlanta law firm.[8] Since 2006, he has served as CEO of the family's investment firm, Hanna Capital, LLC.[9]

Public service[edit]

The Hanna family has long been involved in public service,[10] a tradition that Hanna submits he has continued since his college days by devoting time and resources to actions that he believes strengthen education in the United States. For example, Hanna has helped start and fund three new schools in Atlanta, serving on the boards of each: Solidarity School, Holy Spirit Preparatory School, and Holy Spirit College[11]

Solidarity School provides low-cost education to students from marginalized families (many of whom are still struggling to learn English) while Holy Spirit Prep provides an intense high-school curriculum that it claims rivals that of many four-year colleges. The latter has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Catholic High Schools in the country.[12][13]

In addition, in 2002, Hanna was chosen by George W. Bush to be co-chair of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans and oversaw the production and delivery of its report to the President: "From Risk to Opportunity."[14][15]

Further, Hanna supports groups that promote the educational and religious liberty that he believes are critical to the nation’s future including the Federalist Society, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and the Acton Institute. He also supports, serves on the board, or is otherwise affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute, Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, and The Philanthropy Roundtable.

Catholic service[edit]

Frank has spoken to Catholic leaders at conferences at the Vatican and has often been a featured guest on local and national media programs.[16]

Frank is the founder and currently a director of The Solidarity Association, an Association of the Christian Faithful established with the approval and guidance of the late Archbishop John F. Donoghue.[17] The Association seeks to strengthen and renew the Church by assisting in critical missions within the Church for which others may not be equipped. Although the Solidarity Association is best known for its purchase and donation of the Mater Verbi (Bodmer) Papyrus to the Vatican Apostolic Library (see below), it also devotes itself, in particular, to the causes of Catholic education, liturgical renewal, and stewardship.

Frank serves on the boards of the Papal Foundation, the Napa Institute, EWTN, and the Institute for Psychological Sciences. He is currently on the Advisory Boards of Heroic Media, the Catholic Leadership Institute, Seton Education Partners, the Vatican Apostolic Library, and the School of Business and Economics of the Catholic University of America.[18]

Frank also supports or is otherwise affiliated with The Dynamic Catholic Institute, FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students), Lumen Institute, The Pontifical North American College, and Sophia Institute Press.

The Bodmer Papyrus[edit]

By means of The Solidarity Association,[17] Hanna obtained from the Bodmer Foundation in Cologny, Switzerland, portions of the 14-15 Bodmer Papyri, P75), dating from between A.D. 175 and 225. The papyrus includes the oldest extant copy of portions of the Gospels of Luke and John as well as the oldest transcription of the "Our Father." In January 2007, Hanna presented the papyrus to Pope Benedict XVI in a ceremony at the Vatican.[19]

"The papyrus contains about half of each of the Gospels of Luke and John. It was written in Egypt and perhaps used as a liturgical book," explained Cardinal Tauran, an archivist and librarian. The Bodmer Papyri are kept in the Vatican Library and will soon be made available for scholarly review. In the future, excerpts may be put on display for the general public.[20]

What Your Money Means[edit]

In 2008, The Crossroad Publishing Company published What Your Money Means (And How to Use It Well),[21] which lays out paradigms for a fruitful and genuine ethical engagement with wealth and delineates prudent, efficient philanthropic strategies.[22]

In it, Hanna turns to the wisdom of various ages and cultures to affirm the fundamental premise that no matter how much of the goods of the earth we may acquire individually, we are never more than stewards of those goods, called to use them for our own good and the good of others.

He then describes criteria by which to determine how much of those goods we ought to retain for ourselves and how much we are called to use for the well-being of others. Hanna designates as Non-Essential Wealth whatever is left over after we have provided for ourselves and our dependents the bare necessities, genuine needs, profession-related needs, and beneficial goods (like education) that make for a decent and fulfilling human life.

Non-Essential Wealth, argues Hanna, contains a significant number of serious dangers which can harm both ourselves and those we love. That’s why, he says, those who are wise remain ever vigilant against confusing their net-worth with their self-worth. They strive always to subordinate their wealth to those things, activities, and values that are true, good, and beautiful: faith, family, friendship, community, honor, love, service, and freedom.

Although, says Hanna, all men and women ought to use their Non-Essential Wealth to serve the common good, that does not necessarily mean they must cease to own it. On the contrary, some of us may even be morally obliged to retain ownership of our Non-Essential Wealth in order both to ensure that in the present it is used for the benefit of many and that, in years to come, through our success in increasing it, there’s yet more to be used for those who need its help.

Although in his book Hanna lays out a number of strong reasons for us to retain ownership of our wealth in order better to serve the common good, he also urges the regular, systematic giving away of some of our wealth now, and provides readers with a simple, sensible formula by which to determine roughly how much wealth it is good to contribute to others each year.

To help his readers ensure that their contributions are well made, Hanna includes in the concluding pages of his book a series of questions that need to be satisfactorily answered about any potential recipient of aid. Then he lays out ten Rules of Thumb for Donors, urging us, among other things, to support indispensable causes to which our support is indispensable.

About this book, Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza said "I highly recommend this book to everyone who plans to engage in charitable giving no matter how much money they may have to give," and Foster Friess, founder of Brandywine Funds, agreed, adding that What Your Money Means is "An intelligent approach to allocating and enjoying wealth. . . . No one should give away a cent without reading this book first."[21]

A Graduate's Guide to Life[edit]

In 2017, Beacon Publishing published A Graduate's Guide to Life: Three Things They Don't Teach You in College That Could Make All the Difference.[23]

In George Weigel's First Things magazine article, "The Summer Reading List", he notes that the book "offers those just getting started in life nuggets of wisdom, drawn from the experience of a successful Catholic entrepreneur and generous philanthropist."[24]




In recognition of his decades of sustained public service in education and other fields, Frank has received the Philanthropy Roundtable's William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership "for his national leadership in K-12 education reform."[12][25] as well as the David R. Jones Award for Philanthropic Leadership[26] awarded by the Fund for American Studies.[18]


  1. ^ "The Call of the Entrepreneur".
  2. ^ Hudson, Deal W. "Money: Making It, Spending It, Giving It Away." Catholic Online. 23 October 2008. [1] Archived 2009-05-15 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Hanna".
  4. ^ a b Brooks, Arthur C. "Q&A: Frank Hanna on the Meaning of Money", Reader's Digest (April 2009) [2]
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2009-05-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ David Hanna is currently the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Atlanticus.
  7. ^ Lerner, Jill. "CompuCredit's $500 million men". American City Business Journals. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Profile: Frank J. Hanna." Forbes
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Hanna".
  11. ^ "Governance".
  12. ^ a b "The Call of the Philanthropist", Philanthropy. October 1, 2007
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Acton Institute Board of Directors Member Appointed to Co-Chair President's Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans." Acton Institute. 30 January 2002. [3]
  15. ^ "From Risk to Opportunity."
  16. ^ "Hanna speaks at Eucharistic Congress".
  17. ^ a b "Frank Hanna". Solidarity Association. January 24, 2007.
  18. ^ a b "Frank Hanna III".
  19. ^ "Gospel Papyrus Donated to Vatican – ZENIT – English".
  20. ^ "Ancient papyrus given to the Vatican". Solidarity Association. January 24, 2007.
  21. ^ a b Hanna, Frank J. (1 September 2008). "What Your Money Means: And How to Use It Well". The Crossroad Publishing Company – via Amazon.
  22. ^ "Excellence in Philanthropy - The Philanthropy Roundtable".
  23. ^ "A Graduate's Guide to Life - Beacon Publishing". Beacon Publishing. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  24. ^ "The Summer Reading List | George Weigel". First Things. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  25. ^ "Excellence in Philanthropy - The Philanthropy Roundtable".
  26. ^ [4] Archived 2014-11-29 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]