Archive for June, 2010

Would you donate half your fortune to charity? Msnbc.com wrote an article about Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, America’s two richest people, who are embarking on a campaign to persuade their super-rich peers to give half their fortunes to charity in a move that could change the face of philanthropy.

The effort, if successful, could funnel a colossal amount of money into nonprofit groups. If the individuals on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans pledged half their net worth to charity, it would amount to $600 billion, Fortune magazine says.

The campaign began just over a year ago, when Gates and Buffett — who represent a combined net worth of $90 billion, according to Forbes — invited several billionaires to a secret dinner meeting in New York.

Melinda Gates insisted that both husbands and wives be invited. Her reasoning, according to Fortune: “Even if he’s the one that made the money, she’s going to be a real gatekeeper. And she’s got to go along with any philanthropic plan, because it affects her and it affects their kids.”

Billionaire pledge

The principals eventually settled on a goal of 50 percent of net worth, though Buffett himself is pledging 99 percent. They set up a website, The Giving Pledge, about the effort. Read Warren Buffett’s Philanthropic Pledge.

splash_title

“While the Giving Pledge is specifically focused on billionaires, the idea takes its inspiration from efforts in the past and at present that encourage and recognize givers of all financial means and backgrounds. We are inspired by the example set by millions of Americans who give generously (and often at great personal sacrifice) to make the world a better place.”

The giving pledge focuses for now on American billionaires, but the effort may eventually extend worldwide. The money from the participating billionaires isn’t being collected or distributed; rather, the pledge is a commitment to give.

I love what Buffet is doing. 99% of his wealth is being given to charity. Five Star Painting has committed a portion of its earnings to charity through the Five Star C.A.R.E.S Program and Habitat for Humanity. Personally giving time is a big part of our culture.

Subscribe to D Scott Abbott
Copyright© 2009