The Giving Pledge: Buffett and Gates encourage wealthiest Americans to give

Warren Buffett has joined Bill and Melinda Gates in a new campaign urging billionaires to pledge the majority of their wealth to philanthropy, either during their lifetime or after death. The campaign follows meetings they have been holding across America to encourage other billionaire donors to commit at least 50% of their wealth to philanthropy.

Warren Buffett, who has committed to pledging 99% of his wealth to philanthropy either during his lifetime or at death, explains his reasons in his own Philanthropic Pledge:

Millions of people who regularly contribute to churches, schools, and other organizations thereby relinquish the use of funds that would otherwise benefit their own families. The dollars these people drop into a collection plate or give to United Way mean forgone movies, dinners out, or other personal pleasures. In contrast, my family and I will give up nothing we need or want by fulfilling this 99% pledge.

The reaction of my family and me to our extraordinary good fortune is not guilt, but rather gratitude. Were we to use more than 1% of my claim checks on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced. In contrast, that remaining 99% can have a huge effect on the health and welfare of others.

More information is available at The Giving Pledge website: http://givingpledge.org/

Jun. 17, 2010

 Tags: topical issues, stories, news, general

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