Billionaires pressed to donate half wealth!!
So in 2006 Warren Buffet said he’d donate 99% of his wealth eh? How much does he have now and how much did he donate? Bill and Melinda gates, may we audit yoyour charity? 😉
Investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates called upon hundreds of billionaire Americans on Wednesday to donate at least half their wealth to charity in the Giving Pledge campaign.
Launched by the two richest Americans, the Giving Pledge campaign invites wealthy Americans to give away at least half their fortune during their lifetime or after their death, and to publicly state their intention with a letter explaining their decision.
In a letter posted on the campaign’s website, Buffett said he “couldn’t be happier” with his 2006 decision to give away 99 percent of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and family charities.
“Now, Bill and Melinda Gates and I are asking hundreds of rich Americans to pledge at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity,” Buffett, 79, said.
He said that, so far, about 20 percent of his Berkshire Hathaway shares, including shares given by his late wife Susan, had been distributed to charity, and that he would continue to annually distribute 4 percent of the shares he retains.
In a commentary published in Fortune magazine, Buffett also wrote that he and Gates are setting the example to fulfill a pledge made at a dinner of wealthy business leaders a year ago in New York.
It was one of a series of dinners being held by Buffett, Gates and his wife, Melinda, with rich Americans and wealthy individuals in other countries, in a bid to spread their concept.
Among the billionaires who participated in last year’s dinner were Oprah Winfrey, Eli and Edythe Broad, Ted Turner, David Rockefeller, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Julian Robertson, John and Tashia Morgridge and Pete Peterson.
Among those committed to a 50 percent pledge are capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins and his wife, Ann; HF Lenfest and his wife, Marguerite, and the Morgridges.
Broad and his wife, Edythe, said in a statement that they will give away 75 percent of their wealth during and after their lifetime.
Lenfest has already given away more than $800 million, or about 65 percent of his fortune, a spokeswoman said.
Having so far given more than $28 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates told Fortune magazine that he hopes the super-rich view the 50 percent as a minimum.
“This is about moving to a different realm,” he said.
The outcome of the campaign is estimated by Buffett and Gates at $600 billion, two times as much as the charity donation received by American philanthropies in 2009, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
While targeting billionaires, the Giving Pledge said it is “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.”