The Giving Pledge

“In this season of giving, we are inspired by the millions of people across the globe who give what they can in meaningful and significant ways,” said Melinda Gates. “The Giving Pledge is rooted in this spirit and hopes to inspire people to tackle problems that are inherently difficult and diverse in an effort to address the pressing social issues they care about most.”

Started in 2010, The Giving Pledge asks the wealthiest people in the world to pledge most of their money to philanthropic and charitable organizations. Started by Bill and Melinda Gates, along with Warren Buffett, arguably the wealthiest people in the world, these billionaires are determined to make a difference.  In order to be part of the Giving Pledge, people must fulfill two requirements. You must be worth at least one billion dollars, and you must be willing to give at least half of that one billion away to charity.

Fortunately, Gates and Buffet have definitely put their money where their mouth is. Bill and Melinda Gates have pledged well over the 50% requirement, pledging a whopping 95% of their wealth to charity. Warren Buffett has certainly reigned supreme, pledging 99% of his wealth to philanthropy and charitable organizations, stating  that,“…incremental wealth, adding to the wealth they have now, has no real utility to them – but that wealth has incredible utility to other people. It can educate children, it can vaccinate children, it can do all kinds of things.”

This way of thinking is what the Gates and Buffet hope that most, if not all, wealthy citizens of the world believe. Fortunately, as of today, over 120 billionaires have agreed to take the pledge. The pledging billionaires are not only citizens of the United States of America, but also come from Australia, Germany, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

Many of these pledging billionaires give well over the 50% requirement and give to organizations such as, education, health, medical research, social services, and environmental issues.  Bill Gates believes that change for the sick and weary can happen, and states that, “The Giving Pledge brings people together to exchange ideas about how to be as effective as possible and smarter in our giving.”

– Amy Robinson

Sources: Forbes, The Giving Pledge, CBS
Photo: CNN Money