US Billionaires Make Landmark Philanthropic Vow

Billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates play a game of bridge at the 2007 Berkshire Hathaway Annual shareholders' meeting. The two are spearheading a movement to encourage other U.S. billionaires to donate the bulk of their fortune to charity. Photo by: Ethan Bloch / CC BY Ethan BlochCC BY

A group of U.S. billionaires have pledged to give at least half of their wealth to charity as part of a groundbreaking initiative organized by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

The Giving Pledge was a brainchild of Gates and Buffett, both of whom have routinely made the richest people’s list. The pair’s initiative began in June.

“We’ve really just started, but already we’ve had a terrific response,” Buffett said, as quoted by Agence France-Presse.

In a statement released Aug. 4, the initiative said the pledge “is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract.” 

Aside from Gates and Buffett, those who signed on to the initiative include CNN founder Ted Turner, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and Hollywood director George Lucas, news agencies report.

The Giving Pledge targets to secure pledges from approximately 400 U.S. billionaires. The Forbes magazine estimates that some USD600 billion could be collected if the entire group would join the project and surrender half of their wealth to charity.

About the author

  • Chiden Balmes

    Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.

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