Gates & Buffet Challenge Billionaires to Pledge 50% of their Net Worth

Karla sent me this fascinating article in Fortune about how billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet are urging their billionaire buddies to give significant amounts of their money to charities. The article details how they set up intimate, clandestine dinner gatherings with handfuls of the nation and the world’s wealthiest people — Oprah Winfrey, Eli and Edythe Broad, Ted Turner, David Rockefeller, Chuck Feeney, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, to name a few.

They are driving to get the super-rich, starting with the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, to pledge — literally pledge — at least 50% of their net worth to charity during their lifetimes or at death.

Can you imagine what would happen if the super-rich gave away half of their net worth to the public sector? Can you imagine the incredible amount of opportunities that would create for education and health care reform, eradication of poverty, and clean energy solutions? We are talking about potentially adding $600 billion dollars in resources to the public sector — this scale of impact and this type of giving is unprecedented.

Check out the rest of the article as it was a fascinating read.  It prompted me to think about a post I wrote a while ago about Personal Philanthropy Plans — creating a culture of giving in our own personal lives no matter how big or small your income is. As evidenced by American generosity (particularly around the natural disasters our world has faced in the last year in Haiti and now the gulf), people want to make an impact. Now how can we systematize and build that into the fabric of our culture so that people give regularly? So that giving isn’t just a knee-jerk reaction, but a thoughtful proactive approach? With trailblazing role models like Gates and Buffet as advocates for the philanthropic sector, I think the millennial generation is headed in that very direction…

[Fortune article via @karlaliliana]

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