The Giving Pledge

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The Giving Pledge
Giving pledge logo.jpg
Formation 2009
Type Advocacy organization
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett

The Giving Pledge is a campaign to encourage the wealthiest people in the world to make a commitment to give most of their wealth to philanthropic causes. The campaign specifically focuses on billionaires (or those who would be billionaires if not for their philanthropy) and was made public in 2010 by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. The Huffington Post reported in April 2012 that "81 billionaires committed to giving at least half of their fortunes to charity".[1] As of August 2015, 137 billionaire or former billionaire individuals or couples have signed the pledge; a significant majority are, like Buffett and Gates, American citizens.[2]

Description of pledge[edit]

The official website states that it "is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in the world to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy." As of April 28, 2011, 69 billionaires had joined the campaign and pledged to give 50% or more of their wealth to charity.[3] An estimate of the contribution promised by the first 40 donors, based on their aggregate wealth as at August 2010, was at least $125 billion.[4]

According to the pledge the donation can happen either during the lifetime or after the death of the donor.[4] The pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract.[5]

Beginning of campaign[edit]

In 2006, before the campaign began, Buffett had committed much of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.[citation needed]

The fact of the meeting was leaked to the media, creating curiosity about the nature of the meeting. Gates and Buffett organized two related subsequent dinners for which the complete attendee lists have not been made public. The second dinner was at the New York Public Library in November 2009 and was attended by Kenneth and Elaine Langone and Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest among others. It was at this meeting that Marguerite proposed that "the rich should sit down, decide how much money they and their progeny need, and figure out what to do with the rest of it". A third dinner in December 2009 at the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel in Menlo Park, California was attended by John and Ann Doerr and John and Tashia Morgridge among others.

In June 2010 the campaign for the Giving Pledge was formally announced, and Gates and Buffett gave notice that eligible pledgees were being contacted to join.[6]

Expansion into other countries[edit]

Buffett said that he would meet wealthy individuals in India and China to talk about philanthropy and stated that they hope the idea of generosity will spread.[7] He stated, "We're hoping that America, which is the most generous society on Earth, becomes even more generous over time."[8]

In March 2011, Gates and Buffett visited India to talk about the Giving Pledge.[9]

French billionaires Arnaud Lagardère and Liliane Bettencourt were approached as well by Buffett but refused to enter the Giving Pledge[10][11] and declined to comment about the matter.


The following are signatories to the Giving Pledge as of 2015:[12]


  1. ^ "Warren Buffett, Bill Gates Giving Pledge Gets 12 More Billionaires To Commit Over Half Of Their Fortunes", Huffington Post, April 20 2012
  2. ^ The Giving Pledge :: Pledger Profiles
  3. ^ 10 More U.S. Families Commit to the Giving Pledge [1], retrieved October 25, 2011
  4. ^ a b Blackburn, Bradley (4 August 2010). "The Giving Pledge: Billionaires Promise to Donate at Least Half Their Fortunes to Charity". ABC News. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "Forty U.S. billionaires pledge to give half their money to charity". Xinhua News Agency. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  6. ^ Carol Loomis (16 June 2010). "The $600 billion challenge". Fortune (magazine). Time Inc. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Buffett recruits the wealthy for charity". 4 August 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010. [dead link]
  8. ^ Leonard, Tom (5 August 2010). "American billionaires pledge fortunes to charity". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "Gates, Buffet in Delhi with their 'Giving Pledge' - Economic Times". (The Economic Times). 24 March 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011. [dead link]
  10. ^ France Inter Radio news of 1 PM, August 16, 2011.
  11. ^ "Les américains donnent leur fortune, pourquoi ? - Apprendre l'économie". 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Current Pledgers". The Giving Pledge. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Erin Carlyle, "Meet the Eight Forbes 400 Billionaires Who Just Signed the Giving Pledge", publisher, 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  14. ^ Forbes:"Spanx Mogul Sara Blakely Becomes First Female Billionaire To Join Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge" by Clare O'Connor may 7, 2013
  15. ^ Lazo, Alejandro (19 February 2013). "Richard Branson among non-U.S. billionaires joining Giving Pledge". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  16. ^ Buffett, Warren. "My Philanthropic Pledge" (PDF). The Giving Pledge. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Apple CEO latest to sign The Giving Pledge". Dial2Donate. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Azim Premji first Indian to sign up for Gates-Buffett charity", publisher, 2013-02-20. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  19. ^ "Wall Street Doners: David Rockefeller". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 

External links[edit]