If you were to mix investment genius and philanthropy into one person, you would get Warren Buffett. Now, we don’t typically associate unimaginable wealth with incredible frugality, but Warren Buffett is here to break the status quo and get billionaires to do the same. In 2010, Buffett and his longtime philanthropy sidekicks, Bill and Melinda Gates, formally announced the Giving Pledge.
The Giving Pledge is a campaign seeking to inspire the billionaires of the world to give more than half of their wealth to philanthropy. Coming from a man who has already designed a plan to donate 99% of his wealth, you know he is talking big bucks and big commitment. Rather than a legal contract, the pledge is a moral commitment that is publicly shared by each pledger with the world. The purpose is not only to increase conversations about philanthropy but also create an idea hub for committed philanthropists to continue innovating and improving how we give back.
You may be thinking—how did Buffett and Gates convince the richest of the world to give away millions, if not billions, of their hard-earned wealth without any pushback? It turns out people are quite eager to find ways to give back to the community, much to our joy. In only two months after announcing the campaign, the Giving Pledge had recruited 40 pledgers who together amassed an impressive $125 billion directed for charity. Today, the Giving Pledge is proud to have 140 dedicated pledgers who continue to go above and beyond their pursuit to make the world a better place.
The most recent buzzed-about pledgers were Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, who announced they were going to give away 99% of their company shares (roughly about $45 billion). This is their promise to their daughter Max of their commitment to ensure a brighter, better future for her generation. They, like Buffett and Gates, believe in taking actions today to secure a better world for tomorrow.
While a $45 billion donation from one of the most powerful people in the world is certainly helpful, this is really an encouragement for all to become involved in the community in any way we can. This concept applies to everyone from gazillionaires to your average John Doe. Learning how important it was for each pledger to continue to set an example for their families, a practice they adopted from their own parents, was a humbling experience and a true testament that we learn through example. So join Charity Charge in our pursuit to motivate others through our own actions and let’s commit to the habit of helping now!
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