Earlier this month (August 2010) I noticed on the scrolling news ticker on SKY News that 40 US billionaires have pledged to donate half their wealth to charity upon their death. It’s a lot more billionaires that’s pledged to give to charity as I update this article (2014).
And that’s the last I saw of this billionaire charity pledge from either SKY News (which I rarely watch) or BBC News (that I watch at least a couple of hours a day). It’s been over 3 years since I wrote this article and I haven’t seen this mentioned again on the news, yet as of December 2013 there’s apparently over 125 billionaires who have joined “The Giving Pledge”.
No idea if this was a big news story in the US or if it’s remained a on going news story, but it certainly wasn’t/isn’t in the UK!
What is wrong with publishing GOOD news BBC and SKY news???
This is a lot of money: when I first wrote this in 2010 it was estimated the first 40 billionaires are pledging to donate $125 billion!
Donate to Charity Pledge
Anyway, two of the richest men in the world Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are amongst the billionaires set to donate half their wealth to charity, these two men alone are worth around 100 billion US$, so assuming they follow through on this VERY charitable donation that’s around $50 billion going to charity.
My wife runs a site called Happy People Good Karma Blog where she posts good news stories and things that make her happy, (she gets fed up with all the bad news on the news channels) so this news was right up her street (think she’s writing an article about it).
I think this is a really good thing for these US billionaires to do and it’s something I’d do if I’d earned that amount of money (still working on my first million :-)). Only difference would be I’d want to be involved in where the money goes, so wouldn’t wait for my death before giving half my wealth to charity.
The Giving Pledge
So kudos and good karma to Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and the other billionaires who have pledged to donate at least half their wealth upon their death.
Here’s a list of the billionaires who have pledged to give to charity:
Albert Lee Ueltschi
Alfred E. Mann
Andrew Forrest and wife Nicola
Barry Diller and Diane von Fürstenberg
Bernard Osher and Barbro Sachs-Osher
Bernie Marcus and wife Billi
Bill Ackman and wife Karen
Bill and Melinda Gates
Charles Zegar and wife Merryl Snow
Claire and Leonard Tow
Craig and Susan McCaw
Dan Gilbert and wife Jennifer
Dato Sri Dr (HC) Tahir
David Gelbaum and wife Monica
David Green and wife Barbara
David M. Rubenstein
Duncan MacMillan and wife Nancy
Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna
Edgar M. Bronfman
Edward W. and Deedie Potter Rose
Eli Broad and wife Edythe
Eric Lefkofsky and wife Liz
George P. Mitchell
Glenn Dubin and wife Eva
Gordon Moore and wife Betty
H. F. Lenfest and wife Marguerite
Harold Hamm and wife Sue Ann
Harold Simmons and wife Annette
Henry Samueli and wife Susan
Herb and Marion Sandler
Irwin M. Jacobs and wife Joan
James E. Stowers and wife Virginia
Jeff Greene and wife Mei Sze
Jim and Marilyn Simons
Joe Mansueto and wife Rika
John A. Sobrato, wife Susan and son John Michael Sobrato
John D. Arnold and wife Laura
John Doerr and wife Ann
John Morgridge and wife Tashia
John Paul DeJoria
John Sall and wife Ginger
Jon Huntsman, Sr. and wife Karen
Jonathan M. Nelson
Jorge M. Pérez and wife Darlene
Joyce and Bill Cummings
Kenneth Langone and wife Elaine
Leon G. Cooperman and wife Toby
Lorry I. Lokey
Mark Stevens and wife Mary
Michael Milken and wife Lori
Michael Moritz and wife Harriet Heyman
Patrice Motsepe and wife Precious
Patrick Soon-Shiong and wife Michele B. Chan
Paul E. Singer
Peter B. Lewis
Peter George Peterson
Phillip Frost and wife Patricia
Pierre Omidyar and wife Pam
Ray Dalio and wife Barbara
Red McCombs and wife Charline
Reed Hastings and wife Patty Quillin
Richard Kinder and wife Nancy
Richard Marriott and wife Nancy
Romesh Wadhwani and wife Kathleen
Sanford Weill and wife Joan
Seth Klarman and wife Beth
Shelby White (widow of Leon Levy)
Sir Richard Branson and wife Joan
Stephen M. Ross
Steve Case and wife Jean
T. Boone Pickens
Ted and Vada Stanley
The Lord Ashcroft
Thomas Secunda and wife Cindy
Tom Steyer and wife Kat Taylor
Vicki and Roger Sant
Vinod Khosla and wife Neeru
Walter Scott, Jr.
Will be very interesting to see what good can be achieved as the charitable pledges over the next few decades are used to help others.
Why Do We Need Charitable Donations?
It’s always made me feel quite sad that our species as a whole doesn’t have an altruistic nature. I understand why, it’s basic survival of the fittest in action, we like all species have evolved to compete both against other species and our own, so there’s nothing natural about giving to charity.
However, we are the only species that understands it’s environment to such a level we can bend it to our every whim! Yet we are still stuck in our selfish biological past, we shouldn’t need billionaires to pledge their money, there’s 7 billion people on the planet, IF we all worked together could you imagine where we’d be in say 100 years?
Makes me feel very sad that’s not the world we live in and highly unlikely to live in in my life time.