NEW YORK, NY – A new club has been formed that requires a massive bank account – but it’s all for a good cause!
Dozens of U.S. billionaires are opening up their wallets and giving away their money to charity. With one simple word – “Yes” – these billionaires are agreeing to give up to half of their wealth to The Giving Pledge. The creation of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, The Giving Pledge is a philanthropic campaign that is slowly gaining hefty donations.
The list is impressive and based on Forbes magazine’s estimates of the billionaires’ wealth, at least $150 billion could be given away.
Among the rich joining the campaign are New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, media moguls Barry Diller and Red Turner, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, “Star Wars” movie maker George Lucas and energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens.
Buffet and Gates put their master plan into effect in June and since then they have enlisted the aid of 40 of the richest people in the United States. The two masterminds, with the help of Gates’ wife, have spoken to about 20 percent of the wealthiest people in the U.S. in hopes of persuading them to give away their fortunes.
“In most cases we had reason to believe that the people already had an interest in philanthropy,” Buffett said. “It was a very soft sell but 40 have signed up.”
“We’re looking forward to enlisting many of these 40 to go out and make some calls also so we can report an even greater milestone but we’re off to a terrific start,” he said.
The campaign asks U.S. billionaires to give away at least half their wealth during their lifetime or after their death, and to publicly state their intention with a letter explaining their decision. The Giving Pledge does not accept money but asks billionaires to make a moral commitment to give their fortunes to charity.