40 U.S. Billionaires Pledge to Charity
It’s only been six weeks since Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, launched a campaign to get other billionaires to donate their fortunes, and already 40 of the world’s wealthiest have signed up. The list of names of those who have joined the pledge to give at least half their wealth to charity, includes New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, filmmaker George Lucas, media mogul Ted Turner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. “We’re off to a terrific start,” Buffett said. The list includes people from 13 states, with the most participants in California and New York. So far some 70-80 of the nation’s wealthiest people have been contacted, said Buffett, who decided in 2006 to give 99% of his $44 billion fortune to charity. Some declined saying they prefer to keep their philanthropy anonymous, while others were not interested. Buffett said he and Gates plan to meet with wealthy people in China and India within the next six months to talk about philanthropy. They estimate their efforts could generate $600 billion dollars in charitable giving. In 2009, American philanthropies received a total of about $300 billion in donations, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
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