Bill Gates and Warren Buffett must have some serious telemarketing skills. So far, the pair has recruited 38 of America’s richest citizens (40, including Gates and Buffett) to give away at least half of their wealth.

Their efforts are part of what they call “The Giving Pledge,” an invitation for the country’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice.

‘Pledge’ Collects $230 Billion

The pledge, kicked off six weeks ago by Buffett, Gates, and Gates’ wife Melinda, has already attracted a list of 40 prestigious names with a combined net worth surpassing $230 billion, according to Forbes. Many have committed to donating much more than half their wealth. For example, Buffett himself plans on giving away 99% of his assets.

The Giving Pledge

“At its core, the Giving Pledge is about asking wealthy families to have important conversations about their wealth and how it will be used,” Buffett said. “We’re delighted that so many people are doing just that – and that so many have decided to not only take this pledge but also to commit to sums far greater than the 50% minimum level.”

Gates and Buffett must have presented fairly convincing arguments to their wealthy acquaintances. The pair contacted 70 to 80 people on the Forbes list and convinced as many as half of them with what Buffett told Forbes was a “soft sell.” The pledge remains a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract, and it does not involve pooling money or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations. The pledge is meant to “address society’s most pressing problems,” according to a news release.

Who’s Donating

The very rich, that’s who. Most of the 40 individuals and families on the list are billionaires. Many of the names on the list come from the finance or tech world. One of the most notable public figures taking part in the pledge is New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. The state with the highest number of wealthy donors was California, followed by New York.


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  • anonymous

    its good that atleast these people are wanting to share their wealth. i know of some people that could use it to maybe pay about 170,000 worth of debt and that amount would probably not even put a dent in their pockets. once again this is great but there are some idividuals that could use this help.

  • rl baronello

    It is a crime, that in our society, people are dying because they cannot afford to take prescribed medication that woud save their lives. Of course, if George W. had not wasted a TRILLION DOLLARS (not to mention all the lives) in Iraq, the U.S. Public Health System could afford to pay for medications and care for all of us. Well, that is not the case, so one can only hope that these donations will take care of Americans who no longer can afford to take care of themselves.

  • Gs_sharp

    hey a trillion in Iraq what about the money spent after GW left office. I would like to know what political affiliation all of the riches people are. probably democrats

  • Pcw3-as

    it is totally awful to see & know that there is people out in the usa who don’t have a home because they can’t afford one or because they lost their job due to the rich people being GREEDY &making american jobs become jobs for other countrys because they want to save a buck alot of people are stuggling in all ways while the rich have a house so big that they probably don’t ever see half of it needless to say they also have more than one house & samething with the cars that they drive theres one for everyday week & a couple of them probably cost more then what most american people make in a year, now if that ain’t enough to make ya sick. my car is 23 years old & it’s not a classic by no means at all. what ever happened to one for all & all for one???