“Giving Pledge” foundation — started by billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett — has seen pledging commitments drop steeply this year, which has been marred by geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainties.
What Happened: Just five billionaires have pledged to give much of their fortunes away in 2022, according to information available on the foundation’s website. This represented a record-low total since 2010 when the foundation was set up. The year saw a record 58 billionaires giving pledging commitments and the 2010 list included Gates, Buffett, Meta Platforms, Inc. META founder Mark Zuckerberg, his wife Priscilla Chan and Microsoft Corporation MSFT co-founder Paul Allen.
Even amid the pandemic year in 2020, 12 billionaires joined the foundation, and the number of billionaires enlisting increased to 14 in 2021.
The pledgers in 2022 included cryptocurrency exchange FTX founder Sam Bankman Fried, mobile social gaming company Zynga founder Mark Pincus, 23andMe Holding Co. ME co-founder Anne Wojcicki, Lone Pine Capital Co. portfolio manager Mala Gaonkar, and Swiss private-equity firm Partners Group co-founder Urs Wietlisbach and his wife Simeone.
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Why It’s Important: Giving Pledge, founded by Gates, his former wife Melinda Gates and Buffett, is an open invitation for billionaires or would-be billionaires to commit a majority of their wealth to philanthropy, either during their lifetime or in their will.
Gates, who’s also the patron of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, donated about $20 billion to the foundation in July. While announcing the same, he said he doesn’t want to be rich anymore and would return his resources to those who need the most.
Tesla, Inc. TSLA CEO Elon Musk joined the Giving Pledge foundation's list of donors in 2012.
Incidentally, the world’s second richest person and Amazon, Inc.’s AMZN Jeff Bezos doesn't feature in the list of pledgers, although his ex-wife Scott McKenzie gave her pledging commitment in 2019.
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