Warren Buffett got 11 more billionaires to agree to give away half of their wealth to charity.
The Giving Pledge, a philanthropic initiative started by the business mogul and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to get the super rich to pledge their fortunes early in their lives, so that they can have more control of how it’s spent. In the two years since it was launched, the pledge has recruited 92 billionaires, including the likes of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Some of the newest members of the benevolent club include Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin, along with Intel Chairman Emeritus Gordon Moore and his wife Betty, MarketWatch reports.
Moore, who already gave away half of his fortune when he established a foundation that focuses on science, health and environmental issues, told the Wall Street Journal that his giving habits already put him “ahead of the curve.”
"It won't change much of what I'm doing," he told the news outlet, but "it's a good idea and has shaken loose a lot money that otherwise would have been tied up for a long time."
Signing the pledge comes with the nonbinding agreement to donate at least half of one's fortune and doesn’t specify how the funds should be distributed, but Gates, who was named the richest person in the U.S. on Wednesday, told the Journal that he sees it as an opportunity for wealthy people to give in a “smarter” way.
“This new group brings extensive business and philanthropic experience that will enrich the conversation about how to make philanthropy as impactful as possible,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “Their thoughtfulness and deep commitment to philanthropy are an inspiration to me, and I’m sure to many others as well.”
Click through the slideshow below to see which other billionaires have pledged to give half of their fortunes away.
Hollywood director George Lucas is passionate about education. He has worked to foster positive growth in the education sector through, <a href="http://www.edutopia.org/" target="_hplink">Edutopia</a>, the George Lucas Education Foundation. Lucas plans to donate the majority of his fortune to this end.
Paul G. Allen
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has supported his namesake, the <a href="http://www.pgafoundations.com/" target="_hplink">Paul G. Allen Family Foundation</a>, for more than 20 years, as well as helped advance nonprofit scientific research through the Allen Institute for Brain Science. Allen has already given hundreds of millions of dollars to charity through his foundation, and has expressed his commitment to give the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/15/paul-allens-charity-promi_n_648142.html" target="_hplink">majority of his fortune</a> after his death.
Barron Hilton (left) plans to immediately pledge over $1 billion to the <a href="http://www.hiltonfoundation.org/" target="_hplink">Conrad N. Hilton Foundation</a>, which provides funds for nonprofits addressing a variety of issues, including homelessness, access to clean water and disaster relief. Hilton also plans to follow an example set for him by his father, donating the remaining 97 percent of his wealth in the future.
In 1998, media mogul Ted Turner donated $1 billion to start the <a href="http://www.unfoundation.org/about-unf/" target="_hplink">United Nations Foundation</a>. Turner plans to continue giving, saying that his fortune should be almost completely distributed to charity at the time of his death.
Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg plans to give away the majority of his wealth during his lifetime, explaining that it is a better way to ensure a <a href="http://givingpledge.org/#michael+r.+_bloomberg" target="_hplink">better future for his children</a> than leaving them to inherit his fortune. According to Bloomberg, his <a href="http://www.mikebloomberg.com/index.cfm?objectid=B96D19BD-C29C-7CA2-F72C5EDC3BEDFA6A" target="_hplink">foundation</a> is currently working to find ways to prevent early deaths caused by tobacco use and traffic accidents.
The Rockefeller family has historically been involved in philanthropic efforts supporting University of Chicago, <a href="http://www.rockefeller.edu/" target="_hplink">The Rockefeller University</a>, the Museum of Modern Art, and the <a href="http://www.rbf.org/" target="_hplink">Rockefeller Brothers Fund</a>. David Rockfeller, the current heir, has pledged the majority of his wealth to charity.
Jon and Karen Huntsman
After losing his mother to cancer, businessman Jon Huntsman felt called to found the <a href="http://www.hci.utah.edu/" target="_hplink">Huntsman Cancer Institute</a> and use his fortune to find a cure for cancer. Huntsman plans to leave his entire estate to his foundation and other cancer-related charities.
In 1985, businessman Alfred Mann founded the <a href="http://www.aemf.org/" target="_hplink">Alfred Mann Foundation</a> to fund scientific research in the field of medicine. Mann has joined the ranks of the 'Giving Pledge,' planning to commit 90 percent of his estate to his foundation and other causes.
Eli and Edythe Broad
Billionaire businessman and real estate mogul Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, have pledged to give away 75 percent of their fortune within their lifetimes. The <a href="http://www.broadfoundation.org/" target="_hplink">Broad Foundation</a> supports arts organizations, funds advancements in medical science and advocates for education reform.
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