More Billionaires Agree To Give Away At Least Half Their Wealth To Charity

06/03/2015 06:01 pm ET | Updated Jun 03, 2015
DON EMMERT via Getty Images

Another round of billionaire business leaders have committed to giving away a significant portion of their wealth to charitable causes.

Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of yogurt brand Chobani, and Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell and his wife, Kim, are among 10 new additions joining the Giving Pledge -- an effort started by philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage more of the world's well-off to give away at least half of their wealth to causes that do good.

With the newest additions, 137 signatories from 14 countries have signed on. Gates said he "had no idea we'd get this many people" to rally behind the pledge when it launched in 2010.

"It's exciting to see people becoming bolder and more thoughtful in their giving," Gates said in a statement. "This is about building on a wonderful tradition of philanthropy that will ultimately help the world become a much better place."

Check out the newest wave of leaders joining the Giving Pledge:

  • Judy Faulkner (Epic Systems)
  • Harold Grinspoon and Diane Troderman (real-estate)
  • Gordon and Llura Gund (investing)
  • Elie and Susy Horn (real-estate)
  • John "Jay" Jordan II (investing)
  • Brad and Kim Keywell (Groupon)
  • Ruth and Bill Scott (former executive)
  • Hamdi Ulukaya (Chobani)
  • Sunny and Sherly Varkey (GEMS Education)
  • Sir Ian Wood (businessman)

Leaders who've previously joined the Giving Pledge include former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, businessman Richard Branson and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The global initiative, however, is not without critics.

Some have argued the pledge serves as an opportunity for the wealthy to simply be allowed massive tax breaks. Others have pointed out the pledge allows for signatories to name family-run, bureaucratic foundations in their wills -- a move that will not translate into tangible good being done with their donated dollars.

But to Ulukaya, the pledge presents a unique opportunity to learn from other philanthropists, the Associated Press reported. He told the outlet he has created a website for Tent -- a foundation he plans to fund over time to promote causes like education and health care.

"It's enough time to do all of it," he said of balancing his responsibilities as Chobani's CEO and philanthropic efforts. "I don't believe that you need to leave your business to do social good."

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