politics

Giving pledge grows as more of world’s wealthy sign on to give away money

Giving pledge grows as more of world’s wealthy sign on to give away money

More than a dozen of some of the world’s richest people have joined a pledge to donate a majority of their wealth to charitable causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills. The Giving Pledge, a campaign started in 2010 by Bill Gates with his now ex-wife Melinda French Gates and Warren Buffett to try to kick-start a new era of philanthropy, said Tuesday that 14 more individuals and couples joined the effort in the past year. The nonbinding pledge now includes more than 230 people from 28 countries, including Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk and Meta Platforms Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. The new signers include Tony Xu, co-founder of food delivery company DoorDash Inc., and his wife, Patti Bao; Steven Schuurman, co-founder of software company Elastic NV; Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann and his wife, Divya Silbermann; and Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, co-founders of online design platform Canva Pty. Ltd. “Just like it was done for us, we hope to make investments that will give dreamers and doers—particularly those that are underfunded or are playing from behind—the encouragement and luck necessary to maximize their potential and positively impact the world, Mr. Xu and Ms. Bao said in a statement. Many of the newest signatories were already involved in philanthropic efforts in areas including poverty alleviation, climate change and medical research, according to the Giving Pledge. Individuals, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $471.4 billion to U.S. charities in 2020, a 3.8% increase, adjusted for inflation, compared with 2019, according to a report from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Giving USA, which publishes data about charitable giving. Billionaire-led philanthropic efforts such as the Giving Pledge have been criticized by tax-reform proponents, who allege they allow the wealthy to protect their money through donating to family-run charity funds and strategic tax-avoidance measures. “The majority of Giving Pledge donations will be sequestered in private foundations controlled by wealthy families, which will slow the flow of funds to active working charities, according to an August 2020 analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank. “Instead of giving up dominion over funds in exchange for a tax reduction, these wealthy donors and their heirs will retain significant power and control over assets that are philanthropic in name, but not in deed. The Giving Pledge didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Mr. Gates has previously said there is a role for philanthropy to do things that wouldn’t get done any other way. Download.

politics 2021-12-15 Livemint