Frequently Asked Questions


The Giving Pledge is a movement of philanthropists who commit to give the majority of their wealth to charitable causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills.

The Giving Pledge aims to shift the norms of philanthropy among the world’s wealthiest people by inspiring them to give more, establish their giving plans sooner, and give in smarter ways. This is done in part by building a community where Giving Pledge signatories can attend learning sessions, share best practices, and exchange ideas for maximizing the impact of their giving.

The Giving Pledge is a moral commitment – not a legally binding one. It is a simple proposition, encouraging more of the world’s wealthiest people to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to charitable causes.

The Giving Pledge is inspired by the example set by millions of people who give generously, and often at great personal sacrifice, to make the world a better place.

The Giving Pledge is a long-term effort to change the norms of philanthropy among the world’s wealthiest people.

Through individuals coming forward and being explicit and public about their intentions to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy, it is hoped that:

  • The social norm that the wealthiest people are expected to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy and charitable causes will be strengthened.
  • Philanthropists committed to large scale, high-impact giving will come together to exchange knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned from their philanthropy.
  • Conversations, discussions, and action will be inspired, not just about how much to give but also for what purposes and to what ends.

We live in a critical time where innovation and advances in technology are redefining what’s possible. The COVID-19 pandemic and the worsening social and economic inequities it has exposed have shown that problems affecting the world are complex, and solving them requires the collaboration of governments, non-profits, academic institutions, and businesses. Philanthropists can play an important role as catalysts, focusing on areas where existing funding is scarce, or that governments and businesses can’t or won’t fund.

The aim of the Pledge is to set a new standard of giving among the world’s wealthiest people by encouraging them to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy and charitable causes.

To date, more than 230 signatories from 28 different countries have signed the Giving Pledge. In the process, they are solidifying a new social norm that billionaires should commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy to address society’s most pressing needs.

Ultimately, changing the social norm of philanthropy among the world’s wealthiest people will be achieved through a moral and public commitment that, over time, sets a new standard of giving.

The Giving Pledge started with 40 signatories in the United States in 2010. As of May 2022, there are 233 pledges from 28 countries:

  • Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong), Colombia, Cyprus, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • In the United States, they are from 30 states and the District of Columbia.

Yes; view the full list here.

Each couple or individual who chooses to pledge makes the commitment publicly and is also encouraged to issue an open letter explaining their decision. Signatories’ names and letters (if provided) are publicly listed on GivingPledge.org.

Signatories pursue their philanthropy independently and give to a wide range of issues and causes. The Giving Pledge is not an oversight organization, nor is it a pooled fund. The Giving Pledge does not distribute funds, grants, or donations in any form.

At an annual gathering, those who have joined the Pledge are invited to come together to share ideas, hear from experts in their respective fields, and learn from each other.

Throughout the year, there are additional opportunities for learning that go deeper on specific topics of interest to the group.

Signatories fulfill their pledge at different times and in a variety of ways: through traditional charities, foundations, and non-profits, including their own foundations or philanthropic vehicles; through Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs); through collaborative philanthropy or co-funding, or through other charitable vehicles.

The Giving Pledge does not solicit support for any specific philanthropic foundation, cause, or organization. The Pledge encourages signatories to support issues that inspire them personally and benefit society. Giving Pledge signatories are focused on a wide array of causes, from medical research to poverty alleviation, disaster relief, climate change and arts and culture. Some signatories focus on their local communities, while others focus on national or global issues.

Through joining the Giving Pledge, signatories commit to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Many signatories have and will exceed that benchmark. Some make a series of very large gifts over a short period, while others establish a program of smaller, regular gifts distributed over many years. Each signatory’s approach to philanthropic giving is deeply personal.

After discussing eligibility with the Giving Pledge team, signatories are encouraged to write a letter stating their commitment to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Signatories’ names, and letters if they have chosen to write one, are publicly posted on the Giving Pledge website. The Giving Pledge publicly announces new signatories once a year.

Only charitable giving counts toward fulfilling the Giving Pledge. Donations to political parties and candidates do not count as charitable giving and so fall outside the scope of the Pledge.

Yes. To support signatories in achieving their philanthropic goals, the Giving Pledge provides resources and information about philanthropy and supports opportunities for virtual and in-person knowledge sharing. The Giving Pledge hosts a private annual gathering for signatories in addition to smaller gatherings and learning sessions throughout the year, also including family and staff who are engaged in philanthropy. The sessions cover a wide range of issue area topics and philanthropic best practices. To learn more, visit the Community page.

If you have at least U.S. $1 billion in personal net worth and are ready to make a public pledge to donate the majority of your personal wealth to philanthropy, please contact us and let us know you are interested in pledging.

The Giving Pledge is focused on billionaires (those with a net worth of U.S. $1 billion or more), or those who would be billionaires if not for their giving.

Everyone is encouraged to engage in charitable and philanthropic giving, as their resources allow. There are many ways to play a role in making our communities better, including volunteering our time to organizations and causes we care about.

The Giving Pledge does not solicit donations or request any type of administrative or handling charges.

There have previously been email scams claiming to be from or associated with the Giving Pledge. These may include names of individual signatories or information taken directly from the official Giving Pledge website. The Giving Pledge makes every effort to stop such scams but cannot stop them all. If you receive an email or other communication that seems fraudulent and appears to be from the Giving Pledge, or in the name of individual signatories, for any type of payment, or if you receive an email or other communication seemingly from the Giving Pledge or individual signatories that you feel is suspicious, please contact us. Please note: due to the volume of inquiries we receive, we cannot respond to every request.