What is the Giving Pledge?
The Giving Pledge is an effort to help address societys most pressing problems by inviting the worlds wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes either during their lifetime or in their will.
Who can pledge?
The Giving Pledge is specifically focused on billionaires or those who would be billionaires if not for their giving.
The idea takes its inspiration from efforts in the past and at present that encourage and recognize givers of all financial means and backgrounds. We are 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.
Initially, the focus was on the wealthiest families and individuals in the United States. Since there have been enthusiastic responses to the Giving Pledge around the world, the pledge now includes people from a mix of countries around the world.
Why a pledge?
We hope that a group coming forward to be explicit about their intentions for giving the majority of their wealth away will help:
- Inspire conversations, discussions, and action, not just about how much but also for what purposes / to what end and
- Bring together those committed to this kind of giving to exchange knowledge on how to do this in the best possible way.
We live in an exciting time for philanthropy where innovative approaches and advances in technology have redefined whats possible. Grassroots movements are proving every day how a single individual, regardless of wealth, can make a lasting impact on the lives of others.
Why go public with a pledge?
The goal is to talk about giving in an open way and create an atmosphere that can draw more people into philanthropy.
How does the Giving Pledge work?
Each family or individual who chooses to pledge will make this statement publicly, along with a statement explaining their decision to pledge.
At an annual event, those who take the pledge will come together to share ideas and learn from each other.
Throughout the year, there are opportunities for conversations that go deeper on the specific topics of interest to the group.
What will people pledge to?
The pledge does not involve pooling money or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations. The pledge asks only that the individual give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes or charitable organizations either during their lifetime or in their will.
The pledge does not solicit support for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or any other specific cause or organization. The pledge encourages signatories to find their own unique ways to give that inspire them personally and benefit society.
Will the Giving Pledge grant money to organizations?
Not directly. Each person who pledges makes an individual decision about which particular causes or organizations they wish to support.
How much should people give?
Each family will decide that for themselves. The pledge asks for a commitment of a majority of their wealth. Many have and will continue to exceed it.
Once someone pledges, how will you make sure they follow through?
The pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract.
How did the idea come about?
The idea of the Giving Pledge came from the ideas and input generated in many great conversations that Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett had with other philanthropists in the U.S. and abroad.
How long will the pledge last?
Our hope is that the effort will continue for generations to come.
How can I report suspicious emails claiming to come from the Giving Pledge or pledgers?
Several scams claiming to be from or associated with the Giving Pledge are currently circulating on the internet. They often include names of individual pledgers and information taken directly from our official web site, www.givingpledge.org. The Giving Pledge makes every effort to stop such scams, but unfortunately, we cannot stop them all. The Giving Pledge does not solicit donations or request any type of administrative or handling charges. If you receive a request that appears to be from the Giving Pledge for any type of payment, or if you receive an email or communication seemingly from the Giving Pledge or individual pledgers that you feel is suspicious, please disregard that communication. If you have any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some tips to help you avoid email scams:
- Be suspicious of unsolicited emails that ask for personal or financial information.
- Avoid filling out forms in email messages.
- Log on to official websites instead of clicking on links embedded in an email.
- Contact the organization that is supposedly sending the email to verify if it is genuine.
- Be wary if you receive an email saying you won a lottery or have been awarded a grant.
- Be cautious if you are asked to wire money.
To report instances of phishing and email fraud conducted in the name of the Giving Pledge or individual pledgers, please send a copy of the suspect email correspondence complete with email header information to email@example.com. You can also send copies of the email addresses of offending web sites to this address.
For more information about the Federal Trade Commission's efforts against these kinds of fraud or filing a complaint with the agency, please visit http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0003-phishing and http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0341-file-complaint-ftc.