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Facebook's Zuckerberg joins Gates, Buffett in charity pledge
Source: The Washington Post  ·  December 9, 2010  ·  Excerpt

Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg and 16 other wealthy U.S. individuals and families agreed to give most of their fortunes to charity, joining a pledge started by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Investor Carl Icahn and AOL Inc. co-founder Steve Case will also participate in the Giving Pledge project, the group said today in a statement distributed by Business Wire.

The number of participants has risen to 57 in the U.S. since the project was announced in June. Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and Gates, the chairman of Microsoft Corp., are also expanding the philanthropic effort by meeting with billionaires from other countries, the statement said.

"In just a few short months we've made good progress," Buffett said in the statement. "The Giving Pledge has re- energized people thinking about philanthropy."

The project aims to persuade billionaires to commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropy, according to the statement.

"People wait until late in their career to give back," said Zuckerberg, who is worth $6.9 billion according to Forbes magazine. "But why wait when there is so much to be done?"

Our take
Even if your organization isn't targeting billionaire donors quite yet, taking note of public perceptions of philanthropy can be a worthwhile exercise. Knowing how leaders in the business community are directing charitable funds, and what the trickle-down effect for your organization might be, can provide a solid foundation for building relationships with key donors.

We're here to help boost your awareness of key shifts in philanthropic trends. Contact us now for help answering these questions and more:

  • What's happening in the world of charitable giving and what does it mean for me?
  • Are there any broad national trends that could have an impact on my organization or community?


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