SBP Blog

Bill Gates pledges to give

Dec 17, 2010 by Oana

By now everybody knows that Bill Gates and his friend Warren Buffett have convinced many billionaires to donate most of their wealth to charity back in August. "The Giving Pledge" gathered more then 30 American billionaires such as: Michael Bloomberg (New York Mayor), Larry Ellison (Oracle co-founder), T. Boone Pickens, Ted Turner, David Rockefeller and Ronald Perelman to join their cause. The result: worldwide awareness and continuous debates.

Update: The latest billionaire to join the pledge is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook.

I think that it's important to mention the fact that the USA is home to 403 billionaires (according to Forbes magazine), and that "The Giving Pledge" is first of all a moral commitment. Even so, the impact of the pledge was substantial, and I bet that every country has wondered whether its millionaires/billionaires will do the same.

When Carlos Slim Helu (the chairman of Telmex and the world's wealthiest man) was asked if he'll join "The Giving Pledge" he answered that "Charity doesn't solve poverty […]" and that "Many of the problems will be solved by business activity and development”.

Although such a point of view can't be ignored and I have to admit that it's important to offer people jobs and not money, when it comes to diseases and education, there's a great need to invest in research and in specialized programs.

For some, the pledge may seem a little eccentric, but if you take a look at the Gates Notes ( ) or on the "Bill & Melinda Gates foundation" website ( ), and please do so, you'll see that for Bill Gates the pledge was only the next logical step. After donating $28 billions of their fortune until now, Bill and Melinda Gates continue to support numerous causes around the globe and create opportunities for the ones in need. The work at the foundation covers more areas of interest: from family planning and educating mothers how to feed their babies, to college grants, supporting free public libraries, and researching for new vaccines.

Apart from the facts and figures, the pledge itself is a humanitarian act which translates into: we have more, so we'll donate more. So, no matter what the skeptics have to say, something is certain – that there are people willing to give up almost their entire fortune for helping others.

As any other donation and humanitarian action that Bill Gates has made, this too didn't involve Microsoft directly. Bill Gates has succeeded to draw a clear line between his work at Microsoft and his activity at the foundation. It's true that his humanitarian crusades benefit from his expertise as a businessman, but this can only be regarded as a plus. After all, in order to reach the ones in need, the funds require proper handling.

What's impressive is that after a successful career Bill Gates continues to learn about the things he's passionate about, relating everything he does with his humanitarian goals. So, visit the websites and let me know what's your opinion on this subject!

Tags: Future  Microsoft 


Oana commented on 1/27/2011 2:39:15 PM

Thank you, I agree that this is an interesting subject, which is in the same time controversial. We'll just have to wait and see what will happen next with "The Giving Pledge".

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