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Billionaires: giving away their wealth for the greater good

Billionaires Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are known philanthropists. They have contributed a large portion of their riches to charitable institutions; help the plane; and our environment. Buffet convinced 11 other wealthy personalities to contribute half of their fortunes to charity. These include Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Jon Bon Jovi, Pete Petersen, David Rubenstein, Leon Black, Marc Benioff, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Marc Andreessen, and Steve Case. The collective assets of the 12 reached an incredible $126 billion. Yet, these individuals consented to allocate huge slices of their money to philanthropy.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who headed the billionaire group, backed the Philanthropy Summit last year. This meeting was attended by rich and prominent individuals, business magnates, world leaders, and social entrepreneurs to impart ideas and experiences for ground-breaking and lasting solutions for world poverty and preservation of the planet. Warren Buffet prefers to call it the “Giving Pledge”, a philanthropic effort which he started along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

What's their mission?

The goal is to persuade the very affluent to pledge their opulence so they will have direction on how it is spent. Two years after it was initiated, the undertaking has recruited 92 billionaires to include FaceBook creator Mark Zuckerberg and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Among the latest recruits of the generous club are Netflix chief executive officer Reed Hastings and spouse Patty Quillin as well as Intel Chairman Emeritus Gordon Moore and wife, Betty. Moore has formed a foundation that concentrates on the fields of health, science, and ecological problems.

Generous billionaires aim to share their resources and experience to make philanthropy as dynamic as possible. These public figures are going beyond the conventional approach of giving away to charity and accomplishing social impact objectives. The so-called “social impact type of investments” allow billionaires and millionaires to line up investment techniques with their respective values. These include sustaining healthful environments, supporting communities or helping promote various workforces and charitable organizations. Returns are not determined solely in monetary worth. Proceeds are quantified according to changes in environmental and social policies as well as results. The amount of transformation may not be easy to measure. Nonetheless, the efforts make a large impact just the same.

Based on the World Wealth Report 2014, more than 90 percent of international high net worth investors declared the importance of giving away their time, wealth or expertise to causes and pursuits that generate positive social effects. Corporate responsibility is another mode of giving made by rich owners of large corporations. However, enterprises should not only throw away millions of dollars for the preservation of ecology. These companies should also pay attention to their own operations and effects on natural resources. This is the real sense of corporate responsibility.

Furthermore, it is not only the matter of the rich adhering to corporate accountability and impact investments. It is not just the willingness to give billions to help our planet. It is the aspect of combining philanthropy with stewardship to make the earth a wonderful place to live in.