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Forty Billionaires Give Away Half Of Wealth

Forty American billionaires have pledged to give at least half of their fortunes to charity as part of a campaign by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

Microsoft founder Gates and investor Buffett, who are worth a combined $90bn (£56.6bn), have persuaded 38 of their fellow billionaires to sign up.

The friends and philanthropists started The Giving Pledge last month.

Its aim is to persuade fellow billionaires to pledge the money to charity, either in their lifetime or after they die.

Buffett said: “We’ve really just started, but already we’ve had a terrific response.

“At its core, the Giving Pledge is about asking wealthy families to have important conversations about their wealth and how it will be used.”

He added: “We’re delighted that so many people are doing just that – and that so many have decided to not only take this pledge but also to commit to sums far greater than the 50% minimum level.”

Those who sign the pledge are also invited to publish a letter explaining their decision.

Among the latest batch to have signed up is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is worth $18bn (£11.3bn).

Others on the list include entertainment executive Barry Diller ($1.2bn, £775m), Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison ($28bn, £17.6bn), energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens ($1.1bn, £692m), media mogul Ted Turner ($4.8bn, £3bn), banker David Rockefeller ($2.2bn, £1.3bn) and investor Ronald Perelman ($11bn, £6.9bn).

They join Eli Broad, who made his money in property, venture capitalist John Doerr, media entrepreneur Gerry Lenfest and former Cisco Systems Chairman John Morgridge in supporting the effort.

The US has 403 billionaires, the most of any country, and all together they have a combined fortune of $1.3 trillion.

Mr Buffett himself pledged to give 99% of his wealth to good causes in 2006.

Gates and Buffet will now wine and dine other billionaires in an attempt to persuade them to follow suit. SKY News

+Ler notícia: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Bill-Gates-and-Warren-Buffett-Persuade-40-Fellow-Billionaires-To-Give-Half-Their-Wealth-To-Charity/Article/201008115676990?f=rss

+Ver site Giving Pledge: http://givingpledge.org/

Entrevista com Luther Ragin Jr. sobre “Philanthropy and Mission Investing”

As every sector of society rethinks the economics of financial investing in the aftermath of the Great Recession, nonprofits and philanthropic organizations are no exceptions. While governments and the private sector explore new ways to build financial stability, innovative ideas in the nonprofit sector, like mission-related investing or “mission investing,” are gaining more attention.

A leading thinker around mission investing, Luther M. Ragin, Jr. is the William H. Bloomberg lecturer in public management at Harvard Kennedy School, an affiliate of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, and Chief Investment Officer of the F.B. Heron Foundation, a national philanthropic foundation based in New York City.

Q. Please explain the concept of mission investing and whom it affects.

Ragin: Mission investing is a strategy whereby foundations and other institutional investors can increase their social impact by providing additional resources to support both non-profit and for-profit organizations engaging in areas of programmatic or mission interest to that foundation or institutional investor.

I like to think of it as the opportunity for foundations to broaden their “philanthropic toolboxes” – the tools they can use to engage for social purpose. Classically, we think of the toolbox as consisting largely of grants, and grants are very important. But the toolbox can be broadened to include loans, guarantees, and other investments which catalyze change and promote social benefit.

So, not only foundations but also institutional investors – such as public pension plans, insurance companies, and commercial banks – practice and can practice aspects of mission investing which essentially is a commitment to bringing greater resources to bear for social change. Harvard Kennedy School, John F. Kennedy School of Management

+Ler entrevista integral: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/publications/insight/management/luther-ragin

+ Ver site The Hauser Centre for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard School: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/hauser/