Top Ten Stories of 2006: 2) Generosity Surges

Top Ten Stories of 2006: 2) Generosity Surges

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2) Billionaire Warren Buffett Leading New Wave of Generosity with Largest Donation Ever

Warren Buffett, the world’s second richest man donated $37 billion, the largest philanthropic gift in history, to efforts to eradicate diseases, while American volunteerism is at a 30-year high and the number of foundations and non-profits have doubled.

Warren Buffett, the world’s second richest man – worth $44 billion – said in June he will begin to give away 85% of his wealth to foundations focused on world health — eradicating diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis — and on improving U.S. libraries and high schools. The value of his donation today is $37 billion, the largest philanthropic gift in history.

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• The percentage of Americans volunteering has reached a 30-year high says a new study. It is fueled in part by the boom in teens pitching in for their communities. "We may be on the cusp of a new civic generation," said the director of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which has tracked volunteer rates since 1974.

• In the same year it stopped receiving global food aid, China emerged as the world’s third largest food donor, according to a report by the World Food Programme released in August. Another success story is India‘s transformation as a recipient of food aid in 2000 to becoming the 15th largest donor to WFP last year.

• The number of family foundations and nonprofits doubled in the past five years. For the wealthy, giving money or creating charities to make a difference in the world is becoming ‘the cool thing to do’.

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