Yesterday, 10 more of America’s wealthiest families committed to giving more than half their wealth to charity, bringing the total number who have joined Warren Buffett and Bill Gates in their “Giving Pledge” to 69. Launched in June of last year, the Giving Pledge is a long-term charitable initiative that aims to inspire immediate philanthropy and increase charitable giving throughout the United States.
“We are seeing great progress in less than a year,” said Warren Buffett, pledge co-founder and chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. “I am delighted that so many wealthy Americans are taking a public pledge that supports philanthropy. The continued energy and passion for this project, and the many philanthropy conversations it has sparked with families from all walks of life, are inspiring.”
One of the newest to take the charitable pledge was John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, Patron Spirits Company, John Paul Pet and ROK.
“At an early age, my mother shared with me the privilege of giving back and I experienced how good it feels to help someone in need. That stuck with me in my adult life,” he said. “I believe that we all have the responsibility to make the world a better place to live…its part of our rent for being here. My motto is ‘success unshared is failure,’ and that’s something I’ve passed on to my children too.”
The Giving Pledge aims to address society’s most pressing problems by inviting the wealthiest American families and individuals to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes before their death. The pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract, and it does not involve pooling money or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations. The effort specifically focused on billionaires or those who would be billionaires if not for their giving.
Both Buffett and Bill Gates, along with his wife, Melinda, have recently had conversations with wealthy families and business leaders in China and India, to learn about their philanthropy efforts and what has worked in their communities.
The April 2011 Pledge Signatories by State:
John Paul DeJoria
Vinod and Neeru Khosla
Phillip and Patricia Frost
Joyce and Bill Cummings
Ray and Barbara Dalio
Harold and Sue Ann Hamm
Rich and Nancy Kinder
Edward W. and Deedie Potter Rose
Annette and Harold Simmons
See a full list of those taking the pledge and their personal letters of committment online at www.givingpledge.org.