The Giving Pledge

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Group.png The Giving Pledge WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Giving pledge.png
Founder• Bill Gates
• Warren Buffett
Membership• Bill Ackman
• Brian Acton
• Sylvan Adams
• Leonard H. Ainsworth
• Paul G. Allen
• Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud
• Brian Armstrong
• Sue Ann Arnall
• John Arnold
• Marcel Arsenault
• Lord Ashcroft
• Stewart Bainum
• Marc Benioff
• Nicolas Berggruen
• MacKenzie Bezos
• Manoj Bhargava
• Aneel Bhusri
• Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Musallam Bin Ham Al-Ameri
• Steve Bing
• Sara Blakely
• Arthur M. Blank
• Nathan Blecharczyk
• Michael R. Bloomberg
• David G. Booth
• Richard Branson
• Eli Broad
• Charles R. Bronfman
• Edgar M. Bronfman
• Charles Butt
• Garrett Camp
• Steve Case
• John Caudwell
• Brian Chesky
• Scott Cook
• Signe Ostby
• Toby Cooperman
• Joe Craft
• Kelly Craft
• Joyce Cummings
• Bill Cummings
• Ray Dalio
• Jack Dangermond
• John Paul DeJoria
• Ben Delo
• Mohammed Dewji
• Barry Diller
• Diane von Furstenberg
• Ann Doerr
• John Doer
• Dagmar Dolby
• Dong Fangjun
• Glenn Dubin
• Anne Grete Eidsvig
• Kjell Inge Røkke
• Larry Ellison
• Henry Engelhardt
• Diane Briere de l'Isle-Engelhardt
• Jeffrey Epstein
• Charlie Ergen
• Judy Faulkner
• Charles F. Feeney
• Andrew Forrest
• Nicola Forrest
• Ted Forstmann
• Phillip Frost
• Mario Gabelli
• Melinda Gates
• Joe Gebbia
• Dan Gilbert
• Ann Gloag
• Dave Goldberg
• Jeremy Grantham
• David Green
• Jeff Greene
• Harold Grinspoon
• Diane Troderman
• William Gross
• Gordon Gund
• Stelios Haji-Ioannou
• Harold Hamm
• Nick Hanauer
• Leslie Hanauer
• David Harding
• Gordon V. Hartman
• Reed Hastings
• Patty Quillin
• Lyda Hill
• Barron Hilton
• Orion Hindawi
• Reid Hoffman
• Michelle Yee
• Christopher Hohn
• Elie Horn
• Susie Horn
• Tom Hunter
• Marion Hunter
• Jon Huntsman
• Karen Huntsman
• Mo Ibrahim
• Carl Icahn
• Joan Jacobs
• Irvin Jacobs
• Badr Jafar
• Razan Al Mubarak
• Sonia Jones
• Paul Tudor Jones
• John W. Jordan II
• Ryan D. Jumonville
• George B. Kaiser
• Brad Keywell
• Kim Keywell
• Vinod Khosla
• Sidney Kimmel
• Rich Kinder
• Nancy Kinde
• Robert E. King
• Dorothy King
• Beth Klarman
• Seth Klarman
• Robert Kogod
• Elaine Langone
• Ken Langone
• Erica Lawson
• Jeff Lawson
• Liz Lefkofsky
• Eric Lefkofsky
• Francine A. LeFrak
• Rick Friedberg
• Gerry Lenfest
• Marguerite Lenfest
• Peter B. Lewis
• Daoming Liu
• Iza Login
• Samo Login
• Lorry I. Lokey
• George Lucas
• Mellody Hobson
• Richard Lundquist
• Melanie Lundquist
• Duncan MacMillan
• Nancy MacMillan
• Alfred E. Mann
• Joe Mansueto
• Bernie Marcus
• Richard Edwin
• Nancy Peery Marriott
• Strive Masiyiwa
• Tsitsi Masiyiwa
• Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
• John MacBain
• Marcy McCall MacBain
• Craig McCaw
• Susan McCaw
• Red McCombs
• PNC Menon
• Sobha Menon
• Dean Metropoulos
• Marianne Metropoulos
• Alya Michelson
• Gary K. Michelson
• Michael Milken
• Lori Milken
• Yuri Milner
• Julia Milner
• George P. Mitchell
• Thomas S. Monaghan
• Gordon Moore
• Betty Moore
• Tashia Morgridge
• John Morgridge
• Michael Moritz
• Harriet Heyman
• Dustin Moskovitz
• Cari Tuna
• Patrice Motsepe
• Precious Motsepe
• Elon Musk
• Arif Naqvi
• Jonathan M. Nelson
• Rohini Nilekani
• Nandan Nilekani
• Gensheng Niu
• Pierre Omidyar
• Pam Omidyar
• Natalie Orfalea
• Paul Orfalea
• Bernard Osher
• Barbro Osher
• Bob Parsons
• Renee Parsons
• Jim Pattison
• Ronald O. Perelman
• Jorge M. Perez
• Darlene Perez
• Peter G. Peterson
• T. Boone Pickens
• Victor Pinchuk
• Hasso Plattner
• Vladimir Potanin
• Azim Premji
• Ernest Rady
• Evelyn Rady
• Terry Ragon
• Susan Ragon
• Emily Rales
• Mitchell Rales
• Julian H. Robertson Jr.
• David Rockefeller
• Edward W. Rose
• Deedie Potter Rose
• Stephen M. Ross
• David M. Rubenstein
• Chris Sacca
• Crystal Sacca
• David Sainsbury
• John Sall
• Ginger Sall
• Henry Samueli
• Susan Samueli
• Herb Sandler
• Marion Sandler
• Denny Sanford
• Vicki Sant
• Roger Sant
• Lynn Schusterman
• Stephen A. Schwarzman
• Paul Sciarra
• Jennifer Sciarra
• Ruth Scott
• Bill Scott
• Walter Scott Jr.
• Tom Seunda
• Cindy Secunda
• B.R. Shetty
• C.R. Shetty
• Craig Silverstein
• Mary Obelnicki
• Annette Simmons
• Harold Simmons
• Jim Simons
• Marilyn Simons
• Liz Simons
• Mark Heising
• Nat Simons
• Laura Baxter-Simons
• Paul E. Singer
• Jeff Skoll
• Robert Frederick Smith
• John A. Sobrato
• Susan Sobrato
• John Sobrato
• Timi Sobrato
• Michele B. Chan
• Patrick Soon-Shiong
• Ted Stanley
• Vade Stanley
• Mark Stevens
• Mary Stevens
• Tom Steyer
• Kat Taylor
• Harry H. Stine
• Jim Stowers
• Virginia Stowers
• Dato' Sri DR Tahir
• Vincent Tan Chee Yioun
• Nicolai Tangen
• Katja Tangen
• Tad Taube
• Dianne Taube
• Robert Toll
• Jane Toll
• Claire Tow
• Leonard Tow
• Ted Turner
• Albert Lee Ueltschi
• Hamdi Ulukaya
• Sunny Varkey
• Sherly Varkey
• Shamsheer Vayalil
• Shabeena Vayalil
• Romesh Wadhwani
• Kathleen Wadhwan
• Jian Wang
• David Weekley
• Bonnie Weekley
• Sanford Weill
• Joan Weill
• Herbert Wertheim
• Nicole Wertheim
• Shelby White
• Ian Wood
• Hansjörg Wyss
• Samuel Yin
• You Zhonghui
• Charles Zegar
• Merryl Snow Zegar
• Mark Zuckerberg
• Priscilla Chan

The Giving Pledge is a conspiracy (i.e. 'private get together for a common purpose') of 210 billionaires (per 2020), founded in 2009 by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, to coordinate philantropic donations. Whoever signs the pledge agrees to "give away" more than half of their wealth to charitable causes while alive or in their wills.

Enormous Power

With their combined funds of many hundred billions dollars to invest, this coordination enables them to set priorities and push through their preferred solutions for the whole community in strategic sectors, like education and health care.

The gatherings create a community of a few dozen people who own most the world and personally know each other, and coordinating their fortunes, a power which is too strong for any democratic processes to resist.

Their money will buy a large cadre of leaders in NGOs who will further their pet causes ("intensely felt core beliefs"[1], like "championing the military"[2], pushing out causes they don't like, which will wither for lack of money and PR.

Dominated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett

This funding coordination is a continuation of The Good Club. The Pledge is "more than a one-time event", it means "becoming part of an energized community" of some of the world’s richest people "to discuss challenges, successes, and failures, and to share ideas" on how this strategic use of money "should be done to greatest effect."[3]

The project is dominated by Gates and Buffet, as many of the lesser billionaires point out, they "commit to being good listeners and participants,"[4], this is "a mentorship"[5] where they get an "opportunity to learn from them"[6].

'We' need to work together

On the prospect of nuclear war one of the participants, Ben Delo, comments: "Put simply, we"...("we in the present generation" as a whole, but in context of the text he rather speaks to his billionaire fellows that can do something about it, "the growing community of philanthropists").."have never been in this position before: with the power to destroy the future, but not necessarily the wisdom to wield that power responsibly. To navigate this critical period safely, we need to work together."[7]


The group convenes every year for a two-day learning conference[8], where they can hear from unidentified outside experts (presumably handpicked by Gates because they champion the right themes) about subjects like "criminal justice reform, early childhood education, refugee aid, public health, and poverty alleviation".[9] The meeting is described as "a hardworking 2 day 3 nights meetings, with full agendas from 7am through after dinner hours."[10]

Thought Leadership

Those who join the Giving Pledge often write a letter explaining their decision to engage deeply and publicly in philanthropy and describing the causes that motivate them.

The signatories fund a diverse range of issues including poverty alleviation, refugee aid, disaster relief, global health, education, women and girls’ empowerment, medical research, criminal justice reform, environmental sustainability, and art and culture; all sectors where exactly these very billionaires through their business practices have been responsible for causing these major problems.

Many of the billionaires, like Nicolas Berggruen have a history of buying politicians through cushy board membership in 'foundations', where they 'provide thought leadership'[11]

The Pledge started as a U.S. project, where you can become a member "if you have at least U.S. $1 billion in personal net worth"[12]. Since then, it has recieved international pledges from - equally ruthless to their U.S. peers - businessmen like Kjell Inge Røkke[13][14][15] and Victor Pinchuk.[16][17][18]

Jeffrey Epstein was on the verge of joining, or maybe did, but is not mentioned in the official lists.[19][20] Either way, he and Gates traveled the world together meeting dignitaries like Thorbjørn Jagland, Nobel Peace Prize Chair and Secretary General of the Council of Europe[21].

Business opportunities

In addition, the charity money is not as free as it might seem. By paying to further thing like "innovative approaches to provide access to education, healthcare"[22], they open profit opportunities through privatization in sectors that most citizens prefer are taken care of by the public. Historically, the Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie Foundation did similar things.

The 2012 meeting discussed the growing relevance of public-private partnerships and "impact investing" creating societal impact as well as financial return.[23]


  8. annual two-day learning conference
  10. [Bill Cummings: Starting Small and Making It Big: An Entrepreneur's Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist
  20. saved at saved at
  23. The Crisis and Renewal of American Capitalism: A Civilizational Approach to Modern American Political Economy