Ten More Families Commit Majority of Wealth to Philanthropy

SEATTLE, June 2, 2015 / PRNewswire

Today the Giving Pledge announced the addition of ten new individuals and families to the pledge since May 2014, bringing the current total of signatories to 137. Launched in 2010 and now in its fifth year, the Giving Pledge is a multi-generational, global initiative created by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates that encourages billionaires to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

The ten new signatories announced today are: Judy Faulkner, Harold Grinspoon and Diane Troderman, Gordon and Llura Gund, Elie and Susy Horn, John W. Jordan II "Jay", Brad and Kim Keywell, Ruth and Bill Scott, Hamdi Ulukaya, Sunny and Sherly Varkey, and Sir Ian Wood.

"When we started the Giving Pledge five years ago, we had no idea we'd get this many people to come together. It has really grown, first in the U.S. but more recently all over the world," said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We hope to intensify philanthropy and encourage people to get started younger. It's exciting to see people becoming bolder and more thoughtful in their giving. This is about building on a wonderful tradition of philanthropy that will ultimately help the world become a much better place."

In the past five years, the Giving Pledge has shown strong momentum in encouraging billionaires to give away at least half of their fortunes to charitable causes. Initially launched with 40 families in the United States in 2010, the pledge has grown to include 137 pledgers from 14 countries. These newest signatories are devoted to such causes as helping refugees around the world, advancing medical research and curing disease, improving K-12 education, supporting children in underserved schools and neighborhoods, and promoting global development and economic opportunities in Africa.

Central to the Giving Pledge is the concept of learning from one another and outside experts about how to give most effectively in order to solve the world's most pressing challenges. Giving Pledge signatories convened this week at the group's Annual Gathering and continue to connect throughout the year at various learning sessions hosted by pledgers on a range of issues in which they work. Topics discussed at this year's Annual Gathering included leveraging philanthropy to drive women's opportunities in the economy, solving environmental issues, digital technology's ability to drive social change in emerging markets, and philanthropy's role in scientific and medical research.

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