August 01, 2012

An Easy Way to Track the 'Giving Pledge'

For major-gift fundraisers and aficionados of the super rich and their charitable impulses, the Foundation Center has something for you: a new Web page profiling the 81 wealthy families who've joined the "Giving Pledge."

The pledge was hatched by Bill & Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage their fellow billionaires to give. People who sign on must commit to donating at least half their net worth; for the 81 families, that amounts to roughly $200-billion.

The Foundation Center's "Eye on the Giving Pledge" profiles those 81 megaphilanthropists and slices some data on the donors. It finds, for example, that the biggest share of donors (35 percent) are 65 to 79 years old. Health causes are the most favored by the donors, followed by human services and education.

More of the Giving Pledge members made their money in banking and investments (29 percent) than in other industries.

For more on the Giving Pledge, read this Chronicle article on its unveiling and listen to an interview with Bill Gates about the pledge. You can also learn more about big donors from our annual Philanthropy 50 database profiling the nation's most generous donors and our list of publicly announced gifts of $1-million or more.