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May 21, 2012

Giving Pledge Members Brainstorm Best Ways to Help Charities

The signers of the Giving Pledge are moving beyond merely promising to give away their wealth and beginning to help each other learn how best to implement their philanthropy, according to The Economist.

The magazine points to a gathering in early May of many of the 81 wealthy individuals and families who have thus far vowed to give away at least half of their fortunes in their lifetime. The California event found attendees engaged in a “serious conversation about lessons learned,” according to the AOL founder Steve Case, the host of the gathering.

The tenor of the meeting, The Economist suggests, “was evidence of a rapid evolution of the Giving Pledge from a collection of individual promises into a movement focused on collectively achieving results.” Mr. Case says “impact investing,” in which giving is designed to both make profits and do good, was a popular topic among attendees, who also discussed education reform, medical research, antipoverty efforts, and international giving.

Mr. Buffett, a skeptic of impact investing, told The Economist that he is troubled by the lack of concern for tackling income inequality. “It is amazing to me the degree of inequality that exists without people really getting upset.”