September 18, 2012

With 11 New Members, 'Giving Pledge' Signers Now Numbers 92

Eleven more families have signed the "Giving Pledge," a public commitment to donate at least half their wealth to charity, the pledge's organizers said today. That brings to 92 the number of families who've joined the campaign to increase philanthropy among the super rich, started by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

While the list announced today includes well-known philanthropists such as Peter B. Lewis, chairman of Progressive Insurance Companies, it also counts people who haven't yet made a name for themselves in major-league giving, such as Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix, and Jonathan M. Nelson, founder of Providence Equity Partners.

At least three people on the list are immigrants. Manoj Bhargava, founder of the 5-Hour Energy drink, and Romesh Wadhwani, founder of the private-equity firm Symphony Technology Group, were born in India. Jorge M. Perez, chief executive of the Related Group, was born in Argentina to Cuban parents.

The new Giving Pledge members are:

  • Manoj Bhargava, whose foundations include Knowledge Medical Charitable Trust and Rural India Charitable Trust.
  • Charles Bronfman, chairman of the Andrea & Charles Bronfman Philanthropies.
  • Dan and Jennifer Gilbert. In 2007, Mr. Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans, started a nonprofit group to support start-up businesses.
  • Reed Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, who are involved in educational philanthropy.
  • Peter B. Lewis, whose giving focuses on the arts, higher education, progressive causes, and nonprofit management.
  • Gordon and Betty Moore, whose two foundations support conservation, health, science, and higher education.
  • Jonathan Nelson, who serves on the boards of Brown University and Newport Festivals Foundation.
  • Jorge and Darlene Perez, who last year pledged $30-million to the Miami Art Museum.
  • Claire and Leonard Tow, who support the 14-year-old Tow Foundation, which focuses on medical research, culture, higher education, and juvenile justice.
  • Albert Lee Ueltschi, founder of FlightSafety International, who in 2010 started HelpMeSee, a group dedicated to fighting blindness.
  • Romesh and Kathleen Wadhwani, whose Wadhwani Foundation backs economic development in India and other countries.