Philanthropy is crucial to society. For those who have been lucky enough to amass large fortunes, it is important to give as much of their money as they can to better their individual communities and the world. Just recently, 14 of the world’s billionaires have pledged to donate large amounts of their fortunes to charities through the Giving Pledge. While this is terrific for philanthropy, it still begs the question: What is the Giving Pledge?


Started in 2010, the Giving Pledge is an agreement between some of the world’s wealthiest individuals to donate their money to good and charitable causes. The program was founded by world-renowned billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates.


According to the organization’s website, new members of the pledge tend to draft a letter that explains their reasons for signing and the causes they will be donating to. Members already give to a wide array of charitable causes, ranging from disaster relief to environmental protection.


The original pledge was formed by 40 of America’s billionaires and billionaire couples. Today, however, the organization’s numbers have grown dramatically. Originally implemented in the US, the Giving Pledge has taken off since its original debut, and gained a whopping 169 members from across the globe. These wealthy, philanthropic individuals represent a wide array of countries, from Germany to Israel to Russia and everywhere in between.


The main point of the pledge is to not only get billionaires involved in philanthropy, but for anyone around the world to get involved in donating and giving money for the betterment of the human race. The pledge’s members also hope that the sheer size of the organization can help open up a dialogue about the importance of philanthropy to everybody, not just the wealthy.

The 14 new additions include: Leonard Ainsworth (Australia), Mohammed Dewji (Tanzania), Dagmar Dolby (United States), Dong Fangjun (People’s Republic of China), Anne Grete Eidsvig and Kjell Inge Røkke (Norway), Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (Monaco), Nick and Leslie Hanauer (United States), Iza and Samo Login (Slovenia), Dean and Marianne Metropoulos (United States), Terry and Susan Ragon (United States), Nat Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons (United States), Robert Frederick Smith (United States), Harry Stine (United States) and You Zhonghui (People’s Republic of China).


For any of you billionaires out there reading this, make sure to sign the Giving Pledge. It is making the world a far better, kinder place to live in, and with your support, it will make the process even easier.