Investor Warren Buffett’s decision to give $30 billion of his estate to his friend Bill Gates’ charitable foundation — doubling its assets — creates the largest philanthropic fund in history.
The money will give even more clout to Gates’ efforts to fight global disease and poverty and, on the home front, improve U.S. high schools and libraries.
The staggering amount of money involved signals a new golden age of philanthropy. To put it in perspective: The $60 billion Gates fund is five times bigger than the Ford Foundation, the next largest private charity. The United Nations, by comparison, spends about $12 billion annually, according to The Wall Street Journal.
And the fund exceeds some of the most generous charitable giving of the past: Andrew Carnegie’s $380 million in giving, adjusted for inflation, is worth $7.6 billion today.
Let’s hope it is spent wisely, and that other rich Americans follow Buffett’s and Gates’ lead. Buffett told Fortune magazine that he agreed with Carnegie that “huge fortunes that flow in large part from society should in large part be returned to society.”
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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