In 2006, Buffett pledged to donate his entire fortune (which consists of 99 percent stock in his Berkshire Hathaway company) to charity. The billions are divided among five foundations. The most famous is Bill and Melinda Gates.
When the generous American began donating, he owned 475,000 shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Today it has less than 240,000 units.
Problem: the price is rising
“In 2006 I promised to give away all my shares, more than 99 percent of my holdings, to philanthropy. I am now halfway through,” the investor said in a press release. That is partly true.
He may have given away half of his shares, but that does not mean that he is at half the amount that he can donate. ‘Problem’ for Buffett: His shares have become more and more valuable.
100 billion dollars
The approximately 240,000 shares he owns currently represent an astronomical $100 billion. If he still wants to give all that away, it will take years. The big question is how the ninety-year-old businessman manages to give away all that money.
He himself remains sober. He thinks that after his death people will rise up and donate money for charity. “Philanthropy will continue to match human talent with financial resources. Together they will make the world a better place. A much better place, for generations to come.”
Buffett gives his money to five foundations. In addition to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, these are the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (named after his wife, who died in 2004), the Sherwood Foundation (of his daughter Susan), the Howard G. Buffett Foundation (of his son Howard) and the NoVo Foundation (from his son Peter).
Of those five, the Gates Foundation received the most billions. It is the largest private foundation in the world. It focuses on health care for poor countries, tries to reduce poverty and offers education.
Other foundations deal with legal aid for Americans who cannot afford it, poverty alleviation in the United States and access to abortion.