The Giving Pledge campaign launched by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage the nation's wealthiest families to return the majority of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes has announced that seventeen more families and individuals have taken the pledge.
Announced in June, the campaign now includes fifty-seven families from across the United States. New signatories include America Online founder Steve Case and his wife, Jean; Wall Street financier Carl Icahn; Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg; former Wall Street trader Michael Milken and his wife, Lori; and South Dakota businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford.
In a time of growing need and difficult challenges, the campaign is an effort to help address society's most pressing problems. As Buffett and the Gateses have noted in the past, the pledge is a moral commitment to give rather than a legal contract and does not involve the pooling of funds or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations. And while it is focused on America's wealthiest individuals and families, the campaign takes its inspiration from other efforts that encourage and recognize givers of all financial means and backgrounds.
"I'm delighted to welcome these seventeen families into the Giving Pledge community," said Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett. "In just a few short months we've made good progress. The Giving Pledge has re-energized people thinking about philanthropy and doing things in philanthropy, and I look forward to many more conversations with families who are truly fortunate and whose generosity can and will change lives."
For a complete list of Giving Pledge signatories, click here.