On his 82nd birthday on Thursday, billionaire investor Warren Buffett announced that he plans to increase his original pledge of shares of Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational conglomerate he controls, to the private foundations run by his children Susan, Howard and Peter, boosting his total annual donations to the three foundations from about $64 million to more than $100 million, the Omaha World-Herald reports.
Since his original multibillion-dollar pledge six years ago, Buffett has contributed a total of $1.16 billion to the three foundations. His children told the World-Herald that the additional funds will be used to continue or expand current projects pursued by the foundations in a range of fields. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, for example, intends to use the additional funds to continue its support for food security, poverty, and economic development initiatives in developing countries, while the Sherwood Foundation, which is headed by Susan Buffett, expects to increase its support of early childhood education programs and poverty reduction initiatives in the U.S. The Novo Foundation, which is operated by Peter Buffett and his wife, Jennifer, will expand its support for programs that increase opportunities for women and girls and combat the exploitation of and violence against women.
Warren Buffett's pledges to the Bill & Melinda Gates and Susan Thompson Buffett foundations remain unchanged. According to the World-Herald, the combined spending by the four Buffett family foundations will jump to more than $500 million a year starting in 2013, when the first of the doubled distributions is made to each foundation.
"The money is an unbelievable gift, and we will work hard to use it well," Howard Buffett told the World-Herald, "but the confidence my dad has placed in us means more than the money."