The Foundation Center has announced the launch of a new resource designed to bring greater transparency to the Giving Pledge, an effort spearheaded by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates to encourage the wealthiest Americans to commit the majority of their assets to philanthropic causes.
Offered through the center's Glasspockets Web site, "Eye on the Giving Pledge" provides in-depth profiles of the eighty-one individuals and families who have signed the Giving Pledge to date, including their net worth, primary industry affiliation, giving interests, related foundations, charitable board service, and philanthropic press coverage. The site also offers charts and graphics highlighting demographic trends, geographic distribution, and giving interests of Giving Pledge participants.
While the 76,600 grantmaking foundations in the United States currently hold an estimated $646 billion in assets and give $46.9 billion annually, philanthropic commitments made by current Giving Pledge participants — who have a combined net worth of roughly $400 billion — could result in an estimated $200 billion or more flowing into charitable causes over time, representing a dramatic increase in philanthropic giving.
"The Giving Pledge has tremendous potential," said Foundation Center president Bradford Smith. "And in a world where philanthropists now achieve celebrity status and new forms of philanthropy emerge at an extraordinary clip, it's more important than ever to keep pace with giving trends and make sense of it all. Good data and transparency are key to understanding philanthropy's impact on the world."