The Giving Pledge has announced that four more families and individuals have signed on to the campaign and pledged to commit at least half their wealth to philanthropy, bringing the total number of Giving Pledge signatories to a hundred and twenty-seven.
The new signatories are Ann Gloag, co-founder of international transport company Stagecoach Group and founder of the Freedom From Fistula, Gloag, and Balcraig foundations, which support anti-poverty, education, and humanitarian aid initiatives; Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea and his wife, Natalie, co-founder and chair of the Orfalea Foundation, which works to improve early childhood and experiential education, school nutrition and health, and environmental practices; Craig Silverstein, Google's first hire and today dean of infrastructure at Khan Academy, and his wife, Mary Obelnicki, who together founded Echidna Giving, which supports girls' education in developing countries; and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org, which promotes women's empowerment, and her husband, Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey. In addition, Strive Masiyiwa, founder of Econet Wireless, and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founder and executive chair of the Higher Life Foundation in Zimbabwe, signed on to the campaign earlier this year.
Now in its fourth year, the Giving Pledge includes signatories ranging in age from 29 to 98 and representing twelve countries and twenty-six U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The latest additions were announced at the Giving Pledge annual gathering in Santa Barbara, California, where the world's wealthiest families discussed such topics as partnering with government to maximize impact, investing in women and girls, social entrepreneurship, global health, environment, and education.
"We are just getting started with our philanthropy," said Silverstein. "This week we launched our Web site, echidnagiving.org, for our fund, which focuses on girls' education in the developing world. So the Giving Pledge annual gathering was a great opportunity to exchange ideas with others who are working in that area and [to] learn from their perspectives — what has worked and what hasn't."
"We are thrilled to welcome this diverse group of business leaders and philanthropists to the pledge," said Warren Buffett, co-founder of the Giving Pledge. "They bring a wealth of expertise to the group. We will learn a lot from their experiences as we collectively aim to inspire one another to earlier and better giving."