The Giving Pledge has announced that ten more families and individuals have pledged to commit at least half their wealth to philanthropy, bringing the total number of Giving Pledge signatories to a hundred and thirty-seven.
The new signatories include Judy Faulkner, founder and CEO of electronic health record software firm Epic; Harold Grinspoon Foundation founder Harold Grinspoon and his wife, Diane Troderman; tech entrepreneur, fund manager, and Keywell Foundation co-directors Brad and Kim Keywell; former Berkshire Hathaway executive Bill Scott and his wife, Ruth; and GEMS Education and Varkey Foundation founder Sunny Varkey and his wife, Sherly. Gordon and Llura Gund, Elie and Susy Horn, Ann and John Jay Jordan, Hamdi Ulukaya, and Sir Ian Wood were added to the list of Giving Pledgers last fall and earlier this spring. The latest signatories are devoted to causes such as helping refugees, advancing medical research, supporting children in underserved schools and neighborhoods, and promoting global development and economic opportunities in Africa.
Launched with forty families in the United States in 2010, the Giving Pledge has grown to include signatories from fourteen countries. At its annual meeting held earlier this week, Giving Pledgers discussed topics ranging from ways of leveraging philanthropy to drive women's opportunities in the economy, to digital technology's ability to drive social change in emerging markets, to the role of philanthropy in scientific and medical research.
"When we started the Giving Pledge five years ago, we had no idea we'd get this many people to come together. It has really grown, first in the U.S., but more recently all over the world," said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who started the campaign with his wife, Melinda, and Warren Buffett. "We hope to intensify philanthropy and encourage people to get started younger. It's exciting to see people becoming bolder and more thoughtful in their giving. This is about building on a wonderful tradition of philanthropy that will ultimately help the world become a much better place."