'Giving Pledge' Announces New Signatories

The Giving Pledge has announced the addition of seventeen families and individuals who have pledged to commit at least half their wealth to philanthropy.

The new pledgers include Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz AlSaud of Saudi Arabia, founder of Alwaleed Philanthropies; Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne; Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk and his wife, Elizabeth; Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky; Intuit co-founder Scott Cook and his wife, Signe Ostby; Environmental Systems Research Institute founders Jack and Laura Dangermond; Admiral Group founder Henry Engelhardt and his wife, Diane Briere de l’Isle-Engelhardt; Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia; Sobha Group founder PNC Menon and his wife, Sobha; Niu Gensheng, founder of China's Mengniu Dairy Group and the Lao Niu Foundation; and Medley Partners managing director Mark Heising and his wife, Liz Simons, who chairs the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Six other families and individuals signed on to the campaign between August and March — Margaret and Sylvan Adams, Sir Tom and Lady Marion Hunter, Robert and Arlene Kogod, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Gary K. Michelson, and Herbert and Nicole Wertheim. Launched in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, the campaign now counts a hundred and fifty-four signatories from sixteen countries. Topics discussed at the signatories' annual learning conference this week included leveraging philanthropy to expand opportunities for women in the global economy, opportunities and challenges for giving internationally, pressing environmental issues, engaging in urban renewal projects, and philanthropy's role in advancing scientific discovery.

"This new group joining the Giving Pledge is incredibly thoughtful about their desire to give back and help solve the world's toughest challenges through philanthropy," said Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates. "Some have been giving for decades and others are just starting out after building successful businesses, but they all see the value of giving in a bold and effective way. Melinda, Warren, and I are glad to have the opportunity to learn with them and from them."

For more information on the Giving Pledge, visit the Eye on the Giving Pledge page on the Foundation Center's Glasspockets.org site.