Two exrordinarily wealthy men, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, asked over 400 of the richest people in the world to offer up a generous amount of their life savings to their favoorite charity or organization either by either pledging half of their fortune to these organizations in their will; or spread out their donations over the span of their lifetime. This challenge , to Bill and Warren, if the ultimate test of their generosity, and a test of what they are willing to give to help those in need.
Bill Gates, who is worth around 50 billion dollars, has already put 30 billion into his family's charity: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This foundation is focused on the belief that all lives have equal value. The gates family, with the help of Warren Buffet, help to provide money to poverty ridden areas, provide a better high school education in public schools, and try to provide an overall better life to those in need. Gates described this 600 billion dollar challenge as
Warren Buffet is also worth around 50 billion dollars, and he gives an annual pledge to The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation every year. Buffet started this challenge in 2006 when he pledged 99% of his wealth to charity. Waren also made a 37 billion dollar single donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, which was the single greatest donation to charity in United States history. "It just seemed.. right" Buffet stated in his interview with The Sydney. Buffet had been making donations to charity ever since he had come to terms with his vast amount of money. When asked about his donation with Bill Gates, he said: " what could be more logical, then to find someone better equipped than you are to do it." Buffet, who is the second richest man in the world, took the same leap of faith that Gates took, giving away his money for the betterment of not only the United Sates, but the world.
There are over 1000 billionaires in the world, so far only 2 of these people (not including Gates and Buffet) have pledged half of their life earnings to charity. If the other billionaires took the time to understand what Gates and Buffet are trying to achieve, they will understand that their hard earned money is going towards a greater good.
To me, this 600 billion dollar challenge the ultimate test of the generosity of the billionaires of the world. This challenge must have been both difficult and rewarding. I know that if i had earned over a billion dollars, i would think twice before i gave away over half of it to charity. I don't see that as excessive greed, but i see it as our natural tendency to hold onto what we earned. But for Gates and Buffet, it was not just a small donation. Both of these men have devoted not only their money, but a great amount of time and effort into the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, in order to provide money for better lives of the people in poverty, and an overall better living experience for everybody.
This 600 billion dollar challenge involves faith because it cannot be sought out by only Gates and Buffet, these men have to have the support of every other billionaire in the world, all 1000+ of them. This challenge is still ongoing today, and now, more than ever, Gates and buffet need to have faith in this rough economy.
Gates, who originally started this project, shows obvious faith in the fact that trusted that he would not be the only billionaire that would donate to this cause. He trusted that many other billionaires would follow in his example, and had faith that the billionaires would not see this donation of half of their wealth as an obligation, but as a choice of faith to support those who are less fortunate in the world.
Buffet also showed an extraordinary amount of faith by following Gates, because he knew that the economy is in a recession, and that now more and more people would be conservative about their money. Buffet, along with Gates, knew that there is a small chance that the billionaires would not be very willing to donate their money to a cause that would not directly profit themselves. But that small chance was seen as a great opportunity to these men, who believed that the billionaires of the world would come through and give the money that they were so lucky to be blessed with to those who really needed it.
"Discussion about the Giving Pledge with Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates." Interview by Charlie Rose. Charlie Rose Show. MSNBC. New York City, NY, June 16, 2010. Television.
Willoughby, Elizabeth. "Bill Gates and Warren Buffet's 600 Billion Dollar challenge." Celebrity Charity New, Events, organizations, and causes. 16 July 2010. Web. 27 October 2010. Looktothestars.org/news
Goldiner, Dave. "A $37bn Giveaway." The Sydney 27 June 2006. Print.