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article imageForcing the world's richest folks to give half of it away

By Joan Firstenberg     Jun 16, 2010 in Business
New York - Wouldn't we all like to donate half our estates to charity? Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, two of the richest men around, are urging other wealthy people to donate half of their net worth to philanthropic causes.
What was discussed during a recent secret meeting between two of the world's richest people, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates has now been revealed in Fortune Magazine. The meeting was to kick off a charity drive of monster proportions. The pair have decided they will try to convince the world's billionaires, beginning with the Forbes 400 to promise at least half their net worth to philanthropies. And they can do the good deed either while they are alive, or bequeath it for when they die.
The blog, Newser reports that since that meeting, Gates and Buffett have held several more dinner parties around the world, pitching their idea to fellow deep-pocketed philanthropists.
Gates says he really thinks the 50% is a “low bar” to get the super-rich started, and will hopefully spur them to give even more. Buffett himself is pledging 99%. And Gates says
This is about moving to a different realm.”
Forbes reports that if this "great givers club" takes off it could add significantly to the surprisingly small club of living people who have already cut checks for $1 billion or more for charity. Four of the top five--Gates, Buffett, George Soros and Eli Broad--were at one of the kick-off dinners held by Gates and Buffett.
Anyone can actually see who's pledging what on the website, Givingpledge.org.
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