• 06.25.13

Take This Online Philanthropy Course And You’ll Get To Give Away The Buffett Family’s Money

What better way to practice being charitable than with a very tiny amount of the Berkshire Hathaway billions?

Warren Buffett’s family has a lot of money, and they want your help giving it away. The only catch: you have to participate in the Learning By Giving Foundation’s massive open online course (MOOC). Only then will you have the power to decide where (a tiny piece of) the Berkshire Hathaway fortune should go.


Over the last decade, Warren’s older sister, 85-year-old Doris Buffett, has given over $150 million to charitable causes–all money that comes from Berkshire Hathaway stock that she inherited from a family trust in 1996. Some of that money has been given directly to organizations, but a considerable portion has been doled out to philanthropy courses at 30 colleges and universities across the U.S. Each class gets $10,000 of Buffett’s money to spend on the charitable causes that they’re passionate about.

Few people taking the course will ever be able to give away $150 million of their own money, but that’s not really the point. Philanthropic know-how is useful even for small donations–and it’s indispensable for students who want to have a career in philanthropy.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.