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14 More Billionaires Just Signed Up For The Giving Pledge

There are a surprising number of billionaires you’ve never heard of.

14 More Billionaires Just Signed Up For The Giving Pledge
This year’s list includes members from Australia, Cyprus, Monaco, Norway, Slovenia, and Tanzania. [Source Images: Christina Sicoli/Unsplash (photo), Softulka/iStock (pattern)]

Fourteen more billionaires just took The Giving Pledge, an increasingly common pact among ultra-deep-pocketed donors to give the majority of their wealth away to charitable causes within their lifetime. The commitment started in 2010 when Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet began calling for others to join them in giving away half their wealth, either before they die or in their will.

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In total, 168 individuals or families have since committed, from 21 countries. This year’s recruiting class was down a few members from last year’s total of 17, but shares an interesting distinction of being, well, rather indistinct.

In total, 168 individuals or families have committed, from 21 countries.  [Source Images: Christina Sicoli/Unsplash (photo), Softulka/iStock (pattern)]
With a couple thousand billionaires around the world, it’s only natural that not all signatories will be as well known as Gates, Buffet, or other previous no-first-name-required signatories like Zuckerberg and Rockefeller, the latter of whom passed this year. In a way, that’s the point: to normalize this kind of behavior so joining becomes less a fame-making exception than common practice.

This year’s list includes members from Australia, Cyprus, Monaco, Norway, Slovenia, and Tanzania. As the group notes in a press release, the fortunes were minted across a wide spectrum of industries, from agriculture to casino gaming to technology. Their passions also range from climate change to poverty and health and medical issues. As Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation put it during the announcement, that means a variety of entrepreneurial views, offering more “learning from their diverse experiences.”

Their passions range from climate change to poverty and health and medical issues. [Source Images: Christina Sicoli/Unsplash (photo), Softulka/iStock (pattern)]
The U.S.-based contributors include Dagmar Dolby, wife of sound system magnate Ray Dolby of Dolby Laboratories, who died in 2013. Dolby has been an avid pro-choice activist and already contributes heavily toward brain health and Alzheimer’s disease research. There is also Nick Hanauer, a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, who founded Civic Ventures, a public policy incubator in Seattle, and his wife Leslie.

Cheap-beer-swilling hipsters have their own representative in Dean and Marianne Metropoulos: Dean heads Metropoulos & Co., the food and drink conglomerate best known for turning around sagging brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon and Hostess. China, which Fast Company has previously reported as a potentially emerging force for this kind of giving, doubled its overall representation by adding two new members to the fold.

You can read full bios of all Pledge members here.

About the author

Ben Paynter is a senior writer at Fast Company covering social impact, the future of philanthropy, and innovative food companies. His work has appeared in Wired, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the New York Times, among other places.

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