The Giving Pledge
Today, there are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims constituting 23% of the world’s population. They live across the continents and contribute substantially to the world economy. They are also significant players in the social sector, whereby, developing nonprofits that address human services and social needs or creating charitable foundations that are distributing financial resources at an unprecedented level. Within this group there is a potentially enormous resource base on which philanthropies can build new initiatives to advance social justice.
In August 2010, 40 of America’s wealthiest people made a commitment to give the majority of their wealth to address some of society’s most pressing problems. Created by Warren Buffett, Melinda French Gates, and Bill Gates, the Giving Pledge came to life following a series of conversations with philanthropists about how they could set a new standard of generosity among the ultra-wealthy. While originally focused on the United States, the Giving Pledge quickly saw interest from philanthropists around the world.
The Giving Pledge was a simple concept: an open invitation for billionaires, or those who would be if not for their giving, to publicly commit to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy either during their lifetimes or in their wills. It is inspired by the example set by millions of people at all income levels who give generously – and often at great personal sacrifice – to make the world better. Envisioned as a multi-generational effort, the Giving Pledge aims over time to help shift the social norms of philanthropy among the world’s wealthiest and inspire people to give more, establish their giving plans sooner, and give in smarter ways. Signatories fund a diverse range of issues of their choosing. Those who join the Giving Pledge are encouraged to write a letter explaining their decision to engage deeply and publicly in philanthropy and describing the causes that motivate them.