Wealth Blog

Finance Blogs » Wealth Blog » Buffett’s charity secret

Buffett’s charity secret

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Posted: 10 am ET

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett knows what he's good at: running Berkshire Hathaway. He also knows what he's not good at: running a foundation.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is on a philanthropic mission, with the help of others.

His secret for success in philanthropy is giving the power to those who do know what they're doing. In a video published on CNBC that introduces an online course in philanthropy, Buffett says he always knew he wanted to give most of his wealth to charity, but that he wanted others to do it. "I make it and somebody else gives it away," he says on the video.

The online course, called "Giving With Purpose," is part of an effort supported by Sunshine Lady Foundation, which is run by Buffett's sister Doris. Buffett describes himself as the wholesaler and his sister as the retailer when it comes to charitable giving.

Aside from his sister, Buffett entrusts his billions to foundations headed by his three children and by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. He has no interest, he says, in beginning his own foundation. "I wouldn't be effective, as I wouldn't like doing it so much," he says.

Buffett has made it his mission to not only donate nearly his entire fortune, but to encourage others to do so. He began The Giving Pledge in 2010 in order to recruit wealthy individuals who promise to give at least half their fortunes to charity. The campaign has attracted some of the biggest names among the rich and famous, including CNN founder Ted Turner and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.

As a group, the wealthy (those with investable assets of $1 million or more) gave an average of 9 percent of their household income to charity annually from 2009 to 2011, according to a 2012 study by Bank of America and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. More than three-quarters of those surveyed said they planned on donating at least that much, or more, per year through 2016.

Keep up with your wealth and mortgages and follow me on Twitter.

Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
Sierra Dawn
March 28, 2014 at 11:28 pm

For years I have said that the very wealthy (with so much money they didn't know what to do with it) should donate to organizations that have a need because they help those unfortunate. One such organization is The Kidney Foundation.

I am truly happy to see that those with an overwhelming amount of money are donating to worthwhile causes and organizations.

A big thank you for all that you have helped.

March 27, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Leslie after this horrible economy or depression which nobody wants to call it and you have health issues and unable to work don't allow yourself to be disgraced. Possibly your local church can help or you could be a greeter at any number of stores where you can sit in a chair or wheelchair if possible. Things happen do not let it get you down. Good luck

leslie beaster
February 15, 2014 at 10:38 am

I'm 67 yrs old and will have to file chapter 7 bankruptcy. I have MS. do you have any suggestion how I can keep my self from total disgrace. I'm unable to work , my ex-husband has done all he can do. I had to tell some one. forgive me .thank you for listening

February 14, 2014 at 8:21 pm

I admire a lot. because your good work ,I also want to be a philanthropist in the nearest future.