Where billionaire investor Warren Buffett goes, a lot of people follow. When he spearheaded the Giving Pledge, asking the super-rich to donate at least 50 percent of their fortune to charity, he got an immediate response from American billionaires. Now, high-net-worth individuals in places including South Africa, Australia and Europe, are joining in.
CNBC reports that a dozen billionaires, including Great Britain's Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group; South African Patrice Motsepe, heir to a mining operation; and German software magnate Hasso Plattner, are committing to the pledge.
The Giving Pledge was founded by Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates in 2010 with the purpose of encouraging the wealthiest individuals to give back to society.
Although the publicity surrounding the Giving Pledge has deterred some potential billionaires in other countries who prefer to remain anonymous with their philanthropy, the elite group has done more to galvanize people around the idea of leaving a significant chunk to charity. In an interview with the Financial Times, Gates noted that "a lot were going to do it anyway but the pledge creates more of a movement, makes people do it earlier, collaborate and do it smarter."
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