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This year is already the 14th when Warren Buffett donates Berkshire Hathaway shares to charity.
Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK.A) and one of the world’s most celebrated investors, has announced he would be donating 15.9 million of his Berkshire Hathaway shares to charity. This charity deed is in furtherance to Buffett’s lifelong desire to donate and help others. This year’s donation will represent the 14th year when Buffett has been giving out his shares estimated to be worth about $37 billion to date.
The patriotic and philanthropic gesture of Warren Buffett is not uncommon among the American elite. While other billionaires including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos have been involved in charity, Buffett’s approach gives the beneficiaries (comprising mostly NGOs) ownership of the company in which they can take future dividends from the company. Currently, aged 89, the Wall Street legend has not only shown the capitalists of the digital age he is committed to charity, but he has also influenced many others to join the cause.
Warren Buffett and Charity
Buffett had long stated his intention to give away his fortune to charity, and in June 2006, he announced a new plan to give 83% of it to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He pledged about the equivalent of 10 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (worth approximately $30.7 billion as of June 23, 2006), making it the largest charitable donation in history, and Buffett one of the leaders of philanthrocapitalism.
The foundation will receive 5% of the total each July, beginning in 2006. (The pledge is conditional upon the foundation’s giving away each year, beginning in 2009, an amount that is at least equal to the value of the entire previous year’s gift from Buffett, in addition to 5% of the foundation’s net assets.) Buffett joined the Gates Foundation’s board but did not plan to be actively involved in the foundation’s investments.
Besides the Gates Foundation, Warren Buffet has extended charitable deeds to several other Non-Governmental Organizations including Girls Inc, Glide Foundation Novo Foundation, and other foundations founded by members of his family. On December 9, 2010, Buffett, Bill Gates, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg signed a promise they called the “Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge”, in which they promise to donate to charity at least half of their wealth, and invite other wealthy people to follow suit.
Berkshire Hathaway is an American multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. As of April 2020, Berkshire’s Class B stock is the eighth-largest component of the S&P 500 Index (which is based on free-float market capitalization) and the company is famous for having the most expensive share price in history with Class A shares costing around $272,663.75 each. Following Warren Buffett’s recent donation, he still owns 248,734 Class A shares valued at $$67.5 billion.