Buffett Announces Donation to Gates Foundation
Berkshire Hathaway Chair Warren Buffett on Sunday disclosed that he plans to donate stock currently valued at about $30.7 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wall Street Journal reports (Richardson, Wall Street Journal, 6/26).
The Gates Foundation has an endowment of $29 billion and has spent more than $10 billion, much of it on programs to fight HIV/AIDS and other global health concerns. Bill Gates earlier this month announced that he plans to relinquish over the next two years all daily work duties at Microsoft, the company he founded, and work full time at the Gates Foundation (American Health Line, 6/16).
Buffett said he plans initially to give $1.54 billion to the Gates Foundation and give annual donations that will "trend higher in an irregular but eventually substantial manner" (Blair Smith, USA Today, 6/26). In a letter dated Monday to Bill and Melinda Gates, Buffett said he wants all of his money to be distributed by the Gates Foundation in the year it is donated instead of contributed to the foundation's assets used for future giving (Gordon Blankinship, AP/CBS News, 6/26).
According to the New York Times, the conditions of the donation require that Bill or Melinda Gates continue active participation in their foundation, and the terms of the donation could change when Buffett, age 75, dies. Buffett also will become a trustee of the Gates Foundation, the Times reports (O'Brien/Saul, New York Times, 6/26).
Buffett on Sunday also disclosed he gradually plans to donate 85% of his wealth, all in Berkshire stock (Loomis , Fortune, 6/25). In addition to the Gates Foundation donations, he plans to give about $3 billion to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation -- which is named after his late wife and supports reproductive health and rights, family planning and college scholarship programs -- and about $1.07 billion each to foundations run by his three children -- the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Susan A. Buffett Foundation and the NoVo Foundation, according to the Chicago Tribune. The foundations support the arts, child protection, education and the environment (Miller, Chicago Tribune, 6/26).