Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Buffett has publicly called on the wealthy to donate more to charity

US billionaire Warren Buffett, who has pledged to give away 99 percent of his wealth, has donated 1.93 billion dollars in shares of his company to five charitable groups, financial filings showed.

In notifications to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Buffet documented donations to five charitable organizations, including a gift worth 1.6 billion dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Buffett, who heads investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, pledged in 2006 to donate a portion of 10 billion shares in his company every July to the charity run by former Microsoft chief Bill Gates.

His donation to the organization this year totals some 20.4 million shares in Berkshire Hathaway. The gift is worth around 1.6 billion dollars at the 78.81-dollar-a-share value of company's stock on Thursday, when the SEC notification was filed.

He also informed the SEC of donations of some 713,000 shares each to the Sherwood Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the NoVo Foundation, and a gift of over two million shares to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.

Buffett has publicly called on the wealthy to donate more to charity, and last month urged rich Americans to give at least half of their assets to charity in a commentary co-authored with Bill Gates.

The so-called Oracle of Omaha, whose personal wealth was estimated at 47 billion dollars in 2010, personally pledged that "more than 99 percent of my wealth will go to philanthropy during my lifetime or at my death."