Gates, Buffett to Super Rich: Give Half of It Away

Details of the secret billionaires meeting revealed
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2010 12:13 PM CDT
Bill Gates, left, and Warren Buffett share a light moment during the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb., Sunday, May 6, 2007.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

(Newser) – Remember that super-secret meeting of the world’s richest people? Well, the contents of that meeting have finally been revealed, in a new Fortune article that pulls back the curtain on probably the biggest charity drive of all time. The meeting was the brainchild of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, and it kicked off their drive to convince the world’s billionaires, starting with the Forbes 400, to pledge at least half their net worth to philanthropic causes, either during their lifetimes or at death.

Since that meeting, Gates and Buffett have held several more dinner parties around the world, pitching their idea to fellow deep-pocketed philanthropists. Gates says he actually considers the 50% a “low bar” to get the super-rich started, hopefully spurring even greater gifts—Buffett’s pledging 99%. “This is about moving to a different realm,” says Gates. The pledges will be recorded on They already have a handful of givers signed up, and intend to send a barrage of emails to likely candidates to coincide with the Fortune article.

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