Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.A) once again donated a huge amount of money to charity. This year, the billionaire investor gave $2.8 billion to five foundations. Last year, the billionaire investor gave away 21.7 million shares.
Buffett is the fourth wealthiest man worldwide. His fortune is estimated to be around $67.4 billion based on Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
Recipients of Buffett’s donation
Buffett donated 20,640,653 Class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and to the foundations run by his children—the Susan Thompson Buffett foundation, the Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the NoVo Foundations.
Based on the closing price of the Class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway last Thursday, Buffett’s donation has a market value of more than $28 billion. Today, the Class B shares of the company closed $136.46. Its closing price on Thursday was $137.39 per share.
According to Berkshire Hathaway, under the terms of the donation, the foundations are required to spend Buffett’s gift for current operations and should not be added to endowment funds.
He announced his intention to gradually give away all of his shares in Berkshire Hathaway in 2006. At the time, Buffett said “I know what I want to do.” He decided to start giving away 85% of his wealth in July that year, primarily to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic organization.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and his wife Melinda, are close friends of Buffett. Their foundation is focused on education and world health.
“I greatly admire what the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (“BMG”) is accomplishing and want to materially expand its future capabilities,” wrote Buffett in his letter in 2006. He emphasized that his commitment of annual gifts to the foundation was irrevocable.
Buffett and Gates established the Giving Pledge
Buffett together with Gates established the Giving Pledge, which encourages the wealthiest individuals and families around the world to donate majority of their wealth to charity.
Buffett promised to donate 99.9% of his fortune to charity. His lifetime donations to charity are now more than $25.5 billion.