Along with a reputation for being the most successful investor of the 20th century, Warren Buffett is also known for being a generous philanthropist. In 2006, he committed to gradually give all of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to philanthropic foundations via the Giving Pledge.
On June 23, Buffett announced that he has made a new $4.1 billion donation.
Buffett released a statement commenting on his annual contribution of Berkshire Hathaway shares to five foundations.
“Today is a milestone for me. In 2006, I pledged to distribute all of my Berkshire Hathaway shares,” he said in the news release, “more than 99% of my net worth — to philanthropy. With today’s $4.1 billion distribution, I’m halfway there.”
At the same time, he shared that he is stepping down from his role as an inactive trustee at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the recipients of his donations. The charitable foundation battles inequity and poverty around the world and has worked on initiatives such as fighting infectious diseases and encouraging vaccinations for children globally.
Buffett emphasized that his resignation is not due to any conflict with the foundation.
“I am now resigning from that post, just as I have done at all corporate boards other than Berkshire’s,” he stated. “The CEO of BMG is Mark Suzman, an outstanding recent selection who has my full support. My goals are 100% in sync with those of the foundation, and my physical participation is in no way needed to achieve these goals.”
Buffett still has about $100 billion left to give. Besides the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Buffett also donates to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named for his late first wife. He also gives to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Sherwood Foundation and the Novo Foundation, charities run by his children Howard, Susan and Peter.
“Please understand that these remarks are no swan song,” Buffett said. “I continue at my enjoyable job, doing what I like, aided by associates I like and working to deploy the savings of people who have long trusted me. I still relish being on the field and carrying the ball. But I’m clearly playing in a game that, for me, has moved past the fourth quarter into overtime.”