I recently posted a blog regarding the challenge given by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, called The Giving Pledge. In it, Gates and Buffet challenged the nation’s billionaires to pledge to give away at least 50% of their fortunes to charity, either at death or while still living.
Buffet reports that roughly half of the people approached to participate have agreed to do so thus far. Great results and we’re barely two months into the challenge! The number one reason most high capacity donors share for not giving – “No one asked!”
If this doesn’t motivate you as a leader of your church or non-profit ministry to begin asking, what will? Go for it. You have nothing to lose…except a lot of charitable dollars. By the way, lots of other non-profits out there are asking. Remember you are competing for these contributions.
As of this writing, 40 have signed on with a pledge! You can view the list of donors here.
You’ll recognize many of the names – T. Boone Pickens (oil), Larry Ellison (software), George Lucas (E.T, Star Wars) and David Rockefeller.
If you click on a name on the donor list, you can read a letter each has written regarding their pledge.
I highly encourage you to take a few moments to read these letters.
They provide insight into the minds of the highest capacity donors in the world, shedding light on how they think and, most importantly, the things that have motivated them to give.
I really like a quote from Bill and Melinda Gates’ letter: “If life happens to bless you with talent or treasure, you have a responsibility to use those gifts as well and as wisely as you possibly can.” Change the second word “life” to “God” and they are spot on!