Warren Buffett Just Gave Another $5.3 Billion To Charity

The world’s biggest philanthropist continues his summer tradition of writing a few very large cheques.

The world’s biggest philanthropist continues his summer tradition of writing a few very large checks.

Another summer, another huge donation by Warren Buffett. In what has become an annual tradition, Buffett announced Friday he is giving shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock worth some $5.3 billion to five charities.

The biggest recipient, as is tradition, is the Gates Foundation, which is set to get Berkshire shares worth more than $4 billion, based on Thursday’s closing stock price of $407.95 per share. The gift comes despite much turmoil at the $75 billion (endowment) charity launched by Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates in 2000. French Gates left the foundation earlier this month to branch out on her own. She divorced Gates in 2021. As part of the move, the foundation, which focuses on poverty and healthcare initiatives in developing countries and education and economic mobility in America, announced it would rebrand itself as the Gates Foundation. (Buffett, a longtime trustee of the charity, stepped down in 2021.)

As part of Friday’s gifts, another $400 million worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock is headed to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, which Buffett created with his late wife and which focuses on healthcare and education. Buffett also continued his tradition of handing hundreds of millions to three charities founded by his three children, too. Shares worth around $285 million are going to each of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation and the NoVo Foundation.

There’s plenty more where that came from. Buffet plans to continue donating vast sums to the Gates Foundation, to which he has already given more than $43 billion, for the rest of his life. But when the 93-year-old dies, he plans to move more than 99% of his remaining wealth to a charitable trust overseen by his three children, an arrangement he laid out in a November letter and clarified further in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Friday.

“I feel very, very good about the values of my three children,” Buffett told the Journal, “and I have 100% trust in how they will carry things out.”

Buffett pledged to donate nearly all of his fortune over the course of his life or shortly after his death in 2006, and in 2010 he cofounded The Giving Pledge with Gates and French Gates to encourage other billionaires to similarly give away at least half of their wealth.

Already likely the largest philanthropist ever, Buffett’s estimated lifetime giving exceeds $56 billion, according to Forbes’ list of America’s biggest givers, which Buffett topped in February.

Forbes estimates that Buffett’s net worth stands at $129 billion after Friday’s donations, dropping him from the world’s 8th-richest person to 10th on Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires tracker. He owns around 14% of the shares of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate he has built over the past six decades into one the world’s most valuable companies.


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