Billionaire Warren Buffett has reportedly taken another huge leap forward in his commitment to give away his fortune, delivering a $US3.7 billion donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and other charities overnight.
Fortune reports the Berkshire Hathaway founder donated $3.17 billion worth of Class B shares to the Gates foundation and four other charities. Reuters reports Buffett still has a 17% stake in the wildly successful investment fund.
This is the 12th year Buffett has delivered a donation to the Gates foundation and family charities including the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and the Sherwood Foundation, and Fortune estimates he has given away $US27 billion so far.
This amount is still only just over one third of Buffett’s overall net worth, which according to Forbes currently sits at $US76.3 billion. In a statement, Berkshire Hathaway said Buffett still intends to give away all his shares in the company through annual gifts that will be completed ten years after his estate is settled.
In February, Bill Gates used his 2017 letter to thank his friend Buffett for his continued commitment to aid projects undertaken by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“If you add up each year’s gains, 122 million children under age five have been saved over the past 25 years,” he wrote.
“Thank you for putting your trust in us, Warren. We won’t let you down.”
The consistency of Buffett’s approach to philanthropy could cement the brand of Berkshire Hathaway long-term: According to recent research featured in the Harvard Business Review, when the cultural practices of leaders honestly match with a company’s brand, it can actually lead to better efficiency inside a business in the long run.