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Buffet Giving It Away

The top story on Techmeme this morning is Warren Buffet’s decision to give his fortune away, much of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Buffet’s reasoning for supporting the Gates Foundation?  The organization was at scale, with great leadership.  In otherwords, in keeping with his own management philosophies, Buffet chose not to create another bureaucracy, but rather to leverage the organization already built by someone else.

Buffet plans to give 5% of his fortune away annually, and approximately 5/6th of that will go to the Gates Foundation so long as either Bill or Melinda are living.  His annual donation must be fully dispersed within two years.  He will also join the Board of Trustees of the Gates Foundation.

Buffet’s gift will more than double the annual disbursement of the Gates Foundation.  The foundation gives a little less than $1.5 billion annually. Buffet’s money will increase that by about $1.5 billion.  To put that in perspective, the annual budget of the UN is about the same.  The World Health Organizaton spends about a billion annually.   The International Red Cross, about $750 million.

The Gates Foundation is a private institution with the ability, and the legal requirement, to spend at the level of the largest international institutions.  And, as Don Dodge notes, it can spend at those levels without the bureacracy of the UN.

It’s mind boggling.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Velma Talnadge July 19, 2006, 6:20 pm

    Dear Mr. Buffet and Mr. Gates, Praise the LORD for your decision to give back a portion of your wealth God has blessed you with. Be prepared for God to richly return your blessings. I highly admire your efforts and will pray for you. I also am starting a foundation in another area of service; to feed the poor and needy in the San Diego area and worldwide through specific trustworthy organizations. May you, your families, and your entire staffs have great wisdom and be richly blessed. Love in Jesus Velma Talnadge vtalnadge@COX.NET

  • coral furber July 1, 2007, 9:17 pm

    dera mr gates i am a mother of 3 grandmother of9 i have worked all my life and bought my children up to do the same i am now 54 and still work very haed in the bannanas in innisfail no matter how hard i work i just dont seam to be able to pay all my bills and be able to save to go over to usa as my daughter is over there she is married to an americian i am bringing her 15 year old daughter up as she did not want to go over there to live but i would love to pay all my bills so i could take her my husband and my self over to see my daughteri was wondering if you were giving some money away we would love some nothing like that has rver happend to us i cant win anything over 2 dollars its sad but people like us work all our life to realy get no where as things keep going up lukey people like you never know how it feels not to have enough money to get by some weeks thank you coral furber 20 boulter close innisfail qld 4860

  • melissa Brewington December 10, 2007, 12:02 pm

    I am a 36 year old mother of 4 girls, who works a part time job in sales, and works cleaning houses trying to make ends meet. I try to provide them with the things that they need, but that isn't always possible. I have fallen on hard times, living in a drug infested area due to the fact that I was evicted and this was the only place I could find. I am not able to get any support from my family because they are having it hard themslves. I would like for my girls to be able to have a decent childhood what they have left of it without having to worry about if we are going to have lights and heat for christmas. I don't worry about myself I just want my girls to grow up with a better life than what I had. I am not the kind of person that likes to ask for help, but I know sometimes we have to do what is neede for our children. My only wish is that my girls will have a better chance at a education than what I did, they neede tutoring for school, but I am unable to pay for it. I know that education is the key to the way out of a community like the one we live in. Any help or assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, p.o. box 86 Lumberton, N.C. 28359

  • karma January 2, 2008, 4:12 pm

    Dear Mr. Buffet and Mr. Gates, I need money to attend college while supporting my neborne infant. I am currently a stay home mom and i am only twenty one, it feels like i am being held against what i am meant to do which is to go to school and have a good academic achievement. I am dreaming about becoming human resouce personal. To acomplish my dream i need financial support. If you are able to help i will be forever in debt too you. I guess then i can do same as you are helping others. When i acomplish my dream with your help i will do anything in my power to help as many mothers, who are in need of help with financial support to return to work force. I hope to continue your legacey, if i am in level too.

  • Joseph Faucette November 3, 2008, 2:58 pm

    Dear Mr. Buffet and Mr. Gates,
    It has been a blessing to be born in America during a time, when you could make great wealth. I never thought about making great wealth. I thought about just making a living and being happy to do so.
    I recently went to Brazil, twice now. I was so happy to be able to visit such a land of great beauty and natural resources. Those resources are only in the hand of a few and yet, I cried every day to see small children living on the streets. Brazil is full of great and wonderful people but I soon realized that they didn't know how to handle the world wide problem of abandoned children living on the streets and trying to make every day count.
    I returned from Brazil last year only to be confronted by the disaster that happened to my house. My house had a leak that destroyed the entire downstairs areas. I cried and prayed about the disaster but my tears were more for the children on the streets in Sao Paulo and in Rio De Janiero. I prayed a lot and God spoke to me and told me that I knew what to do. So, I refied my house to try to establish a non profit that would build an Academy to house, educate and take care of the abandoned children that no one seems to want or care about.
    I just did a fact finding trip back to Brazil, to see that the situation is sitll bad, and I met with some of the city officials and top religious leaders in the Sao Paulo area. I felt blessed that I now have a good friend down there who introduced me to some of the most wonderful people in the world. They went out of their way to get me appointments with people that usually had a long waiting list. I found out that the system as usual don't like outside influence at all. They have an idea that my system that I will use will be very successful and that they won't be in control of it for, I don't want public money but rather private enterprise to establish the Campus of the Academy.
    That is where, I plan to ask the Gates Foundation and all other private American and Brazilian companies to support this endeavor to help to rescue aleast two hundred of the kids off the streets per year so that we can help them to have a chance to be heathy productive and caring citizens of Brazil and the world.
    The Budget will be about 10 million dollars for the first site. We estimate that we will need three sites eventually. This will not be a game,but a way to help about 600 kids each and every year to realize what we take for granted here in the United States. We will establish an outreach center also.
    The religious leaders think that the idea is great for they also have shelters and other facilities that help.
    The paper work is being done as I type and hopefully, I will be able to get the 501c3 to do the fund rasing and the Gates Foundation will be one of our contributors. The major problem is that everything costs money and I am carrying this all alone. I know that I am very blessed so that I know that goodness will be the end results of my efforts.
    God never lets any of us down!!!! However, all help will be needed down the road. I can't raise not one penny until the gov't gives us the 501c3 certificate which cost $850.00. I will pay that out of my pocket but I will need to have funds coming in to do all the other things that need to be done.
    I realize that this is a hard time for all middle to lower classed Americans, but it is always a hard time for babies on the streets.!!!!
    I ask for your help down the road. I know that good things will come for so many who are innocent and don't even have anyone to kiss them good night.
    So, I hope that Mr. Gates and Mr. Buffet will hear about this non profit and help to make the dreams come true for our smallest people, the children abandoned on the streets of emerging countries. Afterall, they all are future customers.
    Thanks for your valuable time.
    Always, the best,
    Joseph Faucette

  • Joseph Faucette August 1, 2010, 12:14 pm

    It seems like a lifetime has passed since I wrote the last comment. We do have the non profit status ( Fiftyoneplusyou, inc., 501c3,), and we do have a paypal website, that takes donations and is so helpful to us. Fiftyoneplusyou.bbnow.org, is that site and I hope that all can give a few dollars towards this worthy cause to help the smallest and the littlest ones, who don't have any choice but to live on the streets and eat out of the garbage while trying hard to dodge the criminal element on the streets that will only get them involved with drugs and sex trafficking. Please help us to help them.
    Thank you for this chance to to be able to let you know that things are progressing very slowly but with God's grace and lots of small donations, we can make this project work.
    Thank You,
    Joseph Faucette
    Fiftyoneplusyou.bbnow.org

  • Joseph Faucette December 1, 2010, 4:09 pm

    Well, it has been a few months, since the last post. I have been working very hard to find funds to keep the non profit going. It has been difficult. I have written to ver 125 Billionaires, and have gotten back about 10% responses, all negative. It seems that as the economy get worse for the middle class and the poor, the rich, run and hide their heads and enjoy their money. I was told by one person, that they couldn't possibly set a precedent to give us anything for they wouldn't know how to distinguish who should get funding and who shouldn't!! Then, you hear that the Justice Stevens, said that the Supreme court made a terribly bad ruling by saying that Corporations have more rights than people. (The Supreme Court said that Corporations can give as much money to Political candidates, or causes, as they wish!!!) Are we in for a rough time?? What about the unwanted, abandoned, homeless little ones, who eat out of the garbage and run with the packs of deranged individuals who rob and steal and possibly kill???? Where is the compassion of our so called Judeo-Christian nature??? Why haven't people given just a few dollars to the cause of saving childrens' lives????? Where is our hope for a better place for you and me???
    I some times get discouraged but then I see in my mind's eye, the little ones who don't have any bed to sleep in at night and are running from the drug dealers and those who would enslave them in prostitution to catch aids and other diseases. I know that I've had a good life with lots of care and love from a mother who worked hard all of her life so that I and my brothers and sisters could survive. But, what of those who don't have such in their lives.
    I met a little guy in Sao Paulo, named Renato. He was 11 years old and living on the streets. His mother was dead and his father got lost from him. He believes, that I, Senor Joseph, will eventually have the Academy to help get him and others off of the streets, so that they will have a decent life. I hope and pray that that little fellow is doing okay and that his hope and mine will happen.
    No child, should be without a home, a bed, an education, and perhaps, without love to see him through this days during his formative years. Yet, the fact is that there are many children who will never see better than the bottom of the trash barrel of life. This is sad, and it makes me really think of how, just a few dollars from lots of people can make a difference in the lives of those few who don't have a home or someone to hug them and say that things will be okay and get better tomorrow.
    I pray all the time that, God will hear the pleas of those who don't have any other chance but the hopes and dreams of those who are trying very hard to make the International Academy of Excellence come to fruit. The Billionaires are too greedy to help but the middle class who pays all the bills for the nation and the world, should be able to send a few dollars.
    President Roosevelt, went on Radio and asked people to send dimes, and they had the March of Dimes, which helped to stoop out polio. I am asking people to send Fiftyoneplusyou.bbnow.org, just a few dollars. If just 10% of the United States sent in a few dollars, we could open up several of the Academies and help alot more children. However, realistically, we have to get the land, the buildings built and the structures built for the first one. Build it and they will come!

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