I bought Fortune on my Kindle (magazines on the Kindle are awesome by the way) this morning and the first article was about the “fundraising” initiative — the Giving Pledge – Warren Buffett and Bill & Melinda Gates are undertaking to convince the world’s billionaires to pledge 50% of their net worth to philanthropic causes by the end of their life. This is probably the biggest fundraiser ever embarked on in history — and it’s being embarked on by two of the richest men in the world. Fortune estimated the campaign could bring $600 billion to charities. That’s a massive massive number and regardless of how many billionaires and millionaires sign on to the pledge, it’s going to make a gigantic impact on the world’s poor in a number of areas across the globe.

Here is Warren Buffet’s personal pledge:

More than 99% of my wealth will go to philanthropy during my lifetime or at death. Measured by dollars, this commitment is large. In a comparative sense, though, many individuals give more to others every day.

I really really recommend you read the entire document. If Buffett can give 99%, then surely other billionaires can give 50%. I expect Gates and Buffett to be hugely successful in their campaign simply due to the unbelievable example they are setting.

One excerpt from Buffet’s pledge that doesn’t really relate to the pledge, but particularly resonated with me:

The asset I most value, aside from health, is interesting, diverse, and long-standing friends.

It’s great to hear someone with so much experience say what he values most in life is the same as what I value.