Multi billionaire Warren Buffett to cut ties with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – after his death 

 

Shafi Musaddique

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Warren Buffett, the world’s tenth richest person with a net worth of $129 billion, has changed the way his wealth will be handed down – and to whom. The Berkshire Hathaway chairman will no longer donate to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation after his death. 

Previously, Buffett said that he would give more than 99 per cent of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and four other philanthropies run by his children. 

Instead, Buffett’s wealth will go towards a new trust run by his three children. 

It is unclear whether the new foundation will be a reboot of previous iterations. 

Peter Buffett, the youngest son of the 93-year-old, ran the Novo Foundation, a progressive philanthropy that controversially laid off half its staff in 2020, at what many saw as a crucial time of need for women’s rights and marginalised groups. The foundation cut its grant-making programme called Ending Violence Against Girls and Women, which funded groups to fight sex trafficking and domestic violence. 

That decision raised anger among philanthropists advocating for support during the Trump-era of pushbacks against progressive causes. 

‘The funding model for NoVo Foundation was not endowed, but depended on stock dividends from Berkshire Hathaway, which has lost value in recent years. As such, the funding for women and girls through NoVo Foundation was set up on an unsustainable model,’ wrote Kiersten Marek, the founder of the founder of online magazine Philanthropy Women.  

The Novo Foundation received regular gifts of Berkshire Hathway stock from Warren Buffett to keep it afloat; in 2022, it received $750 million in shares and before that in 2020, when it received $15 million.   

‘I feel very, very good about the values of my three children, and I have 100 per cent trust in how they will carry things out,’ Buffett told the Wall Street Journal, adding thatThe Gates Foundation has no money coming after my death.’  

Buffett plans to continue donations to the Gates Foundation while he remains alive.  

Around 9.3 million shares will go to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, with the rest split among the four Buffett family charities. 

The Gates Foundation, which is set to get Berkshire shares worth more than $4 billion, is undergoing a turbulent time with the departure of Melinda French Gates.  

‘Warren Buffett has been exceedingly generous to the Gates Foundation through more than 18 years of contributions and advice,’ Mark Suzman, the foundation’s chief executive, said in a statement to CNN. 

Buffett donated about $870 million last year to the four charities run by his family, and about $750 million to them in 2022. 

Other philanthropic orgnisations connected to Buffett’s name includes the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation – known for its advocacy of reproductive rights and abortion funding, Sherwood Foundation, and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. 

Shafi Musaddique is the news editor at Alliance magazine


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