Warren Buffett has recently made his largest donation yet, where he gave $2.8 billion in securities to the four Buffett family foundations and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In total, by adding up all of Buffett’s contributions, over the last eight years he has donated $18.7 billion.
Back in 2007, Warren Buffett pledged to give away the majority of his wealth to various foundations by making annual contributions of the stock of Berkshire Hathaway, or after he dies, from his estate. As the CEO and chairman of the company, he built the Omaha-based conglomerate into the fourth biggest corporation in the United States in just the past 55 years.
Reported by the US Securities and Exchange Commission this past Tuesday, Buffett’s latest contributions include giving $2.13 billion to the Gates foundation, giving $213 million to the Susan Thompson Buffett foundation, and giving the foundations respectively headed up by his children Peter, Howard and Susan, a total of $149 million each, or in total $447.6 million.
Even now Buffett will also donate a smaller number of Class B Berkshire Hathaway shares each year, and the total dollar of this year’s value is a record because the share price increased by around 11% in that time, and went from $115 per share to $128.50 per share. In the past, his previous record donation was $2.6 billion.
After these contributions, Buffett is now worth $62 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock.
Based on today’s prices, so far the shares that Buffett has donated to the five foundations should be worth roughly $25 billion. Although, over the years, every one of the foundations has sold some of the Berkshire Hathaway shares in order to finance their operations.
As well, this year Buffett has also chosen to donate $2.14 million to four other charities that have not been identified, plus he’s given $1285 worth of stock to the 13 children in elementary school that were part of his entrepreneurial contest.
After this donation, Buffett now has 33.55% of the shareholder votes of Berkshire Hathaway and roughly 20% of the company’s economic value. Most of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holdings are in Class A shares, which have much more voting power than the Class B counterparts.
The Gates Foundation is working toward eliminating poverty and disease on a worldwide scale, and they also hope to improve education in the United States.
The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named after the deceased first wife of Warren Buffett, gets only 1/10 of the amount that goes to the Gates Foundation. It supports college scholarships, humanitarian programs and various other causes.
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is focused on providing agricultural assistance in countries that are developing, and it also aims to help people in poverty and refugees.
The Sherwood Foundation, run by Susan Buffett, Warren’s daughter, is focused on early childhood education. They look to help children in grades K-12, they offer anti-poverty programs as well as other efforts, and the main focus of this organization is in Omaha and other parts of Nebraska.