Billionaire investor, philanthropist and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) Warren Buffett has raised US$1 million for charity at the annual auction he holds for a lunch with him.
The price paid for lunch with Buffett looks a comparative steal to previous years. In 2008, the successful bidder paid US$2.1 million, in 2009 the winning bid cost nearly US$1.7 million, while in 2012 a record US$3.5 million was outlaid for the opportunity to dine with Buffett and to support the Glide Foundation charity.
Since 2006 Buffett has dramatically increased his philanthropic efforts and has also been active in encouraging others to give as well. In 2010, Buffett, along with his close friend and founder of Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Bill Gates, set in motion The Giving Pledge which is a commitment by some of the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
Recently Andrew Forrest, the founder and chairman of Fortescue Metals (ASX: FMG) and his wife Nicola became the first Australians to sign The Giving Pledge. The Forrests’ pledge was wonderful to see and hopefully their generosity will entice other Australian billionaires to follow suit.
It’s inspiring to see so many of the world’s wealthy pledging to give away their fortunes and help others less fortunate. Of course before you can give it away, you have to make it!
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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no financial interest in any company mentioned in this article.