Anyone who sees how much Warren Buffett has donated to charity can attest that the “Oracle of Omaha” is already making good on his pledge to give away more than 99 percent of his wealth to philanthropic efforts.
“Were we to use more than 1 percent of my [Berkshire Hathaway stock certificates] on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced,” Buffett wrote on the Giving Pledge website. “In contrast, that remaining 99 percent can have a huge effect on the health and welfare of others. That reality sets an obvious course for me and my family: Keep all we can conceivably need and distribute the rest to society, for its needs.”
How much Warren Buffett has given away to charity
As of July 2020—when he donated about 16 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares, worth around $2.9 billion—Buffett had given away more than $37.4 billion to philanthropic causes, according to Reuters.
Earlier in the year, Buffett topped Forbes and SHOOK Research’s list of the biggest philanthropic donors in America after giving away $14.7 billion, or about 16 percent of his net worth, over a five-year span.
In June 2021, news of Buffett's largest donation to date was somewhat overshadowed by the news he also had resigned from the Gates Foundation board. However, the 4.1 billion stock donation in 2021 surpassed his previous top donation in 2019, when he gave away $3.6 billion, according to Reuters.
With that donation, Buffett declared he had reached the halfway mark in his goal to donate his entire fortune.
Charities that Warren Buffett supports
While many speculated on the timing of Buffett's resignation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's board, which comes amid allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Bill Gates, the Omaha billionaire still supports the Gates Foundation. In fact, the charity was among the biggest recipients of his most recent stock donation .
When Buffett donated roughly $2.9 billion in 2020, most of the money went to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to Reuters. The rest went to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and to three charities in which his children are involved—the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Sherwood Foundation, and the NoVo Foundation.
“Many people, including—I’m proud to say—my three children, give extensively of their own time and talents to help others,” Buffett wrote on the Giving Pledge website. “My sister, Doris, extends significant person-to-person help daily. I’ve done little of this. What I can do, however, is to take a pile of Berkshire Hathaway stock certificates—“claim checks” that when converted to cash can command far-ranging resources—and commit them to benefit others who, through the luck of the draw, have received the short straws in life.”
Warren Buffett's political donations
The Associated Press revealed Buffett’s recent political donations in January 2021 while fact-checking a viral Facebook post. The post falsely claimed that Buffett donated $58 million to President Joe Biden’s campaign and that Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline as a favor.
According to the report, Buffett didn't make any contributions to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. Also, he didn't make any individual contributions in 2020.
In 2019, Buffett donated $248,500 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and $5,800 to the senatorial campaign of Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), according to Federal Election Commission records.
In 2018, Buffett donated $33,900 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $33,900 to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, $2,700 to the congressional campaign of Democrat Donna Shalala, and $2,700 to the congressional campaign of Democrat Rufus Gifford.