Bill Gates Has A Problem

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet invented the giving pledge. It’s an exclusive club – where as a member you pledge to give at least half of your net worth. You can do so now or after you die via your will. Yes, of course you need to have $100 million or more to join.

And this is a great initiative, and many billionaires – now more than 100 have joined the giving pledge. But there is a problem.

Bill is more rich now than he was when he started giving pledge. It’s because billionaires earn at least 10 percent every year. And they give about 2 percent as a part of their giving pledge.

At this rate, it will take infinity to reach to give their half net worth.

Solving Problems Now

Yes, one way to solve this problem is to wait till they die. But then, you aren’t sure what would happen with their net worth.

Also, the Earth has problems now. Which keeps on compounding. So it will get expensive to solve the same problems.

All the people in the Giving Pledge, have voluntarily to do this generous act. But they have some reservations:

  • Things are hard to measure
  • Time frame is huge when solving problems
  • Fear of side-effect of too much money investment

The Disconnect

About 6 billionaires have spent over $100 million dollars each into college sport. But none compared with blindness, mental health care or fixing school systems. All of which needs help now. Hence, there is a disconnect.

Perhaps there are some ideas to do better. Maybe a one fund pool, better data reporting or define win and effectiveness.

A better question to ask is where does a $50 million dollar go when a billionaire gives it away.

Top Donations

When you see the biggest chunk and common donation – you will see hospitals and colleges. But hospitals aren’t transparent or efficient. And many high rated colleges have money to fund students for next 100 years.

But you donate to them because you get a building. And not everyone gets it. So, you do it often.

Forbes Magazine created the list of billionaires. Hence, people who cared about just one number – worked to make that number go up. And boom, the status game started. It doesn’t matter your happiness, health or impact.

Thanks to Bill and Warren, there is another list of ‘Giving Pledge’. So you as a billionaire can be on this list to be a good person.

But you don’t know what you are buying in philanthropy. If you commit to get plastic out of ocean, then its a hard task. And it might not completely happen.

What Is Philanthropy

It’s possible to have impact with philanthropy with polio and minimum wage. But it’s not clear what we can do about homelessness or climate change.

If you see someone drowning, you will jump in to save the person. But if someone is drowning somewhere else – and your money will save them for $400, that’s a hard sell.

Let’s see Americans spent less on politics than on almonds. What happened here?

The simplest answer is – when buying almonds, you get almonds. But when you spent on a candidate, you are unsure.

Capitalism is a miracle – the world you live in is magical. But short term equity is a bad deal for philanthropy. You don’t have to focus on what will happen today or tomorrow. The best thing is to focus on doing better today – not worrying about return on investment.

Things will get better over time. The culture changes over time – because people worked them for making it better. Not doing it for making a profit.

Things Didn’t Work

When people were investing crazy money in bubble internet company, they did it. And the market followed. And most of the things didn’t work. Few worked but they took decades and it was entirely different.

Hence, when you show up – at a small non-profit and ask for efficiency that’s not the right way. Rather, lets focus on status about patient, gentle culture of giving now.

Think about this – you don’t consider the efficiency for traditional colleges or hospitals. But when innovative entrepeneurs come along, you grill them.

Good things will happen. And this can happen when you put enough social pressure on the billionaires. That it is better to give more. And not make your money grow more.

Not because it will give you rational investments. But because you are good human being. Also, we need new non-profit organizations willing to risk and leap and ready to fail.

Also, non-profit organization is apt name because in a society where everything is how much you make, it is good they are named such. Because they are seeking to make a difference.


  • Female only recruitment as a means to be more inclusive

Most humans don’t like to fail so they might not even apply. Hence, when you advertise one gender as a failure, they won’t show up to fail.

The best way is to do interview different way. If you interview a candidate when you as a white male is putting pressure, this isn’t a great way to access if she is good for job. Unless the job is she being interviewed all time.

So, you can do email assessment because that’s the job. Then access that way.

Also, if you want to find diversity, show up at different Universities. If you show up at white male University, you will get those candidates only.

Instead, try showing up at a all black Institute or anything different. You have to take the leap. And you must.