Engaging Others

July 2014

In 1993 Bill and Melinda Gates took a walk on a beach in Zambia and made a world changing decision. They made a pledge to give all of the wealth that they had earned from Microsoft back to the global community- that walk on the beach was the first step in creating what is now America’s most generous foundation.

Fast-forward 11 years to 2014- the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given $30 billion in grants toward humanitarian efforts all around the globe. But that is not what impresses me about the Gates family.

Bill and Melinda have given away 95% of their personal wealth, and they very well could stop there and settle for being the most philanthropic couple in the world. But they didn’t…they have engaged their peers in the giving process. Not only have the Gates’ given away a shocking about of their personal wealth, but they have multiplied that giving 100 times through a program called the Giving Pledge.

Thanks to the Giving Pledge, 127 of the world’s wealthiest families and individuals have pledged to give more than half of their wealth back to global society through philanthropy. The impact of this kind of widespread generosity is unfathomable to me. Of course, for most of us, giving away half of our income would be impossible. What we can do, however, is give to the capacity that we are able, and then press on in giving through engaging our peers and communities. If my giving can inspire others to give, I have multiplied my influence far beyond what I could have done alone.

How can you use your generosity to inspire others to join in the giving?