In addition to Paul Allen, Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates have successfully rallied more than 40 billionaires to give at least half of their fortunes to charity as a part of the Giving Pledge, which we covered in detail here. Part of the effort apparently consisted of calling nearly 80 of the people on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest people worldwide.
We here at the Center for Global Prosperity have contributed to a growing body of research that emphasizes not only the efficacy of private actors in international development (the eponymous PAID) but also the need to monitor these aid flows and assess their long-term impact. We have proven that U.S. philanthropy, which is often overlooked when measuring flows to developing countries, is far larger than ODA.
Buffet and the Gates’ will presently take their cogent eloquence (and/or effective use of peer pressure) abroad to spread the doctrine of big philanthropy to international billionaires. In fact, the message to give more has mushroomed into such a salient trend that the Gates Foundation is currently financing another foundation called the Zing Foundation whose principal aim is to encourage other foundations and individuals to give more boldly. Inevitably, philanthropy already a huge player in international development, will continue to grow. The question is, will donor governments adapt quickly enough to effectively use the philanthropic community as a partner in their foreign assistance programs?