Do you know who Warren Buffet is? Bill Gates? Of course you do. How about Patrice and Precious Motsepe? Not ringing a bell? Well, Mr. and Mrs. Motsepe are a couple from South Africa – and they also happen to be among the wealthiest individuals and families in the world.
Another thing they have in common with Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and most recently Richard Branson, along with another 101 billionaires (so far!) around the world is they have pledged to donate half – or more – of all their wealth to charitable causes during their life or immediately upon their death. They have all embraced a philosophy of philanthropy created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet called “The Giving Pledge”.
At the core of the pledge is this affirmation: “We are inspired by the example set by millions of people who give generously (and often at great personal sacrifice) to make the world a better place.” Each donor decides how much they will ultimately pledge, and to what organization and causes.
According to the National Philanthropic Trust, 81% of the high net worth individuals in the U.S. that donate to charity cite “giving back to the community” as their chief motivation for giving.
But all of this is only for “high net worth” individuals, right? Well, according to the same report 65% of all households in the U.S. give to charities. And while the average amount of all donations was $2,213, the middle amount given was only $870. You don’t have to be a “high net worth” individual to donate $870.
And in 2011, 73% of all charitable giving came from people – like you and me. And while billionaires can easily afford to pay someone to research the 1,080,130 charitable organizations to decide where to donate, you don’t have to.
United Way of the Greater Triangle supports many successful and vital programs in the Orange, Durham, Johnston and Wake county area. Eighty-seven agencies and 162 programs that focus on hunger and literacy, safety and well-being of children, single parents, homeless and more provide services for the 1.4 million people of the four counties.
That’s a powerful reach that helps “make the world a better place.” And while you may not have the money of a billionaire, your money, along with your neighbor’s and mine, can have a powerful and lasting impact on our world right here in the middle of North Carolina.
Go to http://www.unitedwaytriangle.org, look around our website and see the ways you can help. If you can’t donate money, there are plenty of other ways you can give – donate your time, advocate our mission to help others, tell someone about 2-1-1. Just know that we’re here to support your community, and a better community is better for you.