When it comes to charitable giving, Bill Gates is far less impressed by a wealthy person’s huge donation than the Average Joe who gives $US20.
So Fred Luddy tells us, founder of ServiceNow, one of the most successful cloud computing companies to go public since Salesforce.com. Luddy had dinner with Bill Gates and other wealthy tech founders and CEOs where he was encouraging them to sign his Giving Pledge, a commitment to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
Gates is one of the world’s most generous givers, having dedicated $US38 billion to philanthropy through his charitable foundation.
This is what Gates told Luddy at that dinner:
“My charitable giving is not impressive. What’s impressive is people who give to charities who have to sacrifice something to give it to him. In my family, we don’t even hesitate to buy yet another aeroplane. But there are people who have to choose, do I go out to dinner? Or do I give this $US20 to my church? That’s a very different decision than I make. Those are the people that impress me.”
(Gates recently admitted in a Reddit “Ask me anything” session that “Owning a plane is a guilty pleasure.”)
Still, that’s an interest take on charity. Because it is true that being down $US28 billion isn’t hurting his lifestyle. He’s making money faster than he can give it away.
As of March 2014, Gates was named the richest man in the world again, worth $US76 billion, according to Forbes’ annual list of billionaires. He was up $9 billion over his wealth of a year ago and up $US4 billion from six months ago.
So next time you toss your last $US20 into a collection bucket, know this: You’ve got the admiration of the richest man in the world.