THE GIVING PLEDGE: GROUPON CEO PLEDGES HALF HIS FORTUNE TO CHARITY – Eric and Liz Lefkofsky, the owners of discount deal website Groupon are the latest billionaires to join an elite group of extremely wealthy people to pledge their wealth to charity.
Eric and Liz Lefkofsky have pledged half of their US$1.75 billion fortune for philanthropic causes either during their lifetime or after their deaths and join the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Sir Richard Branson and a string of other billionaires.
The Giving Pledge was the brainchild of Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft, who felt that humanity would benefit greatly if he gave up his wealth; in pursuit of his idea he set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which soon attracted Warren Buffet who publicly wrote out a cheque for US$37 billion.
In a statement on givingpledge.org Eric Lefkofsky declared that both he and his wife Liz recognised the unique position they were in to help so many other less fortunate people in the world and that giving is notably their greatest accomplishment, after their children.
Currently Eric and Liz Lefkofsky run their own charity named The Lefkofsky Family Foundation, which aims at providing access to education, improving human rights, medical advancements and to support cultural initiatives.
The Giving Pledge is certainly made up from a very unique group of people for their vast wealth hasn’t been tainted by pure materialism and greed; these individuals see the needs of others and are clearly willing to back a vast number of causes for the betterment of mankind.
The Lefkofsky Family Foundation is certainly in line with the root beliefs of The Giving Pledge in that it hopes to inspire the world’s richest people to help tackle the world’s problems, from diminishing resources to medical advancement; all being inherently difficult and extremely diverse in nation.
It certainly appears that many very wealthy people are coming to terms with the fact that you can’t take it with you and there are only so many cars you can drive or houses you can own.
Material wealth has long been viewed as the ugly side to wealth and yet we all have different aspirations in life in order to feel that we have indeed achieved something notable.
Regardless what you own when you are alive you will not be able to take it with you and whilst most will want to leave something behind for family members, there are those who really can afford to give vast sums in order to help humanity as a whole.
It is, and will certainly remain in my book, the most admirable thing a single person can do for to leave a legacy that assists others is unquestionably the most humane thing anyone can do and I for one will hope that I will be writing many, many more articles of this nature in the future.