The Giving Pledge Abroad

March 30, 2011 at 6:49 PM Leave a comment

While recognizing the generosity of their own donations and the influence they have wielded with their Giving Pledge, Vanity Fair suggests the Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have erred in their evangelizing overseas:

If there is a flaw in the pair’s otherwise admirable undertaking, it’s exporting their vision for philanthropy to China and India. Last week, news broke that Buffett and Gates delivered the message of the Giving Pledge at a meeting in New Delhi…the New Delhi summit is seen by many as an extension of the philanthropic mission established in the U.S.; it also followed a similar meeting held with Chinese billionaires in September of last year.

Even with the best intentions at heart and sensitivity to respecting cultural differences, the conference carries a slightly condescending message. It implies somehow that Indian billionaires require the guidance of American billionaires to act responsibly, and in the best interest of their own society.

Our own feelings are that the newly rich in fast-developing economies like India’s will find their path of philanthropic development. However, if encouragement from abroad can hasten the development, Gates’s and Buffett’s initiative is worthwhile.

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Entry filed under: Big Donors, International.

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