About Us

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Giving Pledge

Created in 2010 by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, his wife Melinda, and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, The Giving Pledge is an effort designed to help address society’s most pressing problems. By inviting the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes either during their lifetime or in their will, the Giving Pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract. While it is specifically focused on billionaires, the idea takes its inspiration from other efforts that encourage and recognize givers of all financial means and backgrounds.

The idea for the Giving Pledge came from thoughts and input generated from conversations that Bill, Melinda, and Warren had with other philanthropists in the United States and beyond. Lyda Hill first committed to The Giving Pledge in October 2010. She renewed her commitment in September 2014 by sharing her most current thoughts on philanthropy in a letter to Bill, Melinda, and Warren.

  • “Do your givin’ while you’re livin’… then you’ll be knowin’ where it’s goin’.”

  • “The best philanthropy is constantly in search of the finalities
    – a search for a cause, an attempt to cure evils at their source.”

  • “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

  • “The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life.”

  • “The proper aim of giving is to put the recipients in a state where they no longer need our gifts.”

  • “Philanthropy is the practice of applying assets of knowledge, passion and wealth to bring about constructive change.”

  • “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

  • “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

  • “Philanthropy is almost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind.”

  • “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

  • “A man’s true wealth is the good he does in this world.”

  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

  • “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

  • “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”