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  Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Cheryl Loe
Communications Project Manager
The Foundation Center
(888) 356-0354 ext. 701
communications@foundationcenter.org

Janet Camarena
Director, San Francisco Office
The Foundation Center
(415) 397-0902 ext. 100
jfc@foundationcenter.org

Foundation Center Launches "Eye on the Giving Pledge"

New Web Feature Brings Transparency to This Century's Biggest Philanthropic Development

New York, NY — August 1, 2012. The Foundation Center's Glasspockets web site now includes a resource designed to bring greater transparency to the Giving Pledge, an effort spearheaded by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates that encourages the wealthiest Americans to commit the majority of their assets to philanthropic causes. "Eye on the Giving Pledge" combines the Foundation Center's authoritative data on philanthropy with public information to offer an in-depth picture of Giving Pledge participants (81 currently), their charitable activities, and the potential impact of this collective effort.

With a combined net worth of roughly $400 billion, the commitments made by the current 81 participants could bring an estimated $200 billion or more to charity over time, representing a dramatic increase in philanthropic giving. By comparison, the 76,600 grantmaking foundations in the U.S. currently hold an estimated $646 billion in assets and give $46.9 billion annually. As the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide, the Foundation Center is uniquely positioned to shed light on the Giving Pledge and provide knowledge about its implications for social causes.

"The Giving Pledge has tremendous potential," said Bradford Smith, president of the Foundation Center. "And in a world where philanthropists now achieve celebrity status and new forms of philanthropy emerge at an extraordinary clip, it's more important than ever to keep pace with giving trends and make sense of it all. Good data and transparency are key to understanding philanthropy's impact on the world."

"Eye on the Giving Pledge" contains profiles of the 81 individuals and families that have signed the Pledge to date. Each profile details the participant's net worth, primary industry affiliation, giving interests, related foundations, charitable board service, and philanthropic press coverage. Charts reveal demographic trends in participation, including geographic distribution, industry affiliation, net worth, and age of the pledgers. Additionally, curated reading lists provide insights and opinion about the Giving Pledge more broadly, and track related coverage in Philanthropy News Digest, a service of the Foundation Center.

Janet Camarena, who leads the Foundation Center's Glasspockets initiative, said, "Because there is no specific timeline for the Giving Pledge gifts to be made, 'Eye on the Giving Pledge' provides a way to follow how those who have signed on are, through their foundations and personal giving, fulfilling their pledge."

The "Eye on the Giving Pledge" initiative is part of the Foundation Center's Glasspockets.org web site. It aligns with the Foundation Center 2020 strategic plan and its stated priority to encourage greater transparency in philanthropy.

The Foundation Center will add new pledgers, continuously update their information, and add new features to "Eye on the Giving Pledge" on a regular basis, including more data visualization tools and human interest stories about the participants. Individuals are also invited to submit updates and new information via an online submission form to help ensure that profiles are as current and complete as possible.


About the Foundation Center
Established in 1956, the Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center's web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 470 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit foundationcenter.org or call (212) 620-4230.

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