Several of the world’s ultra-rich elite have joined The Giving Pledge, whereby they commit to give away at least half of their fortune. Fueled by the desire to have their offspring learn the value of money, many have admitted they will be leaving only a small amount to their children. Here are four billionaires funding good causes rather than large inheritances.
Ted Turner—Saving mother nature
Net worth: $2.2 billion
Media mogul Ted Turner grew his fortune through the Cable News Network and Turner Broadcasting System. Although the billionaire strongly advocates that his five kids to get involved in his charitable initiatives, he’s publicly announced he won’t be leaving them a significant legacy sum. In his Giving Pledge letter, Turner wrote: “at the time of my death, virtually all my wealth will have gone to charity”, wanting just enough to cover his funeral expenses. The environmentalist’s largest grants have been to endangered species organizations, land trusts, conservation societies and the Environmental Defense Fund.
Bernard Marcus—Supporting the disabled
Net worth: $5.4 billion
Bernard Marcus, co-founder of the Home Depot, will only be leaving a small portion of his wealth to his three children for their own wellbeing. He launched the Marcus Autism Center after observing the anguish of an employee, a young mother of an autistic child. The billionaire plans to give away the majority of his Home Depot stock shares to the Marcus Foundation, for the betterment of education and support for the handicapped. The Marcus Institute is another philanthropic venture, which provides for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
George Lucas—Improving education
Net worth: $6.2 billion
One of Hollywood’s richest directors, George Lucas, is donating his wealth towards improving education in the US. The Star Wars mogul has vowed to donate over 50% of his multi-billion-dollar estate to charity in his pledge letter in 2010. He wrote, “I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race.” In 1991, he inaugurated the George Lucas Educational Foundation, merging interactive technology to enhance learning. The filmmaker’s four kids will inherit a small percentage of his fortune.
Pierre Omidyar—Fighting human trafficking and slavery
Net worth: $13 billion
eBay co-founder, Pierre Omidyar, has declared that he doesn’t plan on leaving more than what his three children really need. “We have more money than our family will ever need, there’s no need to hold onto it when it can be put to use today to help solve some of the world’s most intractable problems,” says the billionaire. He and his wife Pamela have invested in setting up the Humanity United Foundation to support movements geared at ending slavery and trafficking. The Omidyars are known to be one of the most generous donors towards tackling the human trafficking industry.