Posted , by Kaitlin Robb, Consultant. Topic: Philanthropy Research & Events.

What would you say if someone asked you to give 50% of your net worth to charity? My guess is that most would gasp at the mere idea of it.

However, with the desire to truly make a significant positive impact, Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet started “The Giving Pledge.” Made public in 2010, they have been asking billionaires to join them in pledging 50% of their net worth to charity. So far, 115 people have agreed. To date, these individuals have contributed almost half a trillion dollars.

In a 60 Minutes segment that aired this past Sunday, Charlie Rose spoke with seven individuals who have signed the pledge. Each person had earned their money through different means. They each have different reasons to give, different goals for what they hope to accomplish through philanthropy. But, they have one thing in common: they believe in the power of philanthropy. You can check out the segment on 60 Minutes here.

With #Giving Tuesday quickly approaching on December 3, The Curtis Group has been thinking a lot about what it means to be philanthropic in today’s society. While most of us can’t give 50% of our net worth to nonprofits, we can all be philanthropists in our own way.

As defined by Merriam-Webster, philanthropy is simply “goodwill to fellow members of the human race; an active effort to promote human welfare.” We can all be active in promoting human welfare whether by volunteering our time or giving our money—no matter how great the amount. With over a million nonprofits in this country, we can all find a cause in which we believe. We can all pledge to make a difference, show some goodwill and give back. After all, as Maurice Jones, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, so succinctly stated during his keynote address to the AFP-Hampton Roads National Philanthropy Day audience last week, “There is no more important work to be done.”

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