Why have only 5 billionaires signed up for the Giving Pledge this year? 2022’s generous pledgers include 23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki, Zynga’s Mark Pincus and crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried

Anne Wojcicki and Zynga’s Mark Pincus are two of the billionares who joined the Giving Pledge this year, which was founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. Photos: @thisisbillgates/Instagram, Getty Images

The fewest number of billionaires have joined The Giving Pledge this year since the creation of the initiative, which helps philanthropists give away most of their wealth.

The Giving Pledge was founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010 when dozens of America’s wealthiest people pledged to donate the bulk of their fortune to help solve problems in society.
Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates, his ex wife Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett set up The Giving Pledge together in 2010 to give billionaires like themselves support and advice in giving away most of their wealth. AFP
The list includes Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman among its pledgers.

But 2022 isn’t going so well …

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, seen here with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, is the second richest person on the planet, so many wonder why he hasn’t yet signed the pledge. Photo: Reuters

Just five billionaires have joined the list this year, down from 14 in 2021. The highest number of pledgers – 58 – joined the list when it was founded in 2010.

Jeff Bezos’ ex wife MacKenzie Scott joined The Giving Pledge in 2019, but he is surprisingly absent from the list. Photo: Invision/AP
Jeff Bezos, ranked by Forbes as the world’s second-richest person worth US$171 billion, is noticeably missing from The Giving Pledge. But his former wife, MacKenzie Scott, joined in 2019.

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Who are this year’s most generous billionaires?

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of the FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange, said he joined the pledge to support people doing work more important than his own. Photo: Bloomberg
This year’s signatories include Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX; the founder of video game developer Zynga, Mark Pincus; and Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe.
Linda Avey and Anne Wojcicki founded biotech company 23andMe, which provides genetic information to consumers from US$100 – and has made them a fortune. Photo: Redux

“A while ago I became convinced that our duty was to do the most we could for the long run aggregate utility of the world,” Bankman-Fried said in his pledge letter. He said what “matters the most” is the work his friends and colleagues do at foundations.

Mala Gaonkar, former managing director of Lone Pine Capital and founder of investment firm SurgoCap Partners, also signed up this year. She said in her pledge letter that giving money away has “richly rewarded” her.

Mark Pincus, co-founder of Zynga (left), chats to Meta CFO David Wehner and Mark Zuckerberg at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in 2016. Photo: Getty Images/AFP

“People who work quietly, often at great risk, often at great cost to them and those they love, people who resist the misplaced value society places on fame and wealth as markers of talent or even virtue,” she said. “Such people are some of the most fulfilled people I know.”

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
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  • The Giving Pledge was founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010, and initially scores of billionaires signed, including Elon Musk and Airbnb’s Brian Chesky
  • But the number of pledgers has fallen to a record low, with some notable names still absent from the list, including Jeff Bezos, even though his ex-wife Mackenzie Scott joined