Foundation research

Warren Buffet’s $93.4 billion estate could go to his family foundation that supports abortion rights

The bulk of Warren Buffett’s $93.4 billion estate could go to his little-known family foundation that supports abortion rights — not the Gates Foundation as executives have predicted.

For years, Gates Foundation leaders expected the billionaire to donate the majority of his shares in his company, Berkshire Hathaway, to the global organization after his death – and discussed how best to do so. to use the money, according to the The Wall Street Journal.

He previously pledged in 2006 to allocate 85% of his shares in his company to charity – with five-sixths of the shares going to the Gates Foundation over his lifetime.

From there, he pledged to donate a set, decreasing annual number of Berkshire “B” shares, to the Gates Foundation as well as the four foundations run by his family members, according to Fortune.

But his 2006 letter was vague about what would happen to his fortune when he died, with Buffett writing at the time only to Gates: “I will soon write a new will which will provide for the continuation of this commitment by the distribution otherwise affected shares or otherwise after my death.

He then announced in 2010 that he planned to give away 99% of his wealth after his death, stating in a Giving Pledge “my family and I will not give up anything we need or want by fulfilling this 99% pledge. “.

Now, reports the Journal, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation – named after his late wife and run by his son-in-law Allen Greenberg – is hiring additional staff and plans to spend a huge amount of money it expects to receive, with Buffett turns 92 in August.

The organization – which reportedly donates large sums to abortion rights groups and is largely run by Buffett’s friends and family, with several of his children and grandchildren serving on the board of directors. administration – recently expanded to add staff in Washington DC and Rwanda.

It is also now reportedly looking for ways to spend a large sum of money – estimated at $70 billion to $100 billion – on international and US efforts, focusing on reproductive health and primary health – which could include expanding vaccinations and infectious diseases, an area in which the Gates Foundation has focused on the world.

Warren Buffett may end up donating a large sum of his $93.4 billion to the foundation his late wife, Susan, left, founded in 1964 – which donates large sums to abortion groups

Buffett, right, now 91, had already pledged in 2006 to donate the majority of his shares in his company, Berkshire Hathaway, to the Gates Foundation during his lifetime - and company executives have pledged expected to receive a large portion of his unpledged shares after his death

Buffett, right, now 91, had already pledged in 2006 to donate the majority of his shares in his company, Berkshire Hathaway, to the Gates Foundation during his lifetime – and company executives have pledged expected to receive a large portion of his unpledged shares after his death

The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation was founded in 1964 by his then-wife – who was apparently an activist for abortion rights and access to contraceptives – to provide scholarships to students in Nebraska, the state of origin of Buffett.

His website also only describes the scholarships it gives, with information on how to apply.

At the bottom of the site it says, “The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation only answers questions about college scholarships. The Foundation does not respond to other requests.

But according to the Journal, the organization spent most of its funds on abortion access and reproductive health issues.

He generally makes his donations anonymously, in line with Susan Buffett’s desire to focus on the organizations doing the work rather than those writing the checks, unnamed sources told the Journal.

And the majority of his checks go to organizations like Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Network of Abortion.

Between 2000 and 2018, he donated $4 billion to organizations that lobby for abortion rights, according to the Capital Research Centerand of that $4 billion, he paid about $675 million to Planned Parenthood of America and its international and state affiliates.

He also reportedly donated more than $112 million to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights think tank, and $293 million to the National Abortion Federation.

Susan Thompson Buffett, pictured in an undated photo with Warren and their daughter, also named Susan, was a strong abortion rights supporter

Susan Thompson Buffett, pictured in an undated photo with Warren and their daughter, also named Susan, was a strong abortion rights supporter

Buffett previously said he let his wife start the organization in 1964 because he knew little about philanthropy.

But after Susan died in 2004 at the age of 72, he decided to get more involved in philanthropy – and instead focused his efforts on the Gates Foundation, which was then run by the wealthiest couple in the world. world.

He said at the time that he decided to partner with Bill and Melinda French Gates because he believed they could do a better job donating money to help society and fund vaccines. and infectious diseases than the smaller Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.

“I realized that there was a wonderful foundation that had already been scaled up – that wouldn’t have to go through the real drudgery of reaching megasize like the Buffett Foundation would – and that could use my money from productive way now,” he said. said Fortune magazine at the time.

The Buffett Foundation had only about $270 million in assets in 2006, according to the Journal, and in another letter, Buffett announced that he would reserve shares worth about $3 billion to the foundation.

A third set of shares would be split equally between three foundations run by his children – and pledged additional shares to organizations in 2012.

After Susan's death, Buffett focused his efforts on the Gates Foundation, which was then headed by the world's richest couple.

After Susan’s death, Buffett focused his efforts on the Gates Foundation, which was then headed by the world’s richest couple.

After Bill and Melinda Gates' public split, Buffett announced he was leaving the board - but he and Bill Gates deny they still appear to have a friendship

After Bill and Melinda Gates’ public split, Buffett announced he was leaving the board – but he and Bill Gates deny they still appear to have a friendship

After Buffett's last donation to the Gates Foundation earlier this month, Bill Gates tweeted that donations

After Buffett’s last donation to the Gates Foundation earlier this month, Bill Gates tweeted that the donations “move me to tears”

Expecting to get the most money when Buffett died, however, the Journal reports, the chief executives of the Gates Foundation, dozens of employees and consultants at management consulting firm McKinsey and Co attended. to a multi-year analysis and plan they dubbed Project Lincoln.

One of the ideas was to create a global savings fund for children, where each child would receive thousands of dollars, according to the Journal.

But over the years, it seems that Buffett, now 91, has grown dissatisfied with the Gates Foundation.

Sources familiar with the talks told the Journal that Buffett shared his displeasure with what he saw as the foundation’s inflated size and called for headcount to be capped, leading to job cuts in 2015.

He also allegedly disputed the number of consultants hired by the foundation.

Eventually, Buffett began skipping board meetings, the Journal reports, and just months after Bill and Melinda Gates announced they were quitting, Buffett announced he would step down from the board.

“My goals are 100% aligned with those of the foundation, and my physical participation is in no way necessary to achieve those goals,” he said in a statement last year.

He also said he is dedicated to donating more money to the charity instead of volunteering his time, calling the work of people who donate both their time and effort a “form of philanthropy far more admirable than mine”.

Gates and Buffett have since denied that his resignation was related to the Gates’ divorce, with Buffett continuing to visit his old friend.

And after donating his final donation to the Gates Foundation, Gates tweeted: “I am grateful for Warren’s donations to support the work of the foundation and for our many years of friendship.”

“When he decided in 2006 to give these gifts, it moved me to tears. It still does.