The Giving Pledge needs Impact Currency to measure giving "while you live" v. "when you die."

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

The world’s business leaders have launched three movements calling on the wealthy to contribute to solving the planet’s issues: by philanthropy while alive, by philanthropy after death and by impact investing.

The 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos called on the world’s 2,150 billionaires to give away at least 5% of their wealth every year. This is the “Give While You Live” campaign.

10 years ago, Melinda and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett publicly committed to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy and encouraged other wealthy people to follow. While in theory the initiative encourages giving both during one’s lifetime and by bequest, in practice most of the participants commit to give in the future rather than giving now. This is “The Giving Pledge" campaign.

The Global Impact Investing Network issued the Roadmap for the Future of Impact Investing, calling on those with sufficient funds to invest more in solving the planet’s issues. This is the “Impact Investing” campaign.

Impact investing, philanthropy and even The Giving Pledge often operate as rivals for the attention of potential sponsors, using separate definitions, priorities, rankings, measurements and dedicated organizations.

Impact Currency will emphasize that any contribution to good counts. Yet its conversion features should vividly demonstrate why contributing in some ways will be more effective than others. I will report on my progress on the Impact Currency methodology development.

I am also looking for ways to involve the Giving Pledge initiative in the creation of the Impact Currency techniques, which will demonstrate (by setting the net present value based on life expectancy, the uncertainty of the promise made, etc.) why contributing “while you live” has more impact than “when you die,” and thereby encourage more giving now.

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