Tag Archives: Warren Buffett

European Reaction to the Buffett/Gates Challenge

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates gestures during a news conference at the 18th World Aids Conference in Vienna July 19, 2010.  REUTERS/Herwig Prammer (AUSTRIA - Tags: BUSINESS)

We all know Europe has a wide publicly-provided social and cultural net delivering much of what U.S. nonprofits offer. For that reason, charitable giving is regarded differently there.

A Der Spiegel interview with German multimillionaire Peter Krämer sums up the European sentiment pretty nicely, in a response to the Buffett/Gates $600 billion challenge.

Here’s an excerpt from the short interview:

Krämer: It is all just a bad transfer of power from the state to billionaires. So it’s not the state that determines what is good for the people, but rather the rich want to decide. That’s a development that I find really bad. What legitimacy do these people have to decide where massive sums of money will flow?

Seek Donors Who Can Motivate Others

President Barack Obama with Bill Clinton courtesy of the U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia on Flickr
The Buffett and Gates challenge to their fellow billionaires is similar to what smart nonprofits do all the time: encourage gifts from donors who can motivate others.

Marquee name foundation grants instill confidence in the organization and encourage others to invest in it. Board members can influence others to give.

The testimonial letter should be standard in your fundraising, whether that’s for planned giving or your annual fund. All of these are more powerful than the fundraising or development officer solicitation.

Excepting foundations, it’s the power of a personal referral: “I made a gift, here’s why, and you should, too.”  We all value referrals in our business and personal matters (“Do you know somebody who can . . .?), and they make both parties feel good.

I relish opportunities to refer solid people to my friends. It’s gratifying. And my friends are grateful.

Seek out your donors who can motivate others to follow them, and use their testimonials often.

The $600 Billion Challenge

Warren Buffett & Bill Gates - Bridge @ Borsheims 2007 courtesy of Ethan Bloch on Flickr
This philanthropy challenge to the ultra-wealthy by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates is enormously significant: The $600 Billion Challenge.

It will be remembered as a milestone in the history of philanthropy and fundraising for nonprofit organizations. I got a chill as I read it.

Warren and Bill, I wish you much success.

Your friend,

Tony Martignetti

P.S. What would you like to say to Warren and Bill?

P.P.S. Happy 4th of July!