The Young Billionaires Who’ve Pledged Away Their Wealth

'We have this wildly optimistic belief that there is enough money, goodwill, and good intentions in the world to solve most of the world's problems.'

Indian billionaire Nikhil Kamath is one of the newest signees of the Giving Pledge, a philanthropic campaign urging the wealthy to donate at least 50 percent of their fortune to charitable causes. The pledge was created by Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates in 2010. As of 2023, it has collected the signatures of 241 people (not entirely billionaires), promising to donate the majority of their wealth throughout their lifetimes.


Kamath and his brother Nithin, who co-founded brokerage firm Zerodha, have taken part in similar philanthropic initiatives in the past. The duo made more than $12 million in donations in 2022 and previously pledged to give away at least one-quarter of their wealth to charity.

At age 35, Kamath is now the youngest Indian signee of the Giving Pledge. He currently has an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion.

“Despite my age, I am committed to positively impacting the world and believe that the foundation’s mission of creating a more equitable society aligns with my values and aspirations,” he said in his pledge letter, adding that he is interested in contributing to organizations focused on climate change, energy, education and health initiatives.

Kamath now joins a growing list of young philanthropists increasingly appearing among the Giving Pledge’s signees.

The other under-40 billionaires giving away the majority of their wealth

Sam Bankman-Fried, 31

Sam Bankman-Fried was one of the youngest philanthropists to sign up for the Giving Pledge. His name has since been scrubbed from the organization’s website.

Before the bankruptcy of his cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Bankman-Fried was a prominent donor inspired by the “effective altruism” movement, which aims to use evidence and reason to maximize benefits to others.

In addition to signing the Giving Pledge in July 2022, he gave donations through the FTX Foundation, the charitable arm of his crypto exchange.

But while the foundation’s Future Fund had $160 million pledges planned for the upcoming year, these donations were walked back after FTX collapsed in November and wiped out Bankman-Fried’s $16 billion fortune.

The FTX co-founder was arrested in December and is currently facing charges including fraud and foreign bribery. Meanwhile, a number of organizations that received donations from Bankman-Fried and his companies, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the non-profit Alignment Research Center, have publicly returned the funds.

Melanie Perkins, 36

Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, the co-founders of design software maker Canva, signed the Giving Pledge in 2021. “We have this wildly optimistic belief that there is enough money, goodwill, and good intentions in the world to solve most of the world’s problems,” said the couple in their pledge statement.

Worth an estimated $26 billion, Canva is the world’s most valuable startup founded and led by a woman. Its CEO Perkins, who is Australian, is also the founder of yearbook design system Fusion Books.

In 2022, Perkins and Obrecht gave away nearly $15 million of their combined $7.2 billion net worth through the Canva Foundation. The foundation aims to double its grant-giving throughout 2023, with a focus on organizations working to eradicate poverty.

Andrew Wilkinson, 36

Another young signee is Andrew Wilkinson, whose pledge to donate the majority of his wealth was announced earlier this month

Wilkinson is the founder of Tiny, a Canadian holding company valued at nearly $1 billion which owns more than 30 businesses like the AeroPress coffee maker and Dribbble social network.

“We have been incredibly fortunate in life, and much of our luck has been due to circumstances outside of our control,” said Wilkinson and his wife Zoe Peterson in a statement accompanying their pledge. “The opportunity we have now, to support those who have not been so fortunate, is one we find impossible to ignore.”

Wilkinson will give away at least 50 percent of his wealth through the Tiny Foundation, focusing particularly on child welfare, investigative journalism, social justice and medical research.

The foundation previously donated 1 billion Canadian dollars ($747,000) to podcast network Canadaland, in addition to supporting charities like the Global Reporting Centre and British Columbia’s Special Olympics.

Tony Xu, 38

One of the four co-founders behind food delivery service Doordash, Tony Xu joined the Giving Pledge in 2021 alongside his wife Patti Bao.

In their pledge letter, the couple emphasized that neither comes from financial wealth. “Money has never been an end goal for either of us,” they said, adding that both Xu and Bao are children of immigrants to the U.S.

Xu became a billionaire in 2020 after DoorDash’s IPO. While the couple hasn’t yet publicly formed a foundation or aligned themselves with one, Xu joined other business executives in donating $10 million towards fighting anti-Asian hate crimes in March 2021.

Bao, meanwhile, gave $5 million to her alma mater Northwestern last year in order to advance the university’s technology research initiatives.

Ben Delo, 39

Once known as the U.K.’s youngest self-made billionaire, Ben Delo promised to donate at least half of this fortune when he became a signee in 2019.

Like Bankman-Fried, Delo was both the co-founder of a cryptocurrency exchange and a loyal follower of effective altruism. His lengthy Giving Pledge letter focused on risks to human civilization such as climate change, artificial intelligence and synthetic biology.

Delo’s first major philanthropic move occurred in 2018, when he gave £5 million ($6.2 million) to Oxford’s Worcester College in order to fund two teaching fellowships.

He also signed Giving What We Can, an effective altruism campaign where members pledge 10 percent of their income to charity, and partnered with effective altruism non-profit Open Philanthropy to provide annual funds starting at $5 million to the group.

But in June, the young entrepreneur was sentenced to 30 months probation for violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws regarding his crypto exchange BitMEX. He also paid a $10 million penalty.

While Delo remains listed on the Giving Pledge’s official list of signees, the future of his philanthropic ambitions remains unclear. Open Philanthropy, which said it never received funding from Delo, has since canceled their partnership following his legal charges.

Dustin Moskovitz, 39

After Open Philanthropy ended its collaboration with Delo, Facebook (META) co-founder Dustin Moskovitz stepped in to cover some of the funds anticipated through the partnership by grantees. Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna, who are the primary backers of Open Philanthropy, also became the youngest couple to join the Giving Pledge when they signed in 2010.

“We will donate and invest with both more urgency mindfulness, aiming to foster a safer, healthier and more economically empowered global community,” said Moscovitz and Tuna in their pledge letter.

In addition to his work on Facebook, Moscovitz, who has a fortune of $12 billion, co-founded software company Asana. Tuna was formerly a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, but has since pivoted to running the couple’s philanthropic foundation Good Ventures.

As of 2021, the foundation was the fifth largest in all of Silicon Valley. It gives out money according to the recommendations of Open Philanthropy and Give Well, another effective altruism-focused non-profit.

Good Ventures gave more than $500 million in 2021, with recent grants going towards institutions like the Malaria Consortium and Stanford.

Mark Zuckerberg, 39

The tenth wealthiest person in the world, Mark Zuckerberg pledged in 2010 to give away at least half of his $98.8 billion net worth.

The Meta CEO has strayed towards long-term philanthropic commitments, especially those in the fields of science, health and education. “We’ll make long term bets that others won’t make and that will take a decade or longer to achieve their goals,” said Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla upon signing the Giving Pledge.

The couple upped the ante in 2015 when they celebrated the birth of their first daughter by pledging 99 percent of their Facebook shares to charitable causes, forming the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in order to manage their philanthropic commitments.

Some of the organization’s most notable donations thus far include a $300 million gift to improve U.S. voting access in 2020 and a 2021 pledge of $500 million for Harvard to create an institute focused on studying both human and artificial intelligence.

The Young Billionaires Who’ve Pledged Away Their Wealth