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Warren Buffett to donate $3.6 billion of Berkshire shares to 5 charities

Calder McHugh
Associate Editor

Warren Buffett is donating a chunk of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) shares worth nearly $4 billion to five different charities, the company announced on Monday.

The billionaire investor and Berkshire chairman plans to gift $3.6 billion to five foundations: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the Sherwood Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the NoVo Foundation.

Buffett plans to fulfill his charitable gift by converting over 11,000 Class A shares into nearly 17 million Class B shares. According to Berkshire, he has never sold any of his shares.

Along with Bill and Melinda Gates, the “Oracle of Omaha” is a signatory of the Giving Pledge, a commitment by over 200 of the world’s wealthiest individuals to pledge a majority of their wealth to philanthropic clauses. The initiative began in 2010 with 40 billionaires, and counts MacKenzie Bezos among its most recent members.

For his part, Buffett plans to leave his children less than 1 percent of his fortune, which sits somewhere between $86 and $90 Billion. Buffett told Yahoo Finance in an exclusive interview in April that his definition of success has nothing to do with wealth accrued.

“If you get to be 65 or 70 and later, and the people that you want to have love you actually do love you, you're a success,” Buffett said.

To date, Buffett has plowed $34 billion into the five foundations, which represents about 45% of his 2006 holdings, according to Berkshire.

He also plans to have all of his Berkshire Hathaway stock given to philanthropic causes within ten years of his estate being settled, the company said.

Calder McHugh is an Associate Editor at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter: @Calder_McHugh.

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