Atlantic Philanthropies Founder Commits to Giving Pledge

Charles F. Feeney, co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers and founder of the Atlantic Philanthropies, has signed on to the Giving Pledge campaign launched last year by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, the San Francisco Business Times reports.

Although Feeney, the fifty-ninth signatory to the pledge, long ago committed the bulk of his assets to the Atlantic Foundation — the precursor to Atlantic Philanthropies — he signed the pledge to encourage other wealthy donors to become more engaged in their philanthropy. Indeed, Feeney, who espouses a "giving while living" approach, has directed Atlantic to spend out its entire endowment and close up shop by 2020.

"I cannot think of a more personally rewarding and appropriate use of wealth than to give while one is living — to personally devote oneself to meaningful efforts to improve the human condition," wrote Feeney in his pledge. "More importantly, today's needs are so great and varied that intelligent philanthropic support and positive interventions can have greater value and impact today than if they are delayed when the needs are greater. I urge those who are taking up the Giving Pledge example to invest substantially in philanthropic causes soon and not postpone their giving or personal engagement."

"Chuck Feeney Signs Bill Gates' Giving Pledge." San Francisco Business Times 02/21/2011.