OpenAI’s Sam Altman just vowed to donate most of his wealth through giving pledge


OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Phoenix-based private equity investor Jahm Najafi are among the nine philanthropists who joined the Giving Pledge this year, the group announced Tuesday, bringing the total members of the global ultra-rich community who are willing to give away at least half of their fortunes to solving society’s problems to 240.
OpenAI CEO Samuel Altman Testifies To Senate Committee On Rules For Artificial Intelligence

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 16: Samuel Altman, CEO of OpenAI, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law May 16, 2023 in Washington, DC. The committee held an oversight hearing to examine A.I., focusing on rules for artificial intelligence. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Key Takeaways
  • Both Altman (worth $1 billion) and Najafi (worth $1.3 billion) pledged to make charity donations alongside their partners, Oliver Mulherin and Cheryl Najafi, respectively.
  • Marco Dunand, the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Mercuria Energy Group, also joined the list alongside his wife Suzan Craig Dunand, who has championed ecosystem restoration, nature-based solutions and sustainable business practices in New Zealand for over two decades.
  • Missouri-born Robert Goldfarb also made the list, citing his father and fellow Harvard alumnus Bill Ruane as the biggest influences on his philanthropy and inspiration behind the decision to give away ninety percent of his wealth during his lifetime.
  • The remaining new members are Jessica Schantz Taneja and Hemant Taneja, CEO and Managing Director of the global technology investment capital firm, General Catalyst.
  • Seven of the newcomers hail from the United States, while the remaining two come from Switzerland and New Zealand.
Key Background

In 2010, famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates founded the Giving Pledge with 40 American philanthropists in an effort to encourage charitable giving from the ultra-rich both in the United States and around the world.

This elite network of big philanthropic givers allows billionaires, or those that would be if not for their giving, to voluntarily make a public commitment to donate the majority of the wealth in their lifetimes or after their death. While there is no enforcement in place to ensure pledge members follow through on their promise, the Giving Pledge educates them on ways they can make their donation, which is seen as “public, moral commitment.”

Since its creation, the network has grown to include more than 240 signatories from 30 globally, with the age of signatories ranging from 30s to over 100. Among the prominent philanthropists are high-profile billionaires, including Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Schwarzman, and MacKenzie Scott.


Back in 2016, the three billionaire cofounders of online lodging website Airbnb became the youngest philanthropists to join the Giving Pledge. Brian Chesky (net worth of $9.6 billion) Joe Gebbia ($8.7 billion) and Nathan Blecharczyk ($9.4 billion) all promised to give away most of their fortunes to philanthropic causes. Chesky and Gebbia joined at the age 34, and Blecharczyk at 33.

This article was first published on and all figures are in USD.

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