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It's something new and daring, and all the coolest billionaires are doing it. It only hurts a little. You want in?

This month Warren Buffett announced he's enlisted 11 more billionaires to give half of their wealth to charity. That brings the number up to 92 billionaires planning to divest themselves of a huge chunk of their fortunes. Bill Gates, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are among the group's most famous.

Nonprofits will benefit not only from the hefty sums these billionaires are donating, but also from these donors' know-how. Clearly the 92 people in this exclusive club know a thing or two about handling money. Gates, who along with his wife Melinda and Buffett started The Giving Pledge, said big donors can help shape the future of philanthropy, making it more efficient and far-reaching.

"This new group brings extensive business and philanthropic experience that will enrich the conversation about how to make philanthropy as impactful as possible," Bill Gates told the Wall Street Journal. Click here to see the list of people who have signed on to The Giving Pledge so far.

So you don't have billions in your bank account? Don't feel stingy. Not all billionaires are as generous as Buffett, Gates and their cohorts. In fact, when calculated as a percentage of income, the neediest are the most charitable.


Austin Bailey

Austin Bailey is a writer and editor for Heifer's World Ark magazine.