Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has signed up for the Giving Pledge initiative, essentially pledging to give half his fortune to charity through his will.
The founder of easyJet, easyGroup, and the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation is the first Greek Cypriot to sign up for the Giving Pledge initiative.
In his letter on the Giving Pledge site he said: “My belief is that nobody has a monopoly on good charitable ideas, and the problems in our world will never all go away. So we have to keep helping, within our means, forever.”
“I think all wealthy people have a debt to repay because it is thanks to their customers who bought their goods and/or services that they acquired their fortune,” said Haji-Ioannou.
“It took me another 10 years of both ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’ philanthropy to conclude that by giving more than half of one’s fortune to charity, one can balance the needs of family and friends against other good causes.”
The Giving Pledge was set up by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, as a way to help society by encouraging the world’s wealthiest to give up the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
“Philanthropy is different around the world, but almost every culture has a long-standing tradition of giving back,” said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Bill and Warren and I are excited to welcome the new, very international group of philanthropists joining the Giving Pledge, and we look forward to learning from their diverse experiences.”
The 14 new signatories to the Giving Pledge
- Leonard H. Ainsworth – Australia
- Mohammed Dewji – Tanzania
- Dagmar Dolby – United States
- Dong Fangjun – People’s Republic of China
- Anne Grete Eidsvig and Kjell Inge Røkke – Norway
- Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou – Monaco, Cyprus
- Nick and Leslie Hanauer – United States
- Iza and Samo Login – Slovenia
- Dean and Marianne Metropoulos – United States
- Terry and Susan Ragon – United States
- Nat Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons– United States
- Robert Frederick Smith – United States
- Harry H. Stine – United States
- You Zhonghui – People’s Republic of China