> Warren Buffett Blog: Shocking reason why Warren Buffett's son avoids donating to charities

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Shocking reason why Warren Buffett's son avoids donating to charities

Howard Buffett (Eldest son of Warren Buffett): We try to avoid charity, if we can. We think of what we do as an investment. If you look at what we’re doing in Democratic Republic of the Congo, where we’re building three hydroelectric plants, that’s an investment. People will have electricity in their homes, businesses will be built, and farmers will thrive. That’s what our approach accomplishes.

Why avoid charity?

Charity doesn’t solve a long-term problem. It addresses an immediate situation, but it won’t solve anything. For me, charity comes into play when there’s not a good opportunity to make an investment, but you still feel there’s something you should do—you’re compelled to do it. In the world’s poorest places, there are limited resources, limited infrastructure, and limited governance. Together, that can create a very difficult environment. So sometimes you can’t do it purely one way or the other and, instead, you end up doing both.