Frequently Asked Question

What is “wealth” and how can I include it in my pledge?


For the purpose of calculating their pledge, members generally define wealth as everything they own that could be converted into cash. Common examples include:

  • All saleable savings (such as bank accounts and retirement accounts)
  • All saleable investments (such as stocks and RSUs)
  • All saleable property (such as houses and vehicles)

We would exclude:

  • Unsaleable savings (such as pensions and social security)
  • Unsaleable investments (such as stock options and some ownerships)
  • Inaccessible trust funds

To add wealth to your pledge, simply choose either the 🔸10% Pledge or Trial pledge options and enter a percentage of wealth when prompted. If your pledge includes both income and wealth, you would typically give the greater of the two figures in a given time period (most often a tax year or calendar year).

For example, say you had pledged to give the greater of 10% of income and 2.5% of wealth annually:

  • In a year where your income was $50,000 and your wealth was $400,000, you would give $10,000 (2.5% of $400,000) because that’s greater than $5,000 (10% of $50,000).
  • In a year where your income was $50,000 and your wealth was $100,000, you would give $5,000 (10% of $50,000) because that’s greater than $2,500 (2.5% of $100,000).

We expect that people are more likely to give a percentage of their income when they are younger and have less wealth, and to shift to giving a percentage of their wealth as they accrue assets over time.

The goal of this advice is to help members stick to their plan of taking significant action to benefit others. All guidelines about how to calculate wealth should be thought of as serving that goal.

We recognise that a simple rule won’t work perfectly for all possible situations, so we encourage members to consider the spirit of the pledge: using a significant portion of one’s income to benefit others. We are always happy to help think through these decisions if you’d like to contact us.

Still have questions?

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