Bill Gates is leaving his day-job at the software giant to focus full time on the charity he founded with his wife eight years ago. With an endowment worth more than L19 billion, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest philanthropic organization in the world. Its biggest donor to date has been legendary investor Warren Buffett, recently named as the world's richest man. The trend set by Gates and his friend Buffett is certainly being followed by the super-rich elsewhere in the world. It is leading others who have sizeable wealth to consider charitable donations as part of their overall financial planning, says Andrea Van-Sittart, head of company relations at the UK-based Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). Mobile telecoms company Vodafone is donating L24 million this year through the Vodafone Group Foundation, established in 2002. According to the CAF study, more than a third of all US donations go to religious causes, compared with only 13% in the UK.
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