Billionaire Philanthropists in Their Own Words

Clay Holtzman writes about the social sector for the Puget Sound Business Journal. He’s the reporter who broke the story about Unitus abruptly shutting down. He’s active on Twitter and is one of my favorite social sector reporters.

Yesterday, Clay posted this fascinating article about his effort to run the Giving Pledge letters through Wordle, a site that turns text into a visual picture where the most frequently used words pop out.

Here’s the Wordle Clay created by inputting the text of all 48 letters.

Giving Pledge Words

The book The Seven Faces of Philanthropy years ago looked at the words that most resonated with different types of major donors. Now we have a real time snapshot of the words actually used by billionaire philanthropists.

You’ll find Clay’s full post here and Wordles made from the letters of Paul Allen, Mike Bloomberg, Eli Broad, Warren Buffett, Bill & Melinda Gates and Lorry Lokey here.


  1. Nikki Gler says:

    Thanks for sharing this article. It brought a new, interesting, and light perspective to the coverage of The Giving Pledge. To be perfectly honest, it’s all a little stale at this point so I really appreciate the fresh perspective that Clay provided. One word that I wish showed up more often is IMPACT. Let’s hope these folks stay focused and keep their eyes on the prize.

  2. Ian Turner says:

    It looks like the wordle was prepared in a case-sensitive manner, which may have skewed the results. In particular, “pledge” and “Pledge” should be combined to be a more significant word.