July 15 2016 – 7:34AM

Warren Buffett donated about $US2.2 billion ($2.9 billion) of stock in his annual gift to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, betting that risk takers at the group will make breakthroughs in global health and US education even as they acknowledge that some efforts will be unsuccessful.

“Some of the projects we fund will fail,” the Gateses wrote in a message on their website. “We not only accept that, we expect it — because we think an essential role of philanthropy is to make bets on promising solutions that governments and businesses can’t afford to make. As we learn which bets pay off, we have to adjust our strategies and share the results so everyone can benefit.”

The Sage of Omaha and Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO isn’t likely to want to leave his investing powerhouse.

“If you succeed in everything you’re doing in charity, you’re attempting things that are too easy,”: Warren Buffett. Photo: Thomas Lohnes

Buffett, 85, contributed 15 million Class B shares of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to the foundation Wednesday, according to a regulatory filing Thursday. He made a pledge in 2006 to hand over a total that equates to 500 million shares, and each year he gives 5 per cent of the remaining total.

Through last year, he donated more than $US17 billion of stock to the foundation. The annual sums have often climbed because of gains in the share price.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has donated over $US17 billion of stock to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation Photo: AP

‘Too Easy’

While he is known for looking for a margin of safety with Berkshire’s investments and often faults himself when his stock wagers sour, Buffett is more tolerant of bets going bad in philanthropy. “If you succeed in everything you’re doing in charity, you’re attempting things that are too easy,” the Berkshire chairman and chief executive officer said in 2011.

The Gates Foundation has donated more than $US36 billion, including for projects that expand access to immunisations in developing countries and provide financial services to poor communities. Bill Gates, the 60-year-old co-founder of Microsoft Corp., has acknowledged it’s been more difficult to make advances improving US education than in boosting mortality rates for children.

Henry Sapiecha