Generous Philanthropists Who Give Billions to Charity

Bill Gates
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The number of incredibly wealthy men and women seems to be constantly growing, with more people becoming billionaires every year. But our favorite uber-rich people are the ones who don’t keep it all for themselves. Here is a list of the greatest philanthropists in the world, and quite surprisingly, not all of them are billionaires, even though they have all given away billions of dollars. Most of these business tycoons come from the United States.

1. Bill Gates (U.S.)

Bill Gates

Net Worth: $56 billion

Donations: $28 billion

He is currently the second richest person in the world, but he is first on the list when it comes to philanthropy. In 1999 he and his wife Melinda founded their family charity foundation and since then, he has given away mind-boggling amounts of money. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the world’s largest transparently operated private foundation. It plans on spending $10 million over the next decade on vaccines alone.

2. Warren Buffet (U.S.)

Warren Buffet

Net Worth: $50 billion

Donations: $8.3 billion

Buffet didn’t start out as a very generous billionaire, but in 2006 he decided he was going to give $30 billion to Bill and Melinda’s foundation over just two decades. He was also part of the creation of the famous Giving Pledge, together with Bill Gates. There are currently 69 individuals and families who have signed the pledge to give away to charity a significant part of their wealth.

3. George Soros (U.S.)

George Soros

Net Worth: $14.5 billion

Donations: $8 billion

Approximately $1.6 billion of the total $8 billion donated by George Soros went to education. Other causes that he financed through his Open Society are the promotion of democracy and human rights, helping the Gypsies in the Eastern Europe and even supporting scientific research in Russia. Soros started his philanthropic activities in 1979.

4. Gordon Moore (U.S.)

Gordon Moore

Net Worth: $4 billion

Donations: $6.8 billion

The co-founder of Intel also founded the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, to which he donated $6 billion worth of stock in 2000. The foundation supports science, environmental conservation and nursing education. The largest telescope in Hawaii was another grand project that benefited from his donations.

5. Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico)

Carlos Slim Helu

Net Worth: $74 billion

Donations: $4 billion

Currently the richest man in the world, with a whopping net worth of $74 billion, Slim doesn’t believe in charity. The way he sees things, people need employment, not free money. However, Slim has got his own charity foundation, the Carlos Slim Foundation which mostly supports health and digital education. He donated $2 billion in 2006 and another $2 billion in 2010 to his foundation.

6. George Kaiser (U.S.)

George Kaiser

Net Worth: $9.8 billion

Donations: $4 billion

The George Kaiser Family Foundation mainly deals with improving the public schools and building medical clinics in Tulsa, supporting drug rehab programs for women, and developing education centers for young children. Up to this point he has donated $4 billion to his foundation.

7. Eli Broad (U.S.)

Eli Broad

Net Worth: $5.8 billion

Donations: $2.6 billion

Broad also has his own foundation which supports medical research. The real estate and insurance tycoon has given away pots of money for stem cell research (he gave MIT and Harvard $500 million for this cause). He also sponsors individual educators awards.

8. Azim Premji (India)

Azim Premji

Net Worth: $16.8 billion

Donations: $2.1 billion

Premji’s main focus when it comes to charity is education. This July he will open the Azim Prejmi University, committed to “creating” outstanding teachers, and he has already donated $2.1 billion for education. In 2001 he started his foundation with $125 million worth of Wipro shares and in 2010 he donated shares worth $2 billion to improve schools in India.

9. James Stowers (U.S.)

James Stowers

Net Worth: $100 million

Donations: $2 billion

The Kansas City-based Stowers Institute for Medical Research received $1.2 billion in 2000 from James Stowers. He donated this money to support genetic research that’s meant to find cures for serious medical conditions like heart diseases and cancer.

10. Michael Bloomberg (U.S.)

Michael Bloomberg

Net Worth: $18.1 billion

Donations: $1.8 billion

Bloomberg supports many different causes through his generous donations. He has given money to 850 different charities, encouraging anti-smoking initiatives, helping arts institutions, supporting stricter gun control laws and financing education. For this last cause he donated $50 million to Carnegie and Princeton Universities and another $200 million to John Hopkins University.

11. Li Ka-shing (Hong Kong)

Li Ka-shing

Net Worth: $26 billion

Donations: $1.6 billion

Back in 1980, Li founded a charity foundation to which he donated $1 billion in 2005, when he sold his stake in CIBC. During his life he has donated money for children’s centers, churches, campaigns against hepatitis and avian flu, and a medical education center in the States bearing his name. In 2006 Li announced that he was going to give away a third of his fortune.

12. Herbert and Marion Sandler (U. S.)

Herbert & Marion Sandler

Net Worth: $800 million

Donations: $1.5 billion

After selling their Golden West Financial Corporation in 2006, Herbert and Marion Sandler started focusing on philanthropy. They support medical research to eradicate diseases that affect the poor and they also finance civil liberties groups. Their investigative journalism group, ProPublica, has so far earned two Pulitzers.

13. Dietmar Hopp (Germany)

Dietmar Hopp

Net Worth: $850 million

Donations: $1.25 billion

In order to start the Dietmar Hopp Foundation, Hopp gave up 70 percent of his stake in SAP, the global software corporation that he had helped found. His top priorities are to sponsor youth sports, to cure children’s diseases and to support cancer research. The Hopp foundation has given away more than $380 million over the years, most of which went to the Rhein-Necker region in Germany, where the millionaire grew up.

14. Michael Dell (U.S.)

Michael Dell

Net Worth: $14.6 billion

Donations: $1.2 billion

Michael Dell takes care of the world’s future by investing pots of money in children. His foundation gives scholarships to high achievers, supports children in poor urban families and finances innovative charter schools. He is also fighting against childhood obesity in the States.

15. Jon Huntsman (U.S.)

Jon Huntsman

Net Worth: $900 million

Donations: $1.2 billion

Near-death experiences change a person. While Huntsman was being treated for prostate cancer, he gave away a $1 million check at a soup kitchen, another $1 million check at a homeless shelter and $500,000 to the clinic that discovered his disease. He hasn’t stop giving money for charity and he plans on giving away all his fortune by the time he dies.

16. Ted Turner (U.S.)

Ted Turner

Net Worth: $2.1 billion

Donations: $1.2 billion

In 1998, Ted Turner announced that he would give $1 billion to UN causes. He often criticized the uber-rich who didn’t give money to charity while still young and up until this point he has given $841 million to the UN. His total charity donations add up to $1.2 billion.

17. Klaus Tschira (Germany)

Klaus Tschira

Net Worth: $2 billion

Donations: $1.1 billion

The Klaus Tschira Foundation received $7 million in shares from its founder in 1995. Also a SAP philanthropist, Tschira supports the natural sciences, mathematics and informatics. After his retirement, he became very involved in his foundation’s activities which funds different sorts of activities, including education camps for vision-impaired young people.

18. Paul Allen (U.S.)

Paul Allen

Net worth: $13 billion

Donations: $1 billion

The co-founder of Microsoft has made significant financial contributions to science. Paul Allen’s brain institute managed to create a digital atlas of the brain that is worth $55 million. Also, Allen has recently donated $26 million to the Washington State University for its School of Global Animal Health.

19. Stephan Schmidheiny (Switzerland)

Stephan Schmidheiny

Net Worth: $2.9 billion

Donations: $1 billion

In 2003, Stephan Schmidheiny founded the Viva Trust and donated it to Grupo Nueva, a forestry and pipe firm. He has also given away significant amounts of money to Avina, a non-profit organization that he founded to support sustainable development in Latin America.

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