Bill Gates, U.S.
Donations: $28 billion Net worth: $66 billion Early on Gates dabbled in different areas, giving money to Harvard's computer science department, libraries, pilot high schools and local Seattle charities. His giving really took off in 1999, when he funded his family foundation with $16 billion in Microsoft stock. Since then, with further contributions from Gates and pal Warren Buffett, the foundation has become the preeminent philanthropic institution in the world. Among its main initiatives: It will spend $10 billion on vaccines within the decade, taking on diseases from malaria to meningitis. In the U.S., education--teacher training in particular--is its main project. In April his wife Melinda launched an effort to make contraceptives accessible worldwide, pledging $1.1 billion to the undertaking.
Warren Buffett, U.S.
Donations: $17.25 billion Net worth: $46 billion For many years Buffett insisted he would give all his money away at his death, but not before. He had a change of heart, and in 2006 made a pledge to give more than $30 billion over 20 years to the Gates Foundation. In 2012 he turned over $1.5 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock. Perhaps even more notably, he teamed with Gates in 2010 to create the Giving Pledge, which has signed up 92 wealthy individuals and families to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. On his birthday in August Buffett pledged $3 billion of stock to his three children's foundations.
George Soros, U.S.
Donations: $8.5 billion Net worth: $19 billion An eclectic giver, Soros has doled out $8.5 billion since 1979, backing causes as diverse as clean-needle clinics in California and scientific research in Russia to helping the Roma, or Gypsies, in Eastern Europe. Of the $8.5 billion the hedge fund legend has given away, approximately $6 billion has been dispersed internationally and an estimated $400 has been dedicated to combating poverty. Recent initiatives include $150 million for promoting transparency in governments around the globe and $100 million to overcome barriers faced by African American boys and men.
Gordon Moore, U.S.
Donations: $5 billion Net worth: $4.8 billion The Intel co-founder and former CEO handed over approximately $5 billion in stock to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in 2000. The foundation focuses on science, environmental conservation and nursing education. The last category was the brainchild of Moore's wife's Betty, who once received the wrong injection from a nurse in the hospital. Moore is also partially funding the construction of the world's biggest telescope; it's in Hawaii, where he lives part-time.
Carlos Slim Helú, Mexico
Donations: $4 billion Net worth: $69 billion World's richest man has publicly stated that he feels more good can be done from creating jobs than from band-aid charitable giving. Yet it turns out he gave $2 billion, mostly from dividends, to his Carlos Slim Foundation in 2006, and another $2 billion in 2010. Most of its programs are focused on digital education and health. A $100 million gift to the Clinton Initiative project is helping pay for 50,000 cataract surgeries in Peru. With the Gates Foundation and the government of Spain, the Slim Foundation is spending $150 million on nutrition and disease prevention in Central America.
Eli Broad, U.S.
Donations: $3.5 billion Net worth: $6.3 billion Broad, who made two fortunes, first as a homebuilder and later in the insurance-annuities industry, has lately been focused on philanthropy. He has tried to reform public education by giving awards to individual educators. In 2010 he got approval to build a new contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles, which is on pace to open in 2014. In 2007 $26 million went to Broad's alma mater, Michigan State University, to establish the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. In October Broad donated 19 artworks from his collection to the museum, including pieces by Roxy Paine, Peter Halley and Terry Winters. His foundation also helps fund medical research; it has given more than half a billion dollars for a stem cell research institute at Harvard and M.I.T.
George Kaiser, U.S.
Donations: $3.3 billion Net worth: $10 billion "It is the government's responsibility to ensure at birth that every child has the same opportunity. But that is a hoax at this point," says Kaiser. "With what we know, it is morally offensive not to act." Tulsa's wealthiest man has acted by funding his George Kaiser Family Foundation with over $3 billion. It spends millions a year on medical clinics across Tulsa, helping women get off drugs, improving Tulsa's public schools, and developing early childhood education centers. His National Energy Policy Institute investigates ways to wean the U.S. off foreign oil.
Michael Bloomberg, U.S.
Donations: $2.8 billion Net worth: $25 billion Bloomberg has apparently given to more than 850 charities. He's supported smoking cessation campaigns, tougher national gun control laws and New York's arts institutions. Over the years he's also given $200 million to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, where he sits on the board. In 2011, he donated $330 million to such groups as the Sierra Club, the Alliance for the Arts and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Azim Premji, India
Donations: $2.1 billion Net worth: $15.9 billion Head of tech titan Wipro started the Azim Premji Foundation in 2001, with an initial endowment of Wipro shares worth $125 million. In 2010, keeping with his avowed intent of giving away a significant chunk of his fortune, he donated shares worth $2 billion, to a trust that will go to the foundation to help public schools in India's heartland by training teachers and improving curriculum. His Azim Premji University to train teachers opened in 2011.
James Stowers, U.S.
Donations: $2 billion Net worth: $100 million The mutual fund tycoon has not been a member of the Forbes 400 since 2000, when he gave $1.2 billion to endow the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo. Since then he and his wife Virginia have given millions more to the institute, which performs genetic research targeted at advancing the understanding of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.
Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong
Donations: $1.65 billion Net worth: $25.5 billion Li started a foundation in 1980; one of his first gifts was to Shantou University. In January 2005 he sold his stake in CIBC and donated $1 billion in proceeds to his foundation. In 2006 Li announced he would eventually give away one-third of his fortune, which he refers to as his "third son." Over the years he's sponsored children's centers, churches; provided money to fight hepatitis and avian flu. He's a major donor in Canada; in the U.S., a $40 million gift helped fund a new medical education building at the University of California, which is named after him.
Herbert Sandler, U.S.
Donations: $1.5 billion Net worth: $150 million The Sandlers sold Golden West, the Bay Area bank they founded, for $25 billion to Wachovia in 2006 before the credit crisis began. They have since been mosly focused on philanthropy. The couple's most high-profile charity is investigative journalism group ProPublica, which won its first Pulitzer in 2010 and another in 2011. The Sandlers also are avid funders of civil liberties groups like the ACLU, and of scientific research, especially for diseases that affect low-income people, like asthma.
Ted Turner, U.S.
Donations: $1.5 billion Net worth: $2 billion Turner was perhaps the first celebrity $1 billion giver. While building his cable television empire the outspoken mogul famously criticized other billionaires for not giving money away while they were young and still had energy and ideas. In 1998 he announced a $1 billion pledge to United Nations-related causes; to date, he has given $916 million of that sum.
Paul Allen, U.S.
Donations: $1.45 billion Net worth: $15 billion Gifts including $26 million to Washington State University to complete its School of Global Animal Health has pushed him into the ranks of billion-dollar donors for the first time in 2011. In a note to Forbes, the Microsoft co-founder said that science had become a priority for his personal giving. His foundation gives grants to those exploring “edgy neuroscience.” To date he has committed $500 million to the Allen Institute for Brain Science, which released a $55 million digital atlas of the brain in 2011. Supports Pacific Northwest charities – “I think it's important to give at home” – but starting to look abroad.
Dietmar Hopp, Germany
Donations: $1.25 billion Net worth: $5.5 billion With four former colleagues from IBM, Hopp co-founded giant German software company SAP. In 1995 he donated 70% of his SAP holdings to fund the nonprofit Dietmar Hopp Foundation, now one of Germany's and Europe's largest private foundations. Its focus is regional, in keeping with Hopp's desire to return a share of his wealth to the Rhein-Neckar area where he grew up, supporting youth sports, cancer research and healing diseases in children in particular.
Jon Hunstman Sr., U.S.
Donations: $1.25 billion Net Worth: $925 million In 1992 Jon Huntsman Sr. was diagnosed with prostate cancer; on the way to the hospital for treatment, he made three stops: First the chemicals mogul dropped by a homeless shelter and left a $1 million check. Then he stopped at a soup kitchen and handed over another $1 million check. Finally he dropped off $500,000 at the clinic that had found his malignancy. Since then Huntsman, who says he plans to give it all away before he dies, has donated the majority of his fortune to his cancer foundation.
Michael Dell, U.S.
Donations: $1.2 billion Net worth: $14.6 billion In 1999 Michael and his wife Susan Dell started their eponymous foundation, which focuses on improving lives of poor urban children. Their money provides scholarships for high achievers and backs innovative charter schools. It also has a program to combat childhood obesity in the U.S., and is now working to improve lives of children living in India's urban slums.
Pierre Omidyar, U.S.
Donations: $1.2 billion Net worth: $8.2 billion Since Omidyar became "ridiculously rich" in the wake of eBay's 1998 IPO he has been focused on giving the bulk of his fortune away. Steady gifting of eBay shares to his philanthropic investment fund, the Omidyar Network, has pushed the online auction house's founder and chairman over the $1 billion lifetime giving mark. Disbursements have funded tech incubators in Africa, new forms of grass-fed beef production in Hawaii and Humanity United, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking and sex slavery, amongst other initiatives.
James Simons, U.S.
Donations: $1.15 billion Net worth: $11 billion Hedge fund manager James Simons served as a code breaker for the Department of Defense during the Vietnam War before rising to the head of the math department at SUNY-Stony Brook. Simons left academia in 1982 to launch Renaissance Technologies, a fund management company that pioneered the use of advanced computer modeling. Since at least the late 1990s, Simons has donated tens of millions to his Simons Foundation each year, with two recent gifts breaking the quarter billion dollar mark ($305 million in 2008 and $270 million in 2010). Stony Brook has benefitted immensely from its relationship with Simons, who gave the institution $150 million in 2011, the largest gift in the school's history.
Jeff Skoll, U.S.
Donations: $1.1 billion Net worth: $3.3 billion Fellow billion dollar giver Pierre Omidyar hired Canadian born Skoll as eBay's first employee and President in 1996. Since the 1998 IPO that made the pair billionaires, Skoll has focused on philanthropy and his movie production house, Participant Media. Behind films from "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Food Inc." to "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and "The Help," Participant's products are intended to inspire social change. Skoll's charitable giving is funneled through his Skoll Foundation, which backs "social entrepreneurship" around the globe and the Skoll Global Threats Fund, which works exclusively on five major issues: climate change, water security, pandemics, nuclear proliferation and conflict in the Middle East.
Klaus Tschira, Germany
Donations: $1.1 billion Net worth: $2.9 billion SAP cofounder donated 7 million of his shares in 1995 to found the Klaus Tschira Foundation, a nonprofit established to foster public understanding of mathematics, informatics and natural sciences (an amateur astronomer, Tschira has a small asteroid named after him). Retired from SAP in 1998, devotes his time to his foundation, promoting such projects as grants for single parents studying information science and economics and computer camp for vision-impaired youth.
Amos Hostetter Jr., U.S.
Donations: $1 billion Net worth: $2.6 billion Media magnate Amos Hostetter sold his Continental Cablevision to US West for $11 billion in 1996. Today the Amherst graduate manages his investments from Boston's Lewis Wharf, home to his Pilot House Associates, and dedicates much of his time to his philanthropy. Hostetter has given over $1 billion to his Barr Foundation, which focuses its giving on education, energy efficiency and Boston-area institutions. Recent local distributions include $1 million to the Boston Ballet and $2 million to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.
Stephan Schmidheiny, Switzerland
Donations: $1 billion Net worth: $2.7 billion Fourth-generation member of a Swiss-German industrial fortune, his boyhood dream was to become a missionary. Retired in 2003 at age 47 to concentrate on philanthropy. That year he founded the Viva Trust, to which he donated pipe and forestry company Grupo Nueva, then worth $1 billion. Funds have primarily been distributed to the not-for-profit Avina, to help build networks of entrepreneurs and leaders in Latin America.
Billionaire real estate developer Hui Ka Yan topped the latest list of China’s top philanthropists published by Forbes China, the licensed China-language edition of Forbes.
Hui, chairman of Evergrande Real Estate Group, gave $62 million, to charity last year. Next on the list was Chu Mang Yee, chairman of Hopson Development, who donated $48 million, and Wang Jianlin,
chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, who gave $37
Giving by China’s top philanthropists plunged by 41% last year $760 million, amid heavy media coverage and criticism of financial scandals in the state.
Cargill, who never married, left about $6 billion to charity. She died in 2006, leaving her estate to two grant-making organizations - the Anne Ray Charitable Trust and the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.
Her name is just now reaching the top of the Chronicle list because of the complicated structure of her bequest and limits on how soon company stock could be sold.
Cargill Inc., an international conglomerate whose many products include animal feed, agricultural services and food ingredients, is privately held.
The heirs of company founder W.W. Cargill are known for keeping a low profile.
Margaret Cargill insisted that her gifts be anonymous during her lifetime, but said they could be disclosed after her death. The foundation web site calls her a “silent philanthropist.”
She was one of four grandchildren, the last survivor of the third generation. As the Muckety map above shows, the fourth and fifth generations are also in line to inherit portions of the vast family fortune.
A WOMAN who gave driving directions to a lost traveller ended up with a $US20,000 cheque to pay for life-saving medical treatment.
Jennifer Vasilakos wrote in her blog that she was sitting at her stall by the side of the road in Santa Barbara California, trying to raise money for an operation.
Ms Vasilakos has kidney failure but does not qualify for a transplant because of the removal of a small spot of melanoma from her back last year.
She was seeking donations towards the cost of a stem cell treatment which she hoped could repair her kidneys, but which was not available in the US.
Then one day a stranger rolled up in a nondescript car.
"He was lost and needed directions, Ms Vasilakos blogged. "I often get asked by random strangers for directions. Not one to miss an opportunity, I handed him my flyer and he made a fifty dollar donation. As he drove off, I thought that was the end of our encounter."
But an hour later he came back and introduced himself as Ty Warner, the billionaire founder of the company that made the hit 1990s stuffed toys called Beanie Babies.
He said her "fundraising was done", went back to his office and sent her a cheque for $US20,000 ($19,200), to cover the operation, travel and accommodation.
Ms Vasilakos said the cheque arrived in a cream envelope with a handwritten letter she described as "genuine and heartfelt - the kind of letter you keep forever".
"I might have all that I need to claim my life back," Ms Vasilakos wrote.
In a public statement, Mr Warner said he wanted to raise awareness about stem cell treatment with the gift.
"After I serendipitously met Jennifer, I further educated myself on her stem cell needs," he said. "I was shocked that this particular type of treatment wasn't available to her in the US.
"My hope is that we can bring this lifesaving treatment to the forefront so that it can become more readily available and provide alternatives for people like Jennifer."
Ms Vasilakos flew out on August 19 to begin the treatment.
So-called "autologous" stem cell treatment uses the patient's own blood or bone marrow cells to repair the kidney.
It is not yet available in the US because of a lack of evidence of its efficacy and safety, but is available in countries with less regulation of healthcare, such as India.
Recent research has shown signs that stem cells extracted from the patient can repair kidney function.
However other scientists have raised doubts about similar treatments, finding that they could even harm the patient.
Ms Vasilakos chose a treatment with the help of the International Cellular Medicine Society, an international non-profit organisation that evaluates the safety and legitimacy of stem cell clinics.
June 20, 2012 - A billionaire hedge-fund manager on Friday pledged to protect 90,000 acres of his Colorado ranch from further development as part of a much larger planned conservation area. The Obama administration said it would be the "largest single conservation easement" ever provided to the federal government.
The easement, which would include tax benefits for New York-based Louis Bacon, provides "the foundation for the proposed new Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area," the Interior Department announced.
Should the conservation area happen, Bacon said Friday, "I will place approximately 90,000 currently unprotected acres of the Blanca portion of Trinchera Ranch into a conservation easement." Read More Here
Casino owner Steve Wynn admitted to a columnist earlier this month that he was the actual person behind the donation of $2 Million Dollars to the United Way of Las Vegas. The donation was given to 2000 needy families through-out Las Vegas in $500 Gift Cards. More Here