The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual list of the 10 largest charitable giving announced by individuals or their foundations totaled nearly $9.3 billion in 2022. Contributions went to large, well-established institutions, including three foundations institutions and three universities to support environmental sustainability, child protection, mental health and stem cell research. Other donations have supported cancer research and treatment, housing efforts, youth programs and reproductive health.
Two of the donations exceeded $1 billion and six of the eight donors (one donor made three donations) are multi-billionaires. The combined net worth of these six donors is just over $325 billion.
Topping the list is Bill Gates, who has given $5 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the grantmaker’s work in global health, development, policy and advocacy, and research. education in the United States. Gates, whose net worth is estimated at $104 billion, caught the eye in July when he announced he would donate $20 billion to the foundation he leads with his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates. . However, foundation officials confirmed in December that three-quarters of that $20 billion was used to repay the $15 billion he and French Gates pledged in July 2021. The remaining $5 billion was a further injection in the foundation.
Ann and John Doerr came in second with a $1.1 billion gift they are giving through their Benificus Foundation to Stanford University to launch the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, an effort to address the toughest challenges world’s most urgent climate and sustainability concerns. The new school will focus on eight areas of study: climate change, earth and planetary sciences, energy technologies, sustainable cities, natural environment, food and water security, society and human behavior, and human health and the environment.
The new school will house several academic departments and interdisciplinary institutes. It will also house a “Sustainability Accelerator” which, among other efforts, will award grants to researchers and others to develop new technologies in environmental sustainability and related fields, advance new policies and support partnerships.
John Doerr is a venture capitalist who made his mark and much of his fortune as the early backer of Silicon Valley tech giants such as Sun Microsystems, Amazon and Google. Today, he is chairman of investment firm Kleiner Perkins and his net worth is just over $9 billion.
Jackie and Mike Bezos, the mother and stepfather of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, come in third. The couple gave the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center $710.5 million to build 36 research labs and an additional large research facility. The grant will also support the cancer center’s clinical trials and immunotherapy research over the next 10 years.
The couple were fairly low-key philanthropists until recently. Still, Jackie Bezos has been closely involved with several nonprofit projects over the years. She created the Bezos Scholars program at the Aspen Institute, the Aspen Challenge, and Students Rebuild, all of which are educational programs for different age groups. Mike Bezos spent 32 years working as an engineer and manager at oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil before retiring and focusing on the couple’s giving.
The gifts from the Doerrs and the Bezos were followed by that of Warren Buffett. The 92-year-old revered investor donated shares worth nearly $474.3 million to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, a Warren Buffett donor established in 1964 to manage the family’s charitable donations which later was renamed for his first wife, who died in 2004. The foundation supports women’s reproductive health and provides college scholarships to students in Nebraska, where the foundation is located.
A representative for Buffett confirmed that the donation was a special, one-time contribution Buffett decided to make in late November rather than one of the annual donations he makes to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and several other donors, who are multi-billion dollar payments. commitments he announced in 2006.
The late Ruth DeYoung Kohler II comes fifth on the list. The Kohler Company heiress, who died in 2020 at age 79, left a $440 million bequest to launch the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, a Milwaukee grantmaker dedicated to supporting visual arts and entertainment groups. interpretation across the country. It plans to award about $20 million a year. Kohler was a strong supporter of the arts and ran the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin from 1972 to 2016.
Kohler II is followed by MacKenzie Scott, the novelist and co-founder of Amazon, who gave $436 million to Habitat for Humanity International. The gift was unlimited, as was the case with most of Scott’s gifts. When Habitat for Humanity officials announced the donation in March, they said they planned to use the money to help tackle the global housing crisis and advocate for system-wide change. to increase equitable access to affordable housing for all.
Two additional donations from Scott — $281 million to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and $275 million to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America — also landed on the list.
The Chronicle’s annual ranking is based on the top 10 publicly announced giveaways. The tally does not include artwork contributions or donations from anonymous donors. In February, the Chronicle will unveil its annual ranking of the 50 largest donors, a list based on individuals’ total contributions in 2022 rather than individual donations.
This article was provided to The Associated Press by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Maria Di Mento is a senior reporter at the Chronicle. Email: [email protected] The AP and the Chronicle are supported by the Lilly Endowment for coverage of philanthropy and nonprofit organizations. The AP and the Chronicle are solely responsible for all content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.