February 25, 2014

15 Most Generous American Donors in 2013

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports giving jumped 4% over previous year

Charitable giving by America’s top philanthropists boomed last year, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The Chronicle’s annual ranking of the top 50 donors to charitable causes showed that they contributed $7.7 billion in 2013, 4% more than in the previous year.

The stock market surge drove giving, The Chronicle said, but, Claire Costello, a philanthropic executive at U.S. Trust, suspects that the intergenerational transfer of wealth was moving into high gear. Costello suggested that charities could look forward to receiving many big gifts in 2014 and beyond.

Despite the appearance of some young faces on the list, the median age of last year’s donors was 72.5. Most were men. Twenty-three earned their wealth in either investments or finance, 12 in real estate, six in technology and the rest from a mix of other pursuits or inheritances.

Colleges, foundations and hospitals received the most gifts worth $1 million or more in 2013, The Chronicle reported. The biggest donors made the fewest gifts and contributed the least money to causes for children and youths, the environment, religion and public broadcasting.

Several of the best-known names in American philanthropy do not appear on the new list. That’s because The Chronicle’s rankings are based on new commitments donors made to their foundations and other nonprofits in 2013. The rankings do not count payments on past pledges of foundation grants.

Last year, Bill and Melinda Gates gave their foundation some $181 million, which went to pay off a $3.3 billion pledge they had made in 2004, The Chronicle said.

Ted Turner paid $50 million in 2013 to the United Nations Foundation and the Better World Fund. This was the second-to-last payment toward a $1 billion pledge he had made in 1997 to establish the charities.

Warren Buffett is still paying off a previous multibillion-dollar pledge.

Following are the 15 most generous donors on The Chronicle’s Philanthropy 50 list.

Eli and Edythe Broad (Photo: AP)

15. Eli and Edythe Broad
Eli is founding chairman of KB Home and of SunAmerica

Amount donated in 2013: $157 million

Beneficiary: Broad Foundations

Muriel Block

14. Muriel Block with her late husband, Harold Block
They owned commercial real estate in New York

Amount donated in 2013: Approximately $160 million

Beneficiary: Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University

Ronald Perelman (Photo: AP)

13. Ronald Perelman
Chairman and chief executive of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings

Amount donated in 2013: $196 million

Top beneficiary: Columbia Business School

Other notable gift: New York University Langone Medical Center

Stephen Ross (Photo: AP)

12. Stephen Ross
Founder of Related Companies and majority stakeholder in the Miami Dolphins

Amount donated in 2013: $200 million

Beneficiary: University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Paul Allen. (Photo: AP)

11. Paul Allen
Founder of Vulcan Capital and co-founder of Microsoft; owner of Seattle Seahawks

Amount donated in 2013: $206 million

Top beneficiary: Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Other notable gift: EMP Museum

10. Jeffrey Carlton (deceased)
Founder of Press Forge

Amount donated in 2013: Approximately $212 million (bequest)

Beneficiary: Jeffrey Carlton Charitable Foundation

Sergey Brin, Co-founder of Google 

9. Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki
Brin is Co-founder of Google; Wojcicki is co-founder of the genetic-testing company 23andME

Amount donated in 2013: $219 million

Top beneficiary: Brin Wojcicki Foundation

Other notable gift: Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

Irwin Jacobs (Photo: AP)

8. Irwin and Joan Jacobs
Irwin is co-founder of Qualcomm

Amount donated in 2013: $221.1 million

Top beneficiary: The Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute at Cornell NYC Tech

Other notable gifts: Joan and Irwin Jacobs Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, Dunaway Foundation, San Diego Public Library Foundation

Pierre Omidyar (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

7. Pierre and Pam Omidyar

Pierre is founder of eBay; Pam is chairwoman of HopeLab

Amount donated in 2013: $225 million

Beneficiaries: HopeLab, Humanity United, Omidyar Network and the Ulupono Initiative

Charles Johnson

6. Charles Johnson
Headed Franklin Resources, parent company of Franklin Templeton Investments founded by his father, and majority shareholder of San Francisco Giants

Amount donated in 2013: $250 million

Beneficiary: Yale University

John Arnold (Photo: AP) 

5. John and Laura Arnold
John is founder of Centaurus Energy

Amount donated in 2013: $296.2 million

Top beneficiary: Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Other notable gift: Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

Michael Bloomberg

4. Michael Bloomberg

Former mayor of New York City and founder of the Bloomberg financial-data and news-service company

Amount donated in 2013: $452 million

Beneficiaries: Arts, education, environment, and public-health groups, and programs aimed at improving city governments around the world.

Phil Knight (Photo: AP)

3. Phil and Penelope Knight
Phil is co-founder and the chairman of Nike

Amount donated in 2013: $500 million

Beneficiary: Oregon Health & Science University Foundation

George Mitchell (Photo: AP) 

2. George Mitchell (deceased)
Founder of Mitchell Energy and Development

Amount donated in 2013: Approximately $750 million (bequest)

Beneficiary: Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation

Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife, Priscilla Chan (Photo: AP)

1. Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan

Zuckerberg is co-founder and chief executive of Facebook

Amount donated in 2013: $992.2 million

Beneficiary: Silicon Valley Community Foundation

--- Related stories on ThinkAdvisor:

Page 1 of 16
Single page view Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.