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.
15. Eli and Edythe Broad
Eli is founding chairman of KB Home and of SunAmerica
Amount donated in 2013: $157 million
Beneficiary: Broad Foundations
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
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
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
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
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
8. Irwin and Joan Jacobs
Irwin is co-founder of Qualcomm