Wealthy philanthropists made 2017 the strongest year for charitable giving in the U.S. in the past decade, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported in announcing its annual list of the 10 largest gifts.
Last year’s 10 biggest donations totaled $10.2 billion, more than double the total from 2016, when the 10 largest ones totaled $4.3 billion, Chronicle data showed.
The annual top 10 list comprises the largest gifts announced by individuals or their foundations.
Three donations, each of $1 billion or more, came from rich technology entrepreneurs and benefited their foundations.
Four universities, four foundations and one conservation group received the biggest contributions of 2017.
The Chronicle noted that a multibillion-dollar donation that George Soros reportedly gave to his Open Society Foundations was not included on the list of the top 10 gifts because a foundation official told the publication in October the money was from a series of donations Soros had given his foundations over multiple recent years.
Following are the top 10 gifts of 2017, according to The Chronicle:
Donors: Jack and Laura Dangermond
Beneficiary: Nature Conservancy
9. $200 million
Donors: Susan and Henry Samueli
Beneficiary: University of California, Irvine
Beneficiary: University of Maryland
The Chronicle said this was one of several large gifts the foundation made in 2017.
7. $250 million
Donors: P. Roy and Diana Vagelos
6. $500 million
Donor: Helen Diller Foundation
Beneficiary: University of California, San Francisco
5. $700 million bequest (including $100 million in previously announced giving)
Donor: Florence Irving and her late husband, Herbert Irving
Donor: the late Henry Hillman
Beneficiaries: At least 90% of the gift will benefit Pittsburgh-area nonprofits through the Hillman Family Foundations.
3. $1 billion
Beneficiary: Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
2. $1.9 billion
Beneficiary: Chan Zuckerberg Foundation, the 501(c)(3) arm of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a limited liability company established by the couple in 2015 as a vehicle for their philanthropic and public advocacy activities.
1. $4.6 billion in Microsoft stock
Donor: Bill Gates
Beneficiaries: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which backs global development, heath and policy, as well as efforts to improve the U.S. education system
The Chronicle noted that the last time Gates gave his foundation such a huge gift was in 2000, when he donated stock then valued at $5 billion to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It said the new gift represented almost half the combined value of the 10 largest gifts ($10.2 billion) — approximately $300 million larger than the total of the top 10 gifts made in 2016.
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