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Top 10 Charitable Gifts in 2017

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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:

 Jack Dangermond (Photo: Bloomberg)

10. Parcel of California Coastal Ranchland Valued at $165 Million

Donors: Jack and Laura Dangermond

Beneficiary: Nature Conservancy 

Henry Samueli (Photo: Bloomberg)

9. $200 million

Donors: Susan and Henry Samueli

Beneficiary: University of California, Irvine

A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation

8. $219.5 million

Donor: A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation

Beneficiary: University of Maryland 

The Chronicle said this was one of several large gifts the foundation made in 2017. 

Roy Vagelos (Photo: Bloomberg)

7. $250 million

Donors: P. Roy and Diana Vagelos

Beneficiary: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons 

Helen Diller Foundation

6. $500 million

Donor: Helen Diller Foundation

Beneficiary: University of California, San Francisco

Herbert and Florence Irving

5. $700 million bequest (including $100 million in previously announced giving)

Donor: Florence Irving and her late husband, Herbert Irving

Beneficiaries: Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian, enabling them to recruit scientists, physician-scientists and clinicians dedicated to developing innovations in cancer patient care

Henry Hillman

4. $800 million bequest

Donor: the late Henry Hillman

Beneficiaries: At least 90% of the gift will benefit Pittsburgh-area nonprofits through the Hillman Family Foundations.

Michael Dell (Photo: Bloomberg)

3. $1 billion

Donors: Michael Dell and Susan Dell

Beneficiary: Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

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

2. $1.9 billion

Donors: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

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.

Bill Gates and his wife Melinda. (Photo: AP)

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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