List of philanthropists

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Herodes Atticus, a Greek philanthropist of Classical Rome active during the second century (antiquity)

A philanthropist is someone who engages in philanthropy; donating their time, money, and/or reputation to charitable causes. The term may apply to any volunteer or to anyone who makes a donation, but the label is most often applied to those who donate large sums of money or who make a major impact through their volunteering, such as a trustee who manages a philanthropic organization or one who establishes and funds a foundation.[1]

A philanthropist may not always find universal approval for their deeds.[2] Common accusations include supporting an unworthy cause (such as funding art instead of fighting world hunger) or having selfish motivation at heart (such as avoiding taxes or attaining personal fame). A philanthropist is also someone who cares for someone else's needs instead of their own.

Notable philanthropists[edit]

Greatest philanthropists by amount of USD[edit]

The following table orders the greatest philanthropists by the estimated amount given to charity, corresponding to USD.

Name Amount given Cause
Jamsetji Tata $102.4 billion[15] Education, healthcare
Bill Gates $35.8 billion[34] Healthcare, extreme poverty, education, access to information technology
Warren Buffett $34 billion[35] Healthcare, education, AIDS-prevention, sanitation
George Soros $32 billion[36] Healthcare, anti-fascist publications, human rights, economic, legal, and social reform
Azim Premji $21 billion[37] Education, healthcare
Li Ka-shing $10.7 billion[citation needed] Education, healthcare
Andrew Carnegie $9.5 billion[citation needed] Libraries, education, peace
Chuck Feeney $6.8 billion[citation needed] Healthcare, youth, ageing, poverty, human rights
MacKenzie Scott $6 billion[38] Racial equality, LGBTQ+ equality, functional democracy, and climate change[39]
Alisher Usmanov $5.8 billion [40][41] Art, science, sport, healthcare
The Sainsbury family $5 billion [40][41] Art, education, human rights, youth, ageing
Christopher Hohn $4.5 billion [42] Youth, poverty, education
Carlos Slim Helu $4.2 billion [42] Arts, education, healthcare, sports, downtown restoration
Alwaleed Philanthropies $4 billion[43] Alwaleed Philanthropies collaborates with a range of philanthropic, government and educational organizations to combat poverty, empower women and youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief and create cultural understanding through education.
The Weston family $2.3 billion [40][41] Innovations, healthcare, ageing, environment
Phil Knight $2 billion[44] Education, healthcare, intercollegiate athletics
James E. Stowers $2 billion[45] Healthcare
Hansjoerg Wyss $1.9 billion [42] Climate change, poverty
Howard Hughes $1.56 billion[citation needed] Healthcare
Stephan Schmidheiny $1.5 billion [42] Environment, sustainable development
Vitalik Buterin $1 billion [46] Donated $1 billion worth of the cryptocurrencies Shiba Inu and Ether to a COVID-19 relief fund in India.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "philanthropist – Dictionary Definition". Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  2. ^ Soskis, Benjamin. "What if philanthropy isn't the best way for rich people to help others?". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ "King Faisla International Prize". Archived from the original on 2013-08-11.
  4. ^ "Destination Jeddah: Who's Who". Archived from the original on 2013-08-11.
  5. ^ Raponi, Lorenza (2013). Half of Two Paisas: The Extraordinary Mission of Abdul Sattar Edhi and Bilquis Edhi. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-906852-4.
  6. ^ "Ben Delo". Giving Pledge. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  7. ^ The Chronicle of Philanthropy (February 6, 2011). "Philanthropy 50". Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  8. ^ "Bono Makes The 20 Most Politically Effective Celebs List". Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  9. ^ "No. 11: David Koch". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. 2013-02-10. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  10. ^ "Dolly Parton's Imagination Library". Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  11. ^ "Elton John: Charity Work & Causes". Look to the Stars. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  12. ^ "Frank Islam to dedicate $2-million management school at alma mater AMU". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 2017-02-06. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2019-10-04.CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. ^ "Why Google Is Celebrating Philanthropist George Peabody". Time. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  14. ^ "James Packer leaves $200 million on the table". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  15. ^ a b "2021Edelgive Hurun Top 50 Philanthropist". hurun-india. Retrieved 2021-06-23.
  16. ^ Haberman, Frederick (1972). Nobel Lectures, Peace 1926-1950. Amsterdam madhav bhan – founder of remadhav art foundation.: Elsevier Publishing Company.
  17. ^ "Janet Lacey". Hutchinson's Biography Database. 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2021 – via MasterFILE Complete.
  18. ^ Stephanie Simon (October 30, 2006). "Unregulated Groups Wield Millions To Sway Voters". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 11, 2012.
  19. ^ The Campaign Finance Institute Archived 2016-09-10 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Open Secrets". Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  21. ^ Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation Archived 2012-01-02 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Kotecki, Peter. "Tech titans like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have pledged to give away billions through the 'Giving Pledge' — here's where the money is going". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  23. ^ Forbes: "Talking Philanthropy With Marc Benioff" By Bruce Upbin September 18, 2012
  24. ^ DAUNT, TINA (2009-07-08). "Michael Jackson's generous legacy". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  25. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ "Peter Cooper | The Philanthropy Hall of Fame | The Philanthropy Roundtable". Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  27. ^ "Saudi prince to donate $32bn fortune to charity". BBC News. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  28. ^ "Introduction to the Aga Khan Development Network". Archived from the original on 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  29. ^ a b "About the Aga Khan Development Network". Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  30. ^ "Beaten up by Bangladeshi officials". BBC London. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
  31. ^ Ramirez, Anthony (2006). "Exclusive Interview: Billionaire Ronald Perelman With His Dad". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  32. ^ "News Briefs". The DP. September 30, 2005. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Bill Gates". Forbes. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  35. ^
  36. ^ "George Soros". In 2017, the Open Society Foundations announced that Soros had transferred $18 billion of his fortune towards funding the future work of the Foundations, bringing his total giving to the Foundations since 1984 to over $32 billion
  37. ^ Karmali, Naazneen. "Azim Premji Donates $2.3 Billion After Signing Giving Pledge". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  38. ^ "MacKenzie Scott Gives Away $4.2 Billion in Four Months". 2020-12-15. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  39. ^ Rishi Iyengar. "MacKenzie Scott, formerly Bezos, says she has given away $1.7 billion of her wealth so far". CNN. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  40. ^ a b c McCall, Nick Rodrigues and Alastair. "Marcus Rashford tops The Sunday Times Giving List 2021". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2021-07-24.
  41. ^ a b c "20 years of the Giving List by Alsastair McCall | CAF". Retrieved 2021-07-24.
  42. ^ a b c d Çam, Deniz. "From Azim Premji to Carlos Slim: The World's Most Generous Billionaires Outside Of The U.S." Forbes. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  43. ^ Saudi Prince Alwaleed pledges $32bn to charity – Al Jazeera English
  44. ^ Rogoway, Mike. "Phil and Penny Knight's charitable contributions top $2 billion". The Oregonian. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  45. ^ "James E. Stowers Jr., Benefactor of Medical Research, Dies at 90". The New York Times. 19 March 2014.
  46. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • Grimm, Robert T. Notable American Philanthropists: Biographies of Giving and Volunteering (2002) excerpt