Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos made the single-largest charitable contribution in 2020, in response to The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual record of prime donations — aaimed toward combating local weather change.
Bezos, the world’s richest particular person, used the contribution to launch his Bezos Earth Fund. The fund, which helps nonprofits concerned within the local weather disaster, has paid out $790 million to 16 teams to date, in response to the Chronicle. In accordance with the left-leaning People for Tax Equity and the Institute for Coverage Research, from March 18 via December 7 of final yr, Bezos’ wealth on paper surged by 63%, from $113 billion to $184 billion.
The sum whole of the highest 10 charitable donations final yr — $2.6 billion — was the bottom since 2011, at the same time as many billionaires vastly elevated their wealth within the inventory market rally that catapulted know-how shares particularly final yr.
Phil Knight, who along with his spouse, Penny, made the second- and third-largest donations final yr in response to the Chronicle, noticed his wealth develop by about 77% over the identical March-to-December interval. Knight and his spouse gave greater than $900 million to the Knight Basis and $300 million to the College of Oregon.
Fred Kummer, founding father of development firm HBE Company, and his spouse, June, gave $300 million to determine a basis to assist applications on the Missouri College of Science and Know-how. It was the fourth largest charitable donation of the yr.
Fifth place: The Zuckerbergs
Fb founder Mark Zuckerberg and his spouse, Priscilla Chan, delivered the fifth-largest donation on the Chronicle’s record: A $250 million present to the Heart for Tech and Civic Life, which labored on voting safety points within the 2020 election.
Zuckerberg, whose wealth almost doubled to $105 billion within the March-to-December interval in response to People for Tax Equity and the Institute for Coverage Research, has been extensively criticized and been referred to as to testify earlier than Congress for his firm’s dealing with of disinformation within the runup to the 2020 presidential election.
Within the sixth spot was a $200 million donation made by Arthur Clean, co-founder of House Depot, via the Arthur M. Clean Household Basis, to Youngsters’s well being care of Atlanta to construct a brand new hospital in his identify.
Nos. 7 – 10 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s record:
- $100 million: Jeff Bezos present to Feeding America COVID-19 Response Fund
- $100 million: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan present to the Heart for Tech and Civic Life to make sure protected and dependable voting practices within the 2020 election
- $100 million: Stephen Ross, founding father of Associated Firms, a real-estate agency present to the College of Michigan at Ann Arbor to construct a part of the Detroit Heart for Innovation
- $100 million: David Roux, co-founder of Silver Lake Companions, a personal fairness agency, and his spouse, Barbara, present to Northeastern College to determine the Roux Institute
- $99.6 million: George and Renee Karfunkel, real-estate traders Congregation Chemdas Yisroel, present to an Orthodox Jewish Synagogue
- $80 million: Bernard Marcus, co-founder of House Depot, via his Marcus Basis, present to Shepherd Heart to increase its neurorehabilitation hospital
- $65 million: Charles Schwab, founding father of Schwab Monetary Companies, and his spouse, Helen, present to Tipping Level Group to construct housing for individuals experiencing homelessness
- $63.5 million: Stephen Ross present to World Assets Institute to assist the Ross Heart for Sustainable Cities
Broader scope of beneficiaries
Donors have broadened their philanthropic scope past the colleges, medical facilities and different organizations that usually comprise the yr’s record of prime beneficiaries, in response to the Chronicle. Becoming a member of the record of prime beneficiaries of 2020, have been “a brand new environmental grant maker, a nonprofit devoted to modernizing elections, a community of meals banks, and a charity that builds housing for individuals experiencing homelessness.”
Two billionaires who donated closely to charity final yr — MacKenzie Scott, Bezos’ former spouse, and Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter — didn’t make the Chronicle’s record as a result of no single donation of theirs was giant sufficient to qualify. Moderately than give billions to only one charity, each billionaires opted to make giant donations to quite a few causes.
Dorsey, whose present internet value totals $11.4 billion in response to Forbes, introduced in an April 2020 tweet that he could be donating $1 billion in fairness to his Startsmall LLC to fund world COVID-19 reduction. “After we disarm this pandemic, the main target will shift to lady’s well being and schooling, and UBI,” mentioned Dorsey in his tweet.
Scott, whose wealth is valued at $57 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, mentioned in a blog post in December that she had elevated her for the yr to $4.2 billion, in response to the “wrecking ball” impact of the coronavirus, which she additionally acknowledged “considerably elevated the wealth of billionaires.”
Her $4.2 billion was divvied amongst 384 organizations she describes in her put up as having “devoted their lives to serving to others, working and volunteering and serving actual individuals face-to-face at bedsides and tables, in prisons and courtrooms and school rooms, on streets and hospital wards and hotlines and frontlines of all sorts and sizes, day after day after day.”
The nation’s 644 billionaires have loved a staggering rise in wealth for the reason that pandemic shuttered the economic system in March, with the group gaining nearly $1 trillion in whole internet value, in response to a current analysis. The spike in wealth coincides with what some economists are calling a Ok-shaped restoration, with the wealthy regaining their footing whereas poorer People wrestle with misplaced wages and jobs.
In February, the Chronicle will publish its record of the 50 greatest donors, which counts cumulative donations, not particular person presents.