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15 Things Everyone Needs To Know About America’s Most Generous Donors: Wealthy Philanthropists in 2014

The Chronicle of Philanthropy in Washington released its annual list of the top 50 most generous American donors, whether individuals or couples, of 2014 (biggest philanthropists in the US) to nonprofit organizations in 2014.

Here are 15 things to know about some of the biggest philanthropists in the U.S. and their contributions:


1. Bill and Melinda Gates donated $1.5 billion in Microsoft stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and topped the list.

2. Donations from the top 50 biggest philanthropists in the US were up 27.5% over 2013, to $9.8 billion.

3. The median age of the top 50 living donors is 73.

4. 12 of 2014′s top 50 most generous American donors made their fortunes in technology.

5. The oldest living donor is retired banker David Rockefeller—is 99

6. The youngest donor is Sean Parker, co-founder of file-sharing site Napster—is 35.

7. The top 10 most generous contributors made a total of over USD 6.2 billion, or 64 percent of the total amount.

8. In 2014, 12 top donors came from the tech world, their collective donations account for 47 percent of the $9.8 billion those 50 people donated.

9. A major recipient of donations from tech entrepreneurs, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) has become the richest community foundation in the US, with $6 billion in assets under management.

10. 3 out of 12 young entrepreneurs from the technology industry (younger than 40 made the list) gave more than $500 million each:

A) Jan Koum, the 38-year-old co-founder of the messaging company WhatsApp, came in at Number 4.
Amount donated in 2014: $555,975,000

B) Sean Parker, the 35-year-old former Facebook president and founder of Napster, landing him at Number 5.
Amount donated in 2014: $550,000,000

C) Nicholas Woodman, 39, and his wife, Jill, 38, founders of the high-tech camera company GoPro, came in at Number 6.
Amount donated in 2014: $500,029,162

11. 9 other donors on the list came from the technology industry, making the total 12, up from six in 2013

12. In 2014, wealthy philanthropists gave away more money in the field of scientific research, especially projects that don’t draw some of the dwindling federal funding, those gifts totaled $1.6 billion.

13. 11 individuals or couples of the top 50 donors on the list are related to the field of finance.

14. 4 donors have inherited their wealth and 3 of the donors on the list have earned from real estate.

15. Of the 50 people on the list, 22 appeared on the latest Forbes 400. That group gave a total of $4.6 billion.

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Aimee Lee Webber
Editorial Aide/Reporter at The CEOWORLD magazine. Nationally Syndicated Advice Columnist. Generally prefer dogs to humans. Loves dragons. New Yorker.