19 Business Tycoons Who Are Billion-Dollar Philanthropists

Over the years, the number of billionaires has been growing. And alongside has been growing the list of philanthropists who have donated billions of dollars to charity. Most of the billion-dollar philanthropists are from the US. Here is a list of these tycoons with hearts of gold.

1. Bill Gates, US

Donations: $28 billion
Net worth: $56 billion

Initially, Gates donated to a variety of causes. Since 1999, he has focused all attention on his family foundation, which gets donations from Warren Buffet as well. Currently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the preeminent philanthropic organization in the world, with plans of spending $10 million on vaccines over the next decade. It continues working on teacher training in the US.

2. Warren Buffet, US

Donations: $8.3 billion
Net worth: $50 billion

Although Buffet was initially not the philanthropic sort, in 2006 he pledged to donate $30 billion to the Gates Foundation over two decades. He has so far contributed $1.9 billion. Last year, he and Gates formed the Giving Pledge. Together they have signed on 69 wealthy families and individuals to donate a greater proportion of their wealth to charity.

3. George Soros, US

Donations: $8 billion
Net worth: $14.5 billion

Since 1979, Soros has donated $8 billion, of which, $1.6 billion went to education. Through his Open Society, Soros has contributed to human rights and the promotion of democracy. Over the years, his donations have funded a variety of causes including scientific research in Russia and helping Gypsies in Eastern Europe.

4. Gordon Moore, US

Donations: $6.8 billion
Net worth: $4 billion

In 2000, the Intel co-founder donated $6 billion worth of stock to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which deals with environmental conservation, nursing ed and science. Moore has also been contributing to the construction of the world’s biggest telescope in Hawaii.

5. Carlos Slim Helu, Mexico

Donations: $4 billion
Net worth: $74 billion

The world’s richest man is not in favor of charity. Yet, he donated $2 billion to the Carlos Slim Foundation in 2006, and again in 2010. The foundation is largely dedicated to health and digital education. The Foundation is also associated with the Clinton Initiative and the Gates Foundation on specific projects.

6. George Kaiser, US

Donations: $4 billion
Net worth: $9.8 billion

Over the past decade, Kaiser has pumped $4 billion into the George Kaiser Family Foundation, which counts among its main projects such causes as drug rehab for women, building medical clinics in Tulsa, improving its public schools and creating education centers for young children.

7. Eli Broad, US

Donations: $2.6 billion
Net worth: $5.8 billion

A real estate and insurance man, Broad’s foundation funds medical research and has donated $500 million to Harvard and MIT for stem cell research. Broad also sponsors awards for individual educators and is working on an LA museum project.

8. Azim Premji, India

Donations: $2.1 billion
Net worth: $16.8 billion

In 2001, Premji started the Azim Premji Foundation with Wipro shares worth $125 million. Last year, he donated $2 billion worth of shares in a trust dedicated to improving public schools and teaching in India’s heartland. The Azim Premji University for teachers’ training will open this July.

9. James Stowers, US

Donations: $2 billion
Net worth: $100 million

In the year 2000, Bowers donated $1.2 billion to the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, which conducts genetic research to find cures for cancer, heart diseases and other conditions. Since 2000, Stowers and his wife have donated several more millions to the cause.

10.  Michael Bloomberg, US

Donations: $1.8 billion
Net worth: $18.1 billion

Bloomberg’s donations are spread across 850 charities. He has supported a range of causes including anti-smoking, tougher gun control laws and New York arts institutions. He has also funded education by donating $200 million to John Hopkins University, and $50 million to Carnegie and Princeton.

11. Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong

Donations: $1.6 billion
Net worth: $26 billion

In 2005, Li sold his stake in CIBC and donated $1 billion to a foundation he began in 1980. In 2006, Li announced plans of donating a third of his fortune. He has funded churches, children’s centers, campaigns against avian flu and hepatitis, even a medical education building in the US named after him.

12. Herbert & Marion Sandler, US

Donations: $1.5 billion
Net worth: $800 million

In 2006, the Sandlers sold Golden West, their Bay Area bank and turned to philanthropy. These philanthropists run investigative journalism group ProPublica, which now has two Pulitzers to its name. The Sandlers also fund civil liberties groups and scientific research for diseases affecting poorer people.

13. Dietmar Hopp, Germany

Donations: $1.25 billion
Net worth: $850 million

The SAP co-founder donated 70 percent of his stake to start the Dietmar Hopp Foundation. The foundation, which has contributed funds of over $380 million, focuses on the Rhein-Necker region where Hopp grew up. Youth sports, cancer research and curing children’s diseases top its priority list.

14. Michael Dell, US

Donations: $1.2 billion
Net worth: $14.6 billion

Dell’s foundation focuses on children of the urban poor. There are scholarships for high-achievers. The foundation supports innovative charter schools and has joined the battle against childhood obesity in the US.

15. Jon Huntsman, US

Donations: $1.2 billion
Net worth: $900 million

The story is that back when Huntsman was going to the hospital for prostrate cancer treatment, he made three stops along the way, dropping off a $1 million check at a homeless shelter, another $1 million check at a soup kitchen and $500,000 at the clinic that diagnosed him. Huntsman has already donated much of his money to charity and plans on giving everything away before he dies.

16. Ted Turner, US

Donations: $1.2 billion
Net worth: $2.1 billion

The television tycoon famously criticized other wealthy individuals for not turning philanthropists while still young. In 1998, he pledged $1 billion to UN causes. So far, he has contributed $841 million towards that pledge.

17. Klaus Tschira, Germany

Donations: $1.1 billion
Net worth: $2 billion

In 1995, another of the SAP philanthropists donated $7 million in shares to his Klaus Tshira Foundation, which promotes mathematics, informatics and the natural sciences. Since retirement in 1998, Tschira has been closely involved with the foundation. Projects include providing grants to single parents studying information science and promoting education camps for vision-impaired youth.

18. Paul Allen, US

Donations: $1 billion
Net worth: $13 billion

The Microsoft cofounder contributes a lot to science, especially to “edgy neuroscience”. Recently, he donated $26 million to Washington State University for completing its School of Global Animal Health. His Brain Institute has released a digital atlas of the brain worth $55 million.

19. Stephan Schmidheiny, Switzerland

Donations: $1 billion
Net worth: $2.9 billion

This fourth-generation industrialist joined the ranks of philanthropists in 2003 by forming the Viva Trust and donating to it pipe and forestry firm Grupo Nueva. His funds have been distributed to Avina, a non-profit organization that builds entrepreneur networks in Latin America.

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