Forbes.com has complied a list of the fifty largest givers in 2012. This counts only money actually given and not pledges to give at a later date. There is not surprises in the top givers except maybe for the amount of funds donated to charity. Down the list you might be surprised who is on it and who is off it.
Actually percentage wise, I have given more than Bill Gates who is number one. He gave 2.6% of his wealth away in 2012 and mine percentage approaches 10%. The question then becomes who really is the biggest donor and makes the greater sacrifice?
Here are the top five and see the entire list here.
1. Bill & Melinda Gates
Total Giving 2012: $1.9 billion (2.6% of wealth)
Total Lifetime Giving: $28 billion
Microsoft's chairman is helping eliminate polio and combat malaria through The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Some of his big recipients include the World Health Organization, the Medicines for Malaria Venture and the United Negro College Fund.
Gift Amount: $51,000,000
2. Warren Buffett
Total Giving 2012: $1.87 billion (3.2% of wealth)
Total Lifetime Giving : $25 billion
Berkshire Hathaway's CEO lets others do the picking. He donated $1.5 billion of his stock to his philanthropy buddy Bill Gates' foundation. The rest went to his children's and late wife's foundations.
Foundation: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Gift Amount: $1,520,000,000
3. George Soros
Total Giving in 2012: $763 million(3.8% of wealth)
Total Lifetime Giving : $10 billion
In 2012, Soros gave $285 million to governance and accountability programs and nearly $250 million to human rights initiatives. Among his gifts: $13 million to the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
4. Mark Zuckerberg
Total Giving 2012: $519 million (2.2% of wealth)
Total Lifetime Giving: $549 million
Zuckerberg donated nearly half a billion dollars in Facebook stock to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in 2012. He also gave $20 million of the $100 million pledge he made to Newark schools in 2010.
Foundation: Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Gift Amount: $499,000,000
Total Giving 2012: $432 million (0.3% of wealth)
Total Lifetime Giving: $4.6 billion
Through their foundation, Walmart heirs gave nearly $160 million to education reform in the U.S., and another $92 million in support of environmental causes, including freshwater and marine conservation.
Foundation: Education Foundations
Gift Amount: $160,000,000