American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie famously set the bar very high for giving back to society. “No man can become rich without himself enriching others,” he said. “The man who dies rich dies disgraced.”
Some of the world’s wealthiest people have donated their riches to help make the world a better place. With a combined donation of $106.8 billion, these generous and life changing individuals have been voted without a doubt for being THE top 20 philanthropists in the world.
German IT entrepreneur Dietmar Hopp is the co-founder and former CEO of a multinational company called SAP that provides application and analytics software for enterprises worldwide.
Twenty years ago, Hopp established Dietmar Hopp Stiftung, which is a foundation that supports local education, sports, and health causes in Germany, starting with his hometown. He also founded the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine (HI-STEM), University Hospital Heidelberg, and the Nathalie Todenhofer Foundation. Total donations amount to $1billion.
Pierre Omidyar is the co-founder and current chairman of eBay. In 1998, alongside his wife Pamela, he established the Omidyar Foundation. The organization donates to a plethora of areas, including entrepreneurship, food, and energy, human rights and games and technology. In 2012, Omidyar and his wife joined an initiative that was started by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, called The Giving Pledge, where these wealthy entrepreneurs promised to give a large quantity of their wealth to charities. In 2015, it was reported that Omidyar sold 10% of his shares in eBay to different charities, valued at a gigantic $270 million.
The chairman and CEO of Dell computer company, he created the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation in 1999, which gives huge donations to education, social services, arts and culture, and community-development causes. This year, the foundation promised to donate $25 million to fund the construction of a new teaching hospital in Austin, Texas.
Simons is the chairman of Renaissance Technologies, not just an investment-management company, but one of the largest hedge fund companies in the world with $65 billion in assets.
Simons and his wife Marilyn established the Simons Foundation, which supports education. The couple has also founded two other organizations in memory of their two sons who died: The Paul Simons Foundation primarily donates to social and educational causes, and the Nick Simons Foundation trains rural healthcare workers in Nepal and gives to humanitarian and social causes.
Simons on top of all this has donated an incredible $30 million to autism research and has even promised to donate another $100 million.
Former CEO of Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) and vice-chairman and director of AOL Time Warner, Ted Turner is the current chairman of Turner Enterprises, a diversified holding company. In 1997 he donated $1 billion, towards causes related to women and population, children’s health, environment, world peace, and security. If that isn’t generosity, we don’t know what is. So far his lifetime donations have added up to $1.2 billion.
Turner is currently a trustee of the Turner Global Foundation and chairman of the Turner Foundation, which both focus on giving money to community development and environmental and wildlife conservation.
John Huntsman Sr
Jon Huntsman Sr. is the founder of Huntsman Corporation, a chemical product manufacturer. His story is an inspiring one, Huntsman has survived both prostate and mouth cancer, and because of this he then went on to establish the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. He also joined Buffett’s Giving Pledge, promising to donate 50% of his and his wife’s wealth.
Li Ka Shing
Li Ka-Shing is one of the richest men in Asia, as a global investor in disruptive technology. He has donated over $1.4 so far. In 1980, he established the Li Ka-Shing Foundation, following a dream to support education, healthcare, culture, and community-related causes. Li feels very strongly about giving back to China and has made personal donations to the China Foundation for Disabled Persons and flood-victim relief in China.
With a net worth of over $40 billion, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is one of the youngest self-made billionaires in the world. The social-media mogul changed the world as we know it, and has signed the Giving Pledge to donate at least half of his wealth in his lifetime.
Already Zuckerberg and his wife generously donated $25 million towards the fights against Ebola. He also pledged $75 million to San Francisco General Hospital and donated $100 million worth of Facebook shares to a New Jersey public-school system.
Co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen has donated millions of dollars to global-health causes, including $7 million in grants to Alzheimer’s research.
Michael Bloomberg is the founder and CEO of Bloomberg media company and created his own foundation in order to donate to educational, healthcare, and environmental causes. He gives to John Hopkins University, World Lung Foundation, and World Health Organization. He has given up to $3 billion already in donations.
George Kaiser, chairman of BOK Financial Corporation, has a net worth of $9.3 billion. He founded the George Kaiser Family Foundation, which donates to educational, health, religious, social, and community-development-related causes, including the University of Tulsa.
In 2010, Kaiser followed his fellows and joined the Giving Pledge, promising to donate half of his earnings to charity.
The former SunAmerica CEO Eli Broad has invested up to $3 billion in public education, science, and the arts. A Californian resident Broad feels passionate about giving back to his home state, through donations to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and also the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Carlos Slim Helu
The chairman of Grupo Carso, Carlos Slim Helú, is one of the richest self-made billionaires worldwide. His foundation has invested $100 million in the World Wildlife Fund in an effort to conserve Mexico’s natural environment, and in 2012, it also donated a huge $3 million in order to provide the internet to Latino families living in the US. He is very dedicated to improving lives in Mexico.
In 1968, Gordon Moore co-founded Intel, and since then has been extremely interested in philanthropy. He retired from the corporate world in 2006, and now he currently runs the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation alongside his wife. Their aim is to make an impact in environmental conservation, and patient care in the San Francisco community. He has donated to many causes including the Marine Conservation Initiative and the Thirty Meter Telescope.
Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi
This dude has a net worth of nearly $600 million. In 1957 he co-founded Al Rajhi Bank with his three brothers and it then grew into one of the world’s largest Islamic banks. In 2013, he created a holdings company that donates towards educational, religious, health, and social causes, including the Arab Institute for Arabic Language.
Charles Francis Feeney
His nickname the “James Bond of philanthropy,” comes from the fact that retail magnate Chuck Feeney wants to give away his entire fortune.His foundation supports education, science, healthcare, and civil-rights endeavors throughout several countries, including Vietnam, and Bermuda.
Azim Premji is the founder and chairman of the Azim Premji Foundation, which works hard in order to make significant changes to India’s school and examination systems. The organization has already introduced initiatives such as the Computer Aided Learning program, which provides computer training in 18 languages, and Azim Premji University, a nonprofit university that awards degrees in teacher training.
George Soros, the retired founder of Soros Fund Management, currently works tirelessly as the chairman of the Open Society Foundations, which he started in 1979, which primarily donates to international causes, community development, social services, health, and education.
The chairman and CEO of holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett is one of the most charitable people in the world. In 2006, Buffett promised to donate 85% of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His net worth is $61 billion
The co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates now mostly focuses on philanthropy and running the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his loving wife. The foundation generously issues grants for initiatives and programs worldwide, focusing most of its efforts and donations towards agricultural development, emergency relief, global libraries, poverty, global health, and education. The foundation has donated millions to organizations such as the World Health Organization; The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; and UNICEF.