The top fifty donors in the United States gave $14.1 billion to charity in 2022.  Here’s the top ten with the total they gifted (and a major gift highlighted for each donor):

  • Bill Gates, $5.1 billion total, $11.3 million donated to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.
  • Michael Bloomberg, $1.7 billion total, $204 million donated for marine and coastal preservation.
  • Warren Buffett, $759 million total, largest gifts donated to his three children’s foundations (Buffet is age 92).
  • Jacklyn and Miguel Bezos, $710 million total, largest gift to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.  (Jacklyn is the mother of Jeff Bezos)
  • John and Laura Arnold, $617 million total, $10 million for creation and distribution of generic drugs.
  • Ruth DeYoung Kohler, $440 million total, the bulk of her estate was donated to the Ruth Foundation for the Arts.  (Kohler died in 2020)
  • Sergey Brin, $411 million total, $79 million to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
  • Denny Sanford, $333 million total, $150 million to the University of California for stem cell research.
  • Alice Clark, $321 million total, $21 million for engineering scholarships to students from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Harry and Linda Fath, $275 million, $50 million to the Catholic Inner-City Schools Education Foundation

While this giving is inspiring, we should expect much more in the coming years.  More than 140,000 Americans have wealth of more than $50 million, four times more than just a decade ago.  

It’s likely that we’re entering another “golden age of philanthropy” (the original was during the 1870’s to the 1890’s). During that period, in a little over two decades, the number of millionaires in the United States grew from 100 to over 4,000.