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21 Americans donated more than $100M each in 2006

21 Americans donated more than $100M each in 2006

21 Americans donated more than $100M each in 2006
February 27, 2007

Elite-level philanthropy hit record in 2006, with 21 individual donations exceeding $100 million in the United States, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which compiles a yearly list of the most generous givers. In total the 21 donors pledged some $48.5 billion to charitable causes.

Leading the way was Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett who pledged to give away stock worth $43.5 billion to several groups, including more than $30 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2006 Buffet paid out $1.9 billion of his pledge.

Following Buffet were Herbert M. and Marion O. Sandler who gave away $1.3 billion of their fortune earned from finance and investments, Bernard A. and Barbro Osher ($723.2 million), Jim Joseph ($500-million bequest), and Hector Guy and Doris Di Stefano ($264-million bequest). New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was number 8 on the list with $165-million in donations (number 9 if you look at the amount pledged but not paid out in 2006).

The number large donations reflects both the rapidly rising wealth among the richest Americans — there are now 371 billionaires in the U.S. — and the current trend for highly visible giving. In recent years, generous donations from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have helped spawn greater interest in high-level charitable giving, reaching the point where “venture philanthorpy” and “social entrepreneurship” panels are seeing standing-room only crowds in places like Silicon Valley. Publicly-traded Google Inc. has pledged millions of dollars towards charitable efforts through its program.

Encouragement has also come from the halls of academia: Jeffrey Sachs, a prominent American economist who is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, has suggested that a tax on the upper echelon of rich Americans could end extreme global poverty.

21 who pledged $100 in 2006 (source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

Rank Donors Amount pledged Amount paid
1 Warren E. Buffett $43,500.00 $1.9-billion
2 Herbert M. and Marion O. Sandler $1,300.00 $1.3-billion
3 Bernard A. and Barbro Osher $723.20 $723.2-million
4 Jim Joseph $500 $500-million
5 Hector Guy and Doris Di Stefano $264 $264-million
6 David Rockefeller $252 $9.5-million
7 Mary Joan Palevsky $212.80 $212.8-million
8 T. Boone Pickens $171.50 $171.5-million
9 Michael R. Bloomberg $165 $165-million
10 Lorry I. Lokey $163 $163-million
11 Robert W. Wilson $147.20 $14.8-million
12 Arthur Zankel $141 $141-million
13 Eli and Edythe L. Broad $137.60 $137.6-million
14 Dan L. Duncan family $115 n/a
15 Joseph Neubauer $114.60 $114.6-million
16 Philip H. Knight $105 n/a
17 Ronald P. Stanton $100 $25,000
18 John Arrillaga $100 $100-million
18 Lawrence J. Ellison $100 $5-million
18 Henry M. and Wendy J. Paulson $100 $100-million
18 Mortimer B. Zuckerman $100 n/a

(source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

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