Tim Cook – $800 M
Tim Cook recently spoke upon donating away $800 million of his tech earned fortunes after he had paid for his nephew’s education. To who or where he has yet to specify, but his previous public advocacies of human rights, equality, climate change and the prevention of HIV/Aids have been mused upon as an indication. This gives a contrast to the previous Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, who was not known as a philanthropic pioneer. However, like Tim Cook, other wealthy individuals in our world have made it their business to publicly share some of their earnings with charitable causes.
One individual that springs to mind is of course Bill Gates, who together with Warren Buffet created The Giving Pledge foundation in 2010; a foundation that encourages billionaires to give away the majority of their fortune. The pledge itself is a promise, not a legal contract and each individual or family makes their own choice where they will donate their wealth to. The organisation currently has 137 members including Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg.
Bill has donated over $28 billion to philanthropic causes equating to 48% of his net worth that he has built up since 2007. $10 billion he gave towards medical vaccinations with a focus on attempts to eradicate Polio. Another $8 billion he gave towards global health efforts. He has saved an estimated 6 million lives through his donations. Why give away all this money? Bill Gates has stated that he has no need of it and is now working through his foundation on the belief that “all lives have equal value and we should treat people as we would like to be treated.”
Warren Buffet – $2.84 BN
Warren Buffet, the 4th richest person on the Forbes billionaire list, recently made a donation of $2.84 billion into The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and family charities. His pledge to donate his wealth of $37 billion to the Gates Foundation upon his death is the largest in history. Philanthropy has proven to be one of the forefront ideals he holds to. As part of the Gate-Buffet Giving Pledge, Warren Buffet has promised to give at least half of his wealth away over the course of his life.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal – $32 BN
Inspired by the Gates Foundation, the Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has said that he will donate the entirety of his personal wealth of $32 billion to his charitable foundation Alwaleed Philanthropies over the course of his life. The money, he has stated, will go towards gender equality efforts, disaster relief and help to nurture cultural understanding among other causes.
The Sainsbury Family – £203.2 M
One of the largest donations this year has been made by the Sainsbury family, headed by Lord Sainsbury of Turvillee. He was the former chair of the UK supermarket chain and gave away £203.2 million; 40% of the family’s wealth. The sum was distributed across 18 different charities, the largest of which was £25.1 to the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour.