Back to News

Bezos and Bloomberg Top the 50 Biggest Philanthropists List

February 14, 2019 - By By Fang Block of Penta

This is an excerpt from an article in Barron’s Penta by Fang Block. To read the full article, click here.

After a peak in mega-donations in 2017, the top 50 U.S. philanthropists pulled back their contributions significantly last year, as some of them are concerned about what the future holds in the economy.

Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg claimed the two top spots on an annual list of the biggest philanthropists in the U.S. published Tuesday, contributing $2 billion and $767 million, respectively, in 2018.

Large donors like Bill Gates made billions of dollars worth of donations in 2017, “which tipped the scales,” says Melissa Berman, president and CEO at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which advises on and manages more than $200 million in annual giving.

Bill and Melinda Gates, who ranked 11th in 2018 with a contribution of $138 million to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, gave a whopping $4.78 billion in 2017.

An interesting trend in last year’s most important philanthropic giving was a shift toward artificial intelligence. At Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, there is increasing interest in how artificial intelligence and big data can help solve social problems, Berman says. The foundation has partnered with MasterCard Corp. to use AI to address problems in global development.

Read the full article here.

Back to News