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The World’s Top Philanthropists: Who are they and what have they donated to good causes?

We often think of the world’s super rich as being shrewd, business-focused and in some cases greedy, but in reality many who have become billionaires feel that they need to do good with their wealth, and donate millions to charity or set up foundations that invest in good causes. Taking inspiration from this infographic, we […]

We often think of the world’s super rich as being shrewd, business-focused and in some cases greedy, but in reality many who have become billionaires feel that they need to do good with their wealth, and donate millions to charity or set up foundations that invest in good causes. Taking inspiration from this infographic, we take a look at some of the top spenders.

Henry Hillman

Henry Hillman donated more than $850m to charity in his lifetime, which is a hugely impressive figure alone, but is even more amazing when you consider that his net worth was around $2.6bn, meaning he gave away a huge chunk of his fortune. As an investor and then business leader, Hillman earned his dollars through buying and investing in all manner of companies. Much of Hillman’s charitable work went into his home city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which received money for everything from housing charities to university departments, to public libraries.

Michael and Susan Dell

Founder of the tech giant Dell, Michael Dell is one of the world’s richest men, and together with his wife he set up the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to charity over the years. The foundation’s main focus has been on helping children and building community. In addition to the Foundation, Dell has donated money to other separate causes, including disaster relief following Hurricane Harvey. Total donations exceed $1bn.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

Facebook has grown to be one of the most used websites on the internet, and with that came huge fortunes for founder Mark Zuckerberg. The youngest ever self made billionaire, his net worth exceeds $70bn, and together with his wife Priscilla Chan, he has donated more than $2bn to charity over the years. What’s more is that the pair have pledged to give away 99% of their fortunes over their lifetime.

Warren Buffet

Arguably the most successful investor of all time, Warren Buffet made his billions by investing in all manner of sources, through the vessel of the now famous Berkshire Hathaway holding group. Often through his life the richest man in the world, he’s given almost $3bn to charity so far, and has promised through The Giving Pledge to give up almost all of his fortune to charitable causes, primarily through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Bill and Melinda Gates

Formerly the richest man in the world Bill Gates and his wife are unquestionably the biggest charitable spenders in the world, thanks in no small part to the vast fortunes afforded to the couple by tech giant Microsoft. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alone has more than $38bn in assets, and it invests into all sorts of good causes. In terms of charitable donations, the couple have given away nearly $5bn, and have pledged to give away at least half of their wealth in accordance with The Giving Pledge.

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