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Bill Gates made the biggest charitable donation of 2022

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The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual list of the top 10 charitable donations announced by individuals or their foundations totaled nearly $9.3 billion in 2022. Contributions went to large, well-established institutions, three of them private foundations and three universities to support the environmental sustainability, mental health and stem cell research. Other donations supported cancer research and treatment, housing efforts, youth programs and reproductive health.

Two of the donations exceeded $1 billion and six of the eight donors (one donor made three donations) are multi-billionaires. The combined net worth of these six donors is just over $325 billion.

At the top of the list is Bill Gates, who donated $5 billion to the bill. & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the donor’s work in US global health, development, policy and advocacy, and education. Gates, whose net worth is estimated at $104 billion, attracted attention in July when he announced that he was donating $20 billion to the foundation he runs with his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates. However, foundation officials confirmed in December that three-quarters of that $20 billion was to pay back the $15 billion he and French Gates had pledged in July 2021. The remaining $5 billion was a new infusion for the foundation.

Ann and John Doerr came in second with a $1.1 billion grant they are giving through their Benificus Foundation to Stanford University to launch the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, an effort to address climate and sustainability challenges most urgent in the world. The new school will focus on eight areas of study: climate change, Earth and planetary sciences, energy technology, sustainable cities, natural environment, food and water security, human society and behavior, and human health and environment.

The new school will house several academic departments and interdisciplinary institutes. It will also house a “sustainability accelerator” that, among other efforts, will provide grants to researchers and others to develop new technologies in environmental sustainability and related areas, promote new policies and support partnerships.

John Doerr is a venture capitalist who made his mark and much of his fortune as an early backer of Silicon Valley tech giants such as Sun Microsystems, Amazon and Google. Today he serves as chairman of investment firm Kleiner Perkins, and his net worth is just over $9 billion.

In third place are Jackie and Mike Bezos, mother and stepfather of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The couple gave the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center $710.5 million to build 36 research labs and an additional large research facility. The grant will also support the cancer center’s clinical trials and immunotherapy research over the next 10 years.

The couple have been fairly low-key philanthropists until recently. However, Jackie Bezos has been closely involved in several non-profit projects over the years. She created the Bezos Scholars Program at the Aspen Institute, the Aspen Challenge, and Students Rebuild, all educational programs for various age groups. Mike Bezos spent 32 years working as an engineer and manager at oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil before retiring and turning his attention to the couple’s giving.

Gifts from the Doerrs and Bezos were followed by one from Warren Buffett. The 92-year-old revered investor donated stock valued at nearly $474.3 million to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, an endowment Warren Buffett established in 1964 to manage the family’s charitable giving, which was later renamed for his first wife. , who died in 2004. The foundation supports women’s reproductive health and offers scholarships to students in Nebraska, where the foundation is located.

A representative for Buffett confirmed that the gift was a special one-time contribution that Buffett decided to make at the end of November, rather than one of the annual donations he makes to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and several other donors, which are multibillion-dollar payments pledges he announced. in 2006.

The late Ruth DeYoung Kohler II comes fifth on the list. The Kohler Company heiress, who died in 2020 at age 79, left a $440 million legacy to launch the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, a Milwaukee-based grantmaker dedicated to supporting visual and performing arts groups across the country. It plans to grant about $20 million a year. Kohler was an avid supporter of the arts and directed the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin from 1972 to 2016.

Kohler II is followed by MacKenzie Scott, novelist and co-founder of Amazon, who donated $436 million to Habitat for Humanity International. The gift was unrestricted, as has been the case with most of Scott’s donations. When Habitat for Humanity officials announced the donation in March, they said they planned to use the money to address the global housing crisis and advocate for system-wide changes to increase fair access to low-cost housing for all.

Two additional gifts from Scott – $281 million to boys & Girls Clubs of America and $275 million to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America – also made the list.

Chronicle’s annual rankings are based on the top 10 publicly announced gifts. The count does not include artwork contributions or gifts from anonymous donors. In February, the Chronicle will release its annual ranking of the top 50 donors, a list based on total individual contributions in 2022 rather than individual donations.


This article was provided to the Associated Press by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Maria Di Mento is a senior reporter for the Chronicle. Email: The AP and Chronicle receive support from the Lilly Endowment for coverage of philanthropy and non-profit organizations. AP and Chronicle are solely responsible for all content. For all of AP’s philanthropic coverage, visit