12 Most Philanthropic People and Their Good Deeds

The most philanthropic people in the world are a combination of some of the world’s richest investors, social media entrepreneurs, technology and computer experts, and others. They’re billionaires and multi-millionaires giving away hundreds of thousands every year to charity organizations, churches, and initiatives, fostering good and positivity.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to be wealthy to be philanthropic. Anybody can make meaningful contributions to society by giving to nonprofits or local churches. Your donation to the United Church of Canada will empower the lives of many others in needs.

Below is a list of the 12 most philanthropic people. Let’s learn from the good deeds of these role models.

1. MacKenzie Scott

MacKenzie Scott has contributed nearly $6 billion of her fortune to more than 500 different organizations and initiatives worldwide in the past few years. After finalizing her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019, her philanthropy has gone above and beyond, contributing more in a single year than the next five biggest philanthropists in the United States have in their lifetimes.

2. Michael & Susan Dell

Through the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, this power couple has contributed significantly to COVID-19 relief needs, poverty alleviation, and education. More than $2 billion of their fortune has supported healthcare and education through non-profits and small businesses across the United States. This has come from Michael’s involvement as founder and CEO of Dell Technologies.

3. Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg is a former New York City mayor and the co-founder of Bloomberg. He’s donated more than $11 billion to organizations focused on climate change and public health, helping to fight tobacco organizations, assisting with COVID-19-related research, feeding the poor, and offering scholarships for post-secondary. He continues every year to divert portions of his wealth to charity.

4. Bill Gates & Melinda Gates

Although Bill and Melinda Gates divorced in spring 2021, they’re responsible for donating billions to health and poverty alleviation throughout their lifetime. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation generates roughly $5 billion annually in grants. Most recently, a portion of that went towards research, treatment, testing, and vaccine production for COVID-19 during the pandemic.

5. Mark Zuckerberg & Priscilla Chan

The founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are dedicated to philanthropy with regular donations to causes in the science, education, criminal justice, and election integrity fields. With a net worth of $90 billion, thus far, they’ve donated nearly $3 billion through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), first established in 2020. CZI has helped COVID-19 relief efforts and donated to several nonpartisan organizations prioritizing election integrity.

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6. Gordon & Betty Moore

Another couple on this list is Gordon and Betty Moore. Gordon Moore is the co-founder and CEO of Intel. They launched a charity foundation with his wife, donating over $5 billion to science, environmental causes, and education. The environmental conservation work is particularly noteworthy, supporting biodiversity worldwide.

7. George Soros

George Soros has a highly controversial reputation in political circles. However, he has donated more than $16 billion of his wealth to charitable causes, ranging from promoting democracy to education, anti-discrimination, and healthcare. His Open Society Foundations operate in nearly every country worldwide and are highly politicized, as are his chosen philanthropy categories. There’s no question that George Soros makes any list of the most philanthropic people.

8. Lynn & Stacy Schusterman

The family of the late Charles Schusterman, the founder of an oil and gas investment company, has donated over $1.8 billion to education and Jewish causes. They’ve invested in Feeding America, working with food banks, the LISC to help investments in low-income and underserved communities in the United States, and the non-profit GiveDirectly to help families in need with grants and financial support throughout the pandemic.

9. Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is the world’s most successful modern investor. He’s committed to donating 99% of this fortune to charitable causes, focusing most on health and poverty. With a current net worth of $88.8 billion, Buffett has already given over $42 billion. He’s advocating for the world’s billionaires to donate more of their fortunes to charity, using himself as an example.

10. Eli & Edythe Broad

Eli Broad made his billion-dollar fortune in home building and insurance. Today, he is retired, and with his wife, the Broads use this fortune to donate to various causes in the education, arts, and science categories. Through the Broad Institute, Broad Foundation, and Broad Art Foundation, they support various initiatives in the areas above, predominantly in the Los Angeles area.

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11. Charles Feeney

Charles Feeney is perhaps the most impressive philanthropist on this list, having given away the entirety of his fortune. Feeney’s co-founder of the retail chain Duty-Free Shoppers began anonymously giving away parts of his fortune but then went public, donating to science, human rights, and youth charities worldwide. In the fall of 2020, he gave away his remaining assets, which equate to lifetime philanthropic contributions of $8 billion, bringing his bank account down to zero.

12. Jim & Marilyn Simons

Jim Simons founded Renaissance Technologies in 1982, a quantitative trading hedge fund. With a net worth exceeding $23 billion, Jim and Marilyn Simons donated primarily to STEM research after establishing the Simons Foundation in 1994. They are the main sponsor of Maths for Science and a non-profit focused on training high school math and science teachers. They also support the Autism Research Institute.