10 Biggest Charitable Donors of 2014

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Warren Buffet may be “only” the second-richest man in the world behind Microsoft MSFT co-founder, Bill Gates, in 2014. But the 84-year-old tycoon is the only man to have donated more than $1 billion to charity in 2014.

Buffet topped the list of the most generous man in the world in 2014. According to Wealth-X’s, a private consultancy firm, top-ten list of the most generous donations of the year, Buffet is recorded to have donated $2.1 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The donation was in the form of 16.6 million shares of his company, Bekshire Hathaway.

According to Wealth-X, among the top ten donations in 2014, eight were made by American philanthropists, and only one was made by a woman. According to the UK-based charity CAF-America for the World Giving Index, the US is ranked first with Myanmar as the most generous country in the world, according to three kinds of giving category: helping a stranger (No.1), volunteering time (joint No. 5 with Tajikistan), and donating money (No. 9). The US is also the only country to rank in the Top 10 of 20 countries on separate study.

Here’s the top-ten list of the biggest charitable donations for 2014.

1. Warren Buffett

Warren Edward Buffett (born August 30, 1930) is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Buffet is considered to be the best and most successful investor of the twentieth century. He serves as the chairman, CEO, and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway. He is consistently ranked as one of the world’s wealthiest. He was once the wealthiest in the world in 2008. This year, 2015, he is the third-richest man. Warren Buffet was named as one of the world’s most influential people in 2012 Time.

Donation Overview

Chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway
Donation: $2.1 billion (3% of net worth)
Individual donation
Net worth: $66.9 billion
Recipient: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

2. Nicholas Woodman

The founder of Woodman Labs (est. 2012), the company responsible in making the GoPro cameras, Nicholas Woodman is one of the wealthiest man in the world. The self-made billionaire’s company now employs more than 500 employees and was able to generate $986 million in 2013. Woodman Labs has just started trading on public markets and currently, Woodman Labs is valued at $2.6 billion.

Woodman is married to his college sweetheart, and they have two children together. The founder of GoPro cameras is also known as an adventurer and adrenaline junkie.

Donation Overview

Founder of camera company GoPro
Donation: $497.5 million (10% of net worth)
Donation with spouse
Net worth: $4.4 billion
Recipient: Silicon Valley Community Foundation

3. Ronnie Chan

Ronnie Chan is the brother of Gerald Chan, is the chairman of the Hang Lung Group. Mr. Chan joined the group in 1972 and became its chairman in 1991. Aside from serving as chairman of Hang Lung Properties Limited, the group’s major publicly listed subsidiary, Mr. Chan is also the chairman of the executive committee of One Country Two Systems Research Institute, vice president of The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong, co-chair of the Board of Asia Society, and chairman of its Hong Kong Center, and acts as an adviser to China Development Research Foundation in Beijing. He also sits on the governing or bodies of several think-tanks and universities, including Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and University of Southern California, USA, where he received his MBA.

Donation Overview

Hong Kong real estate developer
Donation: $175 million (10% of net worth)
Individual donation
Net worth: $1.5 billion
Recipient: Harvard University

4. Gerald Chan

Gerald Chan, the brother of Ronnie Chan, has been the group’s director since 1986. He is a co-founder of Morningside and has been active in venture capital and private equity investments since 1987. Just like his brother, he also serves on the advisory boards of numerous universities including the University of California, Los Angeles, Harvard University, Fudan University, and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and he is also the chair of Overseers Committee of Morningside College. He completed his undergraduate training in engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his doctor of science degree from Harvard University.

Donation Overview

Hong Kong investor and developer
Donation: $175 million (12% of net worth)
Individual donation
Net worth: $1.3 billion
Recipient: Harvard University





5. Kenneth Griffin

Kenneth C. Griffin (born October 15, 1968, Daytona Beach, Florida) is an American hedge fund manager. He founded Citadel, global investment firm, and serves as its CEO. The Citadel is considered as one of the largest alternative investment management firms in the world. As of March 2015, Citadel has an estimated investment capital of $25 billion. Citadel’s hedge funds rank as the most successful and largest hedge funds in the world. Griffin was ranked by Forbes as 2012’s highest-earning hedge fund managers as well as one of Forbes 400. As of May 2015, he has an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion.

Griffin made a $150 million donation to Harvard University’s, his alma mater, financial aid program in the beginning of 2014. His donation was the largest single donation ever made to the institution at the time. His donations to various causes and organizations have totaled about $500 million.

Donation Overview

Hedge fund manager
Donation: $150 million (3% of net worth)
Individual donation
Net worth: $5.5 billion
Recipient: Harvard University

6. Gert Boyle

Gertrude “Gert” Boyle (born March 6, 1924) is a German-born American businesswoman in the state of Oregon. During WWII, her family fled Nazi Germany; and after settling in Oregon, her father started Columbia Sportswear. Gert would later became president of the company. As of 2013, she is the chairperson of the company, while also working as a philanthropist and memoirist. Her father served as the company’s president until his death in 1964. Her husband, Neal Boyle, became the next president and diversified the hat business into outwear for hunters, fishermen, and skiers.

Gert Boyle designed the first fishing vest of the company in 1960. The company’s name was changed to Columbia Sportswear. When her husband died in 1970 at only 47, Gert became the company’s president. Columbia Sportswear then had $800,000 in annual sales. During the 1970s, the company struggled and was hovering on bankruptcy. She and her son Timothy refocused the business on outdoor clothing and casual wear and trended away from formal work attire. The sportswear line was the first company to introduce Gore-Tex parkas in 1975.

Donation Overview

Chairperson of Columbia Sportswear
Donation: $100 million (16% of net worth)
Individual donation
Net worth: $540 million
Recipient: Oregon Health & Science University

7. John Morgridge

John P. Morgridge (born 1933) is an American businessman who was the chairman of the board of Cisco Systems. John worked for Stratus Computer and Honeywell Information Systems after graduating. He then served as president and COO of GRiD Systems. He joined Cisco in 1988 when the company was still four year old and had only thirty-four employees. During that time, he served as Cisco’s second chief executive officer and chairman of the board. In 1995, he replaced John Chambers as CEO and as chairman in 2006. Cisco had 50,000 employees in seventy-seven countries by the time he retired in 2006.

Donation Overview

Former CEO and chairman of Cisco Systems
Donation: $100 million (6% of net worth)
Donation with spouse
Net worth: $1.5 billion
Recipient: University of Wisconsin-Madison

8. John “Jay” Jordan

Jay Jordan co-founded TJC in 1982. He is the co-CEO and managing partner of the firm and chairman of the Management Committee. Before Jordan founded TJC, he worked for nine years at Carl Marks & Co. Inc., a middle-market merchant bank. Today, he serves on the board of directors of Gulfstream Services Inc., Heritage Food Service Group Inc., Sensus and Worldwide Clinical Trials Inc.

Mr. Jordan is also a trustee of the University of Notre Dame and serves as chairman of its Investment and Finance Committee. Mr. Jordan also serves on the boards of the Lyric Opera and Art Institute of Chicago, as well as many other community boards. Mr. Jordan is a holder of an AB degree in business administration holder from the University of Notre Dame. He finished his graduate studies at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.

Donation Overview

Private equity investor
Donation: $75 million (21% of net worth)
Individual donation
Net worth: $290 million
Recipient: University of Notre Dame

9. Edward Meyer

Anthony Edward Meyer (born June 29, 1961) is an entrepreneur, private investor, and philanthropist. Meyer, alongside his father, Edward H. Meyer, retired chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Grey Global Group, also manages a family-run investment management company.

Donation Overview

Former CEO and chairman of Grey Global Group
Donation: $75 million (9% of net worth)
Donation with spouse
Net worth: $740 million
Recipient: Weill Cornell Medical College





10. Charles Munger

Charles Thomas Munger (born January 1, 1924) is an American business magnate, lawyer, investor, and philanthropist. Mr. Munger is the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Corporation. The corporation is the diversified investment corporation that is chaired by Warren Buffet. Buffet describes him as “my partner.”

From 1984 to 2011, Munger was the chairman of Wesco Financial Corporation, which was 80% owned by Berkshire-Hathaway during that time. Munger also serves as the Los Angeles-based Daily Journal Corporation’s chairman and the Costco Wholesale Corporation’s director.

Donation Overview

Vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway
Donation: $65 million (6% of net worth)
Individual donation
Net worth: $1.1 billion
Recipient: University of California Santa Barbara


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