The 25 Most Philanthropic Billionaires

Ian Mitchell King

February 2, 2023

The Benefits of Service Learning

Despite the stock market’s downturn, America’s wealthiest givers continue to donate. According to Forbes, this year, they pumped $27 billion into charitable causes, up from $20 billion in 2021. Seventeen of the list’s philanthropic billionaires have signed on to the Giving Pledge, promising to donate half their fortunes within their lifetimes or upon their deaths.

Jeff Bezos

Aside from founding Amazon, Jeff Bezos has also made many contributions to the community. From revitalizing the Washington Post to donating $2bn to charity, he has significantly impacted the world.

Bezos is a leader who prioritizes the long term. That’s why he has invested in space exploration, which he believes will benefit humanity. He’s also founded a space venture called Blue Origin, developing a reusable rocket system for future spaceflights.

Bill & Melinda Gates

Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have made a name for themselves as philanthropic businesspeople. Together, they’re co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world’s largest private philanthropic institutions.

As a tech-savvy businesswoman, Gates is an advocate for women’s equality. She also runs Pivotal Ventures, which invests in and incubates startups that address pay inequality or support women founders.

George Soros

George Soros is an incredibly generous philanthropist who has spent his fortune to support the causes he believes in. He has given away more than $32 billion over the past 34 years to his Open Society Foundations, which focus on building vibrant and inclusive democracies worldwide.

Mark Zuckerberg & Priscilla Chan

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are known for their generous contributions to the community. They have given hundreds of millions to charity and have impacted the world at a young age.

The couple launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) in 2015, using philanthropy and technology to combat disease and improve education. The organization aims to help prevent, cure, or manage all diseases in the next century.

Irwin Jacobs

A philanthropist in the best sense of the word, Irwin Jacobs has given away his fortune to benefit causes that include educating young people and the arts. He and his wife, Joan, have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations, including the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla and the San Diego Symphony.

A founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm, he pioneered the commercialization of CDMA wireless technology that revolutionized cellular communications. Today, Qualcomm is the world’s largest supplier of digital wireless technologies and equipment.

George Soros

George Soros is a philanthropist, investor, and activist who has outsized the world. He has helped build open societies in more than 100 countries, where governments are accountable to their citizens and rights are respected.

He has donated more than $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations, which promote freedom of expression, accountability of government, and societies that are inclusive, equal, and free from monopoly power.

Paul Allen

Allen significantly impacted the community with his leadership and selfless contributions. He devoted his wealth to various causes, including ocean health, homelessness, and advancing science.

To help stop elephant poaching, he even made a financial contribution.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates has made a name for himself as one of the most influential philanthropic leaders in the world. He and his wife, Melinda French, have donated billions to improve healthcare, fight AIDS, and provide scholarships.

Gates is a transformational leader who believes that employees should be able to contribute their ideas and work towards the success of the company. This is a concept that Gates used to significant effect at Microsoft, putting his employees in the spotlight and making them feel valued.

George Soros

George Soros, who started his philanthropy in 1979 and is now one of the world’s wealthiest men, has supported efforts to build vibrant democracies with accountable governments that embrace freedom of expression.

Soros philanthropic network includes the Open Society Foundations and the Foundation to Promote Open Society, which fund numerous left-of-center advocacy organizations. He also runs an Institute for New Economic Thinking to promote his unorthodox left-progressive economic policy viewpoints.