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Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet: The most charitable billionaires according to Forbes

·3-min read
Photo collage of Jeff Bezos, McKenzie Scott, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates.
MacKenzie Scott has donated more in two years than Jeff Bezos has in a lifetime. (Source: Getty)

The world's richest have added more to their wealth in the past couple of years despite the pandemic but the good news is that their donations to charity have also increased.

The Forbes 25 Most Philanthropic Billionaires list has just been released, and not surprisingly, Warren Buffet emerged the biggest philanthropist of all time, staying true to his pursuit of giving away more than 99 per cent of his fortune.Not surprisingly, Warren Buffet emerged the biggest philanthropist of all time, staying true to his pursuit of giving away more than 99 per cent of his fortune.

He has donated a total of US$46 billion ($63.58 billion) - about $2.7 billion to $4.1 billion a year - worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock to the foundation of Bill and Melinda French Gates.

The foundation has used these funds to undertake poverty and healthcare initiatives in developing countries and education in the US.

Close on the heels of Buffet, Jeff Bezos' ex-wife MacKenzie Scott donated US$5.8 billion ($8 billion) to 500 different groups across the United States in 2020.

In June 2021, Scott announced another US$2.7 billion ($3.7 billion) in gifts to 286 'high-impact' groups, such as the Children’s Defense Fund and the National Council of Nonprofits - driving her estimated lifetime donations to more than $8.6 billion.

Following in the footsteps of his ex-wife - but nowhere near as charitable - Bezos announced US$1 billion ($1.38 billion) in gifts in 2021 after stepping down as Amazon’s CEO in July.

Bezos, who's net worth is an estimated US$184.8 billion ($255 billion), has been donating for the betterment of the environment, education, and homelessness. His lifetime giving amounts to US$2.1 billion ($2.90 billion).

Scott, who has donated more in two years than her ex-husband Bezos has in a lifetime, has been giving her wealth away faster than any billionaire ever.

While Bill and Melinda Gates ended their 27-year marriage last year, they are still partners in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through which they carry out all their philanthropic giving.

The former couple’s combined donations amounted to $5.8 billion ($8 billion) in grants in 2020, including spending on research and vaccines for COVID-19. This amount is not inclusive of Buffet's donations.

Melinda has also independently given away some of her wealth via Pivotal Ventures, her investment and incubation company.

A total of US$169 billion ($233 billion) over the course of their lifetimes has been donated by the 25 biggest givers in the US, according to Forbes’ estimates.

Here's a look at the top 5 donors and how much they've given away:

5. MacKenzie Scott

Net worth: US$53.5 billion ($73.95 billion)

Wealth source: Amazon

Charity for: Racial, gender and economic inequality

Lifetime giving: US$8.56 billion ($11.90 billion; $8billion+$3.7 billion)

4.Michael Bloomberg

Net worth: US$70 billion ($96.75 billion)

Wealth source: Bloomberg LP

Charity for: Climate change, health

Lifetime giving: $12.7 billion (17.55)

3. George Soros

Net worth: US $8.6 billion ($11.89 billion)

Wealth source: Hedge funds

Charity for: Democracy, education, antidiscrimination, health care

Lifetime giving: US$18.1 billion ($25.02 billion)

2. Bill Gates & Melinda French Gates

Net worth: US$133.3 billion, US$6.1 billion ($184.25, $8.43 billion)

Wealth source: Microsoft

Charity for: Health, poverty alleviation

Lifetime giving: US$33.4 billion ($46.17 billion)

1. Warren Buffett

Net worth: US$115.6 billion ($159.78 billion)

Wealth source: Berkshire Hathaway

Charity for: Health, poverty alleviation

Lifetime giving: US$46.1 billion ($63.72 billion)

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