Research Outline

Billionaire Charity


To obtain a list of the top 10 most philanthropic billionaires in the world in order to discover how they balance building wealth with helping others.

Early Findings

Warren Buffett

  • Warren Buffett is the world's top philanthropist. He has given $46.6 billion, about 55% of his net worth.
  • Charities he has supported include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Susan Thomas Buffett Foundation, the Sherwood Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and the Novo Foundation.

Bill and Melinda Gates

  • The Gates have given about $41 billion to charity. This is approximately 43% of their net worth.
  • Through the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the couple has given to causes helping to eradicate polio, treat and prevent HIV and malaria, and for agricultural development.

Michael Bloomberg

  • Michael Bloomberg has donated $6 billion to charity. This is approximately 13% of his net worth.
  • Bloomberg has given major donations to fund climate change initiatives and to combat the opioid crisis.

Phil Knight & Family

  • Phil Knight and Family has donated $2.90 billion to charity. This is approximately 9.14% of their net worth.
  • The Knights have donated to the University of Oregon, Stanford University, and Oregon Health & Science University's Knight Cancer Institute.

Michael Dell

  • Michael Dell has donated about $2 billion to charity. This is approximately 7.49% of his net worth.
  • Through their foundation, Dell and his wife Susan have supported causes focusing on child poverty and creating opportunities for low-income students.

Carlos Slim Helú & Family

  • Carlos Slim Helu and family have donated around $4 billion. This is about 6.75% of their net worth.
  • The Helu family primarily supports health, education, and arts causes funded through their Fundacion Carlos Slim.

Ma Huateng

  • Ma Hauteng of China has donated about $2 billion. This is about 6% of his net worth.
  • Hauteng gives to charities focused on medical, educational, and environmental causes in China through his Ma Huateng Global Foundation.

Li Ka-Shing

  • Li Ka-Shing of Hong Kong has donated $1.80 billion to charity. This is about 5.94% of his net worth.
  • His Li Ka-Shing Foundation focuses on healthcare and education and supports hospitals, schools, and universities around the world.

He Xiangjian

  • He Xiangjian of China has donated around $1.10 billion. This is 5.53% of his net worth.
  • In 2017, Xiangjian announced an $889 million charity plan which included establishing a trust that would support "poverty alleviation, education, health care, elderly-care services, entrepreneurship, and culture."

Sergey Brin

  • Sergey Brin of the United States has donated $2.20 billion. This is about 4.56% of his net worth.
  • Brin has donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

The Giving Pledge

  • The Giving Pledge is an initiative created by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates to encourge the world's wealthies individuals and families to give to charity.
  • Over 204 of the richest people in the world have signed the pledge.