Nike founders and Twitter co-founder also made the list of the top five philanthropists
As the world struggled with pandemic coronavirus, recession, and racial injustice, the super-rich donated record amounts to a variety of causes: philanthropists made multimillion-dollar gifts to charity dining halls, colleges, and universities that are historically considered African American, and organizations caring for poor and homeless people. That’s the data in the Chronicle of Philanthropy magazine’s annual ranking of the top 50 American philanthropists, the Associated Press reported.
Another popular area for philanthropists was the fight against climate change. Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, who donated $10 billion last year to establish the Environmental Earth Foundation, topped the list of major philanthropists. Bezos, who last week announced he was stepping down as Amazon’s CEO to focus more on charitable and other projects, also donated $100 million to Feeding America, which provides food to more than two hundred free food distribution sites.
Second on the list is Mackenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife: she donated a total of $5.7 billion in 2020 to 512 organizations, including food, humanitarian and charitable foundations.
In third place on the list of major philanthropists is Michael Bloomberg, who has donated $1.6 billion to the arts, education, health care, and other causes. In the fourth position are Nike founders Phil and Penelope Knight, who has donated $1.4 billion to a variety of causes, including the Knight Foundation, which they established.
Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, was also in the top five largest donors who have made large donations to fight pandemics and racial inequality. Dorsey donated $1.1 billion to the foundation, which by the end of 2020 had distributed at least $330 million to more than a hundred nonprofits.
In total, the top 50 funders donated $24.7 billion to a variety of causes last year, far more than the $15.8 billion philanthropists spent in 2019.