Sign up FAST! Login

Gifts Surge From the Wealthiest U. S. Donors

Gifts Surge From the Wealthiest U S Donors Philanthropy 50 The Chronicle of Philanthropy Connecting the nonprofit world with news jobs and ideas


America’s most generous donors are ditching the caution that marked so much of their giving as the economy stalled and are roaring back with a bevy of multimillion-dollar contributions to colleges, hospitals, and other causes.

The Chronicle’s ranking of the 50 donors who give the most to charitable causes shows that the wealthy contributed $7.7-billion last year. That’s 4 percent more than in 2012.

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, led the philanthropic pack in 2013 with a nearly $1-billion gift to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, helping to catapult the organization to the ranks of the biggest foundations in the United States.

Stashed in: Silicon Valley!, Zuck!, Philanthropy!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

I had to look up what Silicon Valley Community Foundation does:

Basically, they provide grants to build community in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

Essentially, this philanthropy is designed to improve the areas surrounding the Facebook headquarters.

Read more:

Not sure how I feel about rich individuals making grants to colleges, hospitals, and community foundations, instead of governments.

On the one hand, it's a generous gesture on the part of the wealthy people.

On the other hand, shouldn't these costs be shared among the entire community?

Hm, I think the main problem with your idea is income inequality. You want the burden of maintaining the community be shared, while rich individuals hold the lion share of the money.

Even Silicon Valley engineers, who are notoriously "highly paid" make 6 digits while generating 7 digits revenue per employee. 

Unfortunately, current system is setup to highly benefit very few individuals on top of the pyramid. I'm not advocating income redistribution, but I think the market is not efficient at properly assigning value to the labor of knowledge workers. Typical employee stock pool (all stocks to be shared among all employees) in a startup is usually less then one early cofounder gets.

That's an interesting perspective, that Mark Zuckerberg took a billion dollars from what could have gone to employees, and instead gave it to make the communities of Santa Clara and San Mateo better.

Kinda. With all due respect to Mark, he still holds around 20% of $165bil company, which has about 7000 employees. The company stock doubled last year creating over 80bln in value. I have all the respect to him, for his vision and leadership, but who really created $80bln in value? It seems, the market puts very high premium on the original idea and leadership in comparison to execution experience.

Arguably it was the users who created all that value. They're the ones who clicked on all the ads that brought in all that revenue.

And to your point, Zuck donating a billion dollars actually costs him very little since it is a tiny fraction of his wealth.

You May Also Like: