10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity

These successful business owners shared their fortunes for the greater good.
10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity
Image credit: Scott Halleran | Getty Images
Entrepreneur Staff
Director of the Entrepreneur Partner Studio
3 min read

As debate heats up on Capitol Hill about whether to tax our top earners at a significantly higher rate, one detail seems missing from the conversation: How successful business owners often use their fortunes for the greater good.

While not every not every jet-setting, millionaire or billionaire entrepreneur feels the philanthropic impulse, many do, as reported today by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. The publication released its annual Philanthropy 50 list, which highlights the people who gave the most to charity. Last year, the individuals on their list contributed nearly $8 billion to charities.

Yes, that’s billion, with a B.

We combed through the list to find which business owners ponied up the most. Here’s a look at the top 10, in reverse order.

10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity

10. Craig Newmark

10. Craig Newmark
Image credit: Bryan Bedder | Getty Images

2018 total donated: $143.8 million

Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, also created the Craig Newmark Foundation and Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund. His various grants and monetary donations in large part benefit advancements in the field of journalism.

10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity

9. Jay Alix

9. Jay Alix
Image credit: AlixPartners

2018 total donated: $200 million

Founder of AlixPartners, a New York City-based investment group, “turnaround expert” Jay Alix’s biggest charitable investment last year was to the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine for endowment which backs scholarships and a professorship.

10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity

8. John and Laura Arnold

8. John and Laura Arnold
Image credit: Arnold Ventures

2018 total donated: $204.3 million

John Arnold is a billionaire and former hedge fund manager who co-founded Centaurus Advisors in the early 2000s. He and his wife Laura gave the most last year ($129.2 million) to the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. That money was earmarked to support efforts including pretrial criminal-justice overhaul and lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity

7. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

7. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan
Image credit: Adam Berry | Getty Images

2018 total donated: $213,598,215

Despite facing significant controversy at his company last year, the Facebook founder and his wife funneled a significant amount of money into the Chan Zuckerberg Donor Advised Fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The money is expected to support efforts associated with education, health care, and other causes, The Chronicle of Philanthropy says.

10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity

6. Paul Allen

6. Paul Allen
Image credit: Kim Kulish | Getty Images

2018 total donated: $261,432,500

Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, died last October. Following many years of philanthropic giving, his financial donations last year spanned many causes, among them the Allen Institute for Immunology, a new organization focused on learning more about how the human immune system works.

10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity

5. Steve and Connie Ballmer

5. Steve and Connie Ballmer
Image credit: Scott Halleran | Getty Images

2018 total donated: $295 million

Owner of the L.A. Clippers and former CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer and his wife helped support economic mobility programs and other causes—all via the Ballmer Group Donor Advised Fund at Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund.

10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity

4. Stephen Schwarzman

4. Stephen Schwarzman
Image credit: Jemal Countess | Getty Images

2018 total donated: $390 million

Stephen Schwarzman is co-founder of the Blackstone Group. Last year, his biggest monetary gift went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “ensuring new technologies are harnessed for the betterment of society and the economy,” The Chronicle of Philanthropy says.

10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity

3. Pierre and Pam Omidyar

3. Pierre and Pam Omidyar
Image credit: Dario Cantatore | Getty Images

2018 total donated: $392 million

Pierre Omidyar (founder of eBay) and his wife Pam donated to various non-profits they are associated with, including the Omidyar Network, Democracy Fund, First Look Media, Luminate, HopeLab, and Humanity United.

10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity

2. Michael Bloomberg

2. Michael Bloomberg
Image credit: Scott Eisen | Getty Images

2018 total donated: $767 million

Whether he runs for president in 2020 remains to be seen. What is known is that this entrepreneur and former New York City mayor donated a ton of money last year to numerous programs focused on issues related to the arts, education, the environment, public-health, and improving city governments.

10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity

1. Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos

1. Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos
Image credit: Picture Alliance | Getty Images

2018 total donated: $2 billion

Before making headlines this year for their forthcoming divorce and a feud with the owner of the National Enquirer, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos offered up this whopping sum to create the Day One Fund last year, an organization that’s charged with helping financially struggling families.

  • 10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs Who Give the Most to Charity
  • 10. Craig Newmark
  • 9. Jay Alix
  • 8. John and Laura Arnold
  • 7. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan
  • 6. Paul Allen
  • 5. Steve and Connie Ballmer
  • 4. Stephen Schwarzman
  • 3. Pierre and Pam Omidyar
  • 2. Michael Bloomberg
  • 1. Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos
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