Warren Buffet, MacKenzie Scott top Forbes' most charitable list

·3 min read
Photo collage of Jeff Bezos, MacKenzei Scott, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.
Jeff Bezos' ex-wife MacKenzei Scott has been giving away her wealth faster than any billionaire ever. (PHOTO: Getty)

SINGAPORE — In the past couple of years, despite the pandemic, billionaires have added more to their wealth but the good news is that their donations to charity have also shot up.

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.

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

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 to 500 different groups across the United States in 2020.

In June 2021, Scott announced another US$2.7 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 US$8.5 billion.

Following in the footsteps of his ex-wife - but nowhere near as charitable - Bezos announced US$1 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, has been donating for the betterment of the environment, education, and homelessness. His lifetime giving amounts to US$2.1 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 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 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

Wealth source: Amazon

Charity for: Racial, gender and economic inequality

Lifetime giving: US$8.5 billion

4.Michael Bloomberg

Net worth: US$70 billion

Wealth source: Bloomberg LP

Charity for: Climate change, health

Lifetime giving: $12.7 billion

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

2. Bill Gates & Melinda French Gates

Net worth: US$133.3 billion, US$6.1 billion

Wealth source: Microsoft

Charity for: Health, poverty alleviation

Lifetime giving: US$33.4 billion

1. Warren Buffett

Net worth: US$115.6 billion

Wealth source: Berkshire Hathaway

Charity for: Health, poverty alleviation

Lifetime giving: US$46.1 billion

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