It’s brilliant that successful people sometimes feel an overwhelming need to support and help their fellow man. Most of us are willing to donate and give to charity but here is a list of people who took humanitarianism, selflessness, philanthropy and altruism to another level.
There are some well known money-mongers on this list, some fresh faces and even some people you may never have even heard of, from the American towers of power right down to the Channel Islands. These individuals are winners in our book.
ALTRUISM: Noun. the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others (opposed to egoism.) Antonyms for ALTRUISM: meanness. Synonyms for ALTRUISM: benevolence, humanitarianism, kindness, selflessness, charity, magnanimity, philanthropy, public spirit, social conscience.
An obvious one to start. As the former chief executive and chairman of Microsoft, you would expect Big Bill G to have done well, economically – but not only has he made it big financially, but also philanthropically. In 2000, Gates and his wife Melinda founded their very own charity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose, to globally enhance healthcare and to decrease examples of extreme poverty. Whilst in the USA, they aim to increase educational opportunities and access to information technology. In 2007, Gates donated a huge sum of $28 billion to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – a charity so well funded it has been realised as one of the best philanthropic institutions, globally.
As one of the co-founders of Google, you would expect Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin to have a lot of money lying around, perhaps too much to even know what to do with? Well in 2011, the American couple, Brin and Wojcicki donated $61.9 million to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research which specializes in Medical research (specifically Parkinson’s disease.) Google is one of the most profitable internet organisations in modern day, and as of this year Brin’s total wealth is estimated to be approximately $31.8 billion – this probably won’t be the last we’ll hear of any charity sponsorships in Sergey Brin’s case.
Eric F. Ross donanted vast sums of money to charity. Holocaust survivor, Eric F. Ross donated a total sum of 76.5 million dollars to many different foundations, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – having experienced the Holocaust first hand this must have been a cause with a deep personal interest. Other organisations he sponsored included the American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Saint Barnabas Medical Center Foundation and Golda Och Academy. Eric Ross sadly died in 2010 at the grand age of 99.
As another co-founder of Microsoft, along with Bill Gates, it’s not too shocking to learn that Paul Allen is the 53rd wealthiest person in the world with a total fortune estimated at $15 billion. In 2011, Allen donated a grand total of around $372.6 million to several different charities, including: $7.6 million to the Experience Music Project, $70 million to the Allen Institute for Brain Science (a medical research organisation) and $295 million to the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, a charitable organisation that was established in 1988 split a fraction of Paul Allen’s philanthropic contributions.
As a local Channel Islander, David Kirch is one charity donor we hold closely to our hearts. In 2012, Kirch promised to donate the remainder of his fortune to the older residents of Jersey, those who are aged 70 years or older, by sending them a £100 gift voucher every Christmas! Sir David Kirch has received a knighthood from the Queen and in the Sunday Times Giving List in early 2013, he was named as Britain’s top philanthropist.
From 2010 to now, Mark Zuckerberg was claimed, by Times Magazine, to be one of the most influential people in the world, with a distinction as their ‘person of the year,’ – Zuckerberg is one the five co-founders, chairman and chief executive of Facebook, one of the most popular social networking sites in modern day. His total wealth is estimated at $31.6 billion, so it certainly would come as no surprise to hear he donated a huge sum of $498 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a charity service for the Silicon Valley community in America.
Pamela Bell (photo not available)
Another Jersey dweller, Pam Bell is another individual locals are proud of – in 2013, she was awarded with an OBE for philanthropic and charitable services and actions in both Jersey and the UK. Bell is the Seigneur of Trinity parish and received an OBE, an award similar to a knighthood awarded by the Queen, for her philanthropy, having raised funds for charities that include the NSPCC.
Co-founder and chairman for Intel and the author of the book, ‘Moore’s Law,’ Gordon Moore donated a whopping $6 billion to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a charitable organisation set up with his wife to support causes which relate to the conservation of the environment, medical education and other fields of science. Other notable charitable actions from Gordon Moore and his wife include a total of $800 million to Caltech in donations, and $200 million to the University of California, aiding in the construction of the world’s largest telescope, the 30m Telescope.
Margaret Anne Cargill was an American philanthropist and part heir to the Cargill fortune, one of eight people. Over her life she donated over $200 million, anonymously, to various charitable organisations, including the American Red Cross, the Nature Conservancy, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and the American Swedish Institute. At the time of her death, in 2006, she bequeathed the remainder of her wealth to the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and the Anne Ray Charitable Trust, who would use her fortune for charitable purposes. Her wealth was finally liquidated in 2011, providing a sponsor of $6 billion to both charities.
Bill Gates isn’t the only person to donate a huge sum of money to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Warren Buffett, the chairman, CEO and shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, promised to give away his entire wealth and fortune to charity, with 83% percent going to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett is commonly known as one of the wealthiest people in the world, ranked as the world’s most wealthy person in 2007 and third wealthiest in 2011. However, most recently, he has bequeathed $1.5 billion to Bill Gates’s personalised charity foundation.
Words | Sofia Skiming