As 2015 winds down to a close, Clarity Finances would like to list the most generous individuals, nations, and organizations. In no particular order, here are those who gave the most whether it be financially, philanthropically, or simply for the greater good.
Bill Gates – Most of us are familiar with the story of Bill Gates. Along with Paul Allen, Gates founded Microsoft and to make a long story short, thanks to his efforts computers are ubiquitous. In recent years, Gates has made waves through another partnership, this one with his wife Melinda running The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation addresses a myriad of causes from Agricultural Development to issues in Gates’ home state of Washington. According to a cNet article from 2014, over the course of their lifetimes, “Melinda and Bill gates have donated $30.2 billion or about 37 percent of their net worth.”
Warren Buffett – Buffett has made a reputation for philanthropy along with his strong business acumen. In 2006, Buffet made the largest charitable contribution by an individual, $37 billion, to the aforementioned Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to Look to the Stars a celebrity charity news website. Buffett is one of the founders of The Giving Pledge, which was founded to establish that the ultra-wealthy like himself and others give away much of their fortunes. Other members of The Giving Pledge include, Bill and Melinda Gates, CNN founder Ted Turner, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and many others.
Mark Zuckerberg – The Facebook founder recently made news when he announced that he and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan would donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares to charitable causes over the course of their lives. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was set up to manage the donations.
Taylor Swift – The world’s biggest pop star is also the most generous when it comes to charitable contributions. According to DoSomething.org, she donated $100,000 to the Nashville Symphony for her 24th birthday. Swift repeatedly ranks near the top of yearly lists of the most generous celebrities.
Countries & Organizations
Myanmar (Burma) & The United States – Philanthropy is not limited to individuals. According to The World Giving Index, Myanmar (Burma) and The U.S. were tied for the most giving nations. This was based on the helping of strangers, donating money to charity, and volunteer work.
UNICEF – The United Nations Children’s Fund is one of the world’s oldest charitable organizations. It provides services such as immunization, education, emergency aid, and much more to children all over the world.
Greenpeace – The world’s foremost environmental action group, Greenpeace is an independent, nonprofit charity that seeks to spread awareness on environmental issues.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières – Started in France in 1971 by a group of doctors and journalists, DWB provides medical humanitarian aid all over the world and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.
IDE Technologies – Israel Desalination Enterprises has developed the world’s largest water desalination plant. With a growing global population and less drinkable water, reverse osmosis desalination will be critical to keeping the world hydrated.
Project Loon – In 2015 going in to 2016, Internet access seems to be becoming a basic human right like shelter and drinking water. Google’s Project Loon will use helium balloons floating in the stratosphere to make the Internet more accessible around the world.
How We Can Give Back
One does not need to be a billionaire or celebrity to give back. All forms of philanthropy help. If after reading this you feel inclined towards doing something philanthropic whether it is large or small, you can donate to the aforementioned organizations or use these websites as well:
Charity Navigator – On Charity Navigator, you can browse among categories ranging from animals, environmental, international and much more.
America’s Charities – Accredited by the Better Business Bureau, you can search this website for causes to support as well as give to their recommended charities such as Junior Achievement and Amnesty International.
Charity Centers – The Charity Centers website provides a simple way to find charities in your local area using your zip code, state or what kind of charity you prefer.