Not only is he famous for being the founder and CEO of Facebook, he is also now known as Philanthropist Mark Zuckerberg, who along with his wife Priscilla Chan have been named America’s top philanthropists for 2013 by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
According to The Chronicle, America’s wealthiest people donated $7.7 billion to good causes in 2013, four percent more than in 2012.
Zuckerberg and Chan gave nearly $1 billion to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, lifting it to the ranks of the largest foundations in the country.
Fracking inventor donated to environmental protection
They were followed by George Mitchell, the energy tycoon who died in July last year and left approximately $750 million to his family foundation, which promotes and supports conservation and sustainability.
Mitchell created the fracking technology which today is taking the United States towards energy independence.
The main aim of the family foundation is to make sure fracking does not harm the environment.
Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, and his wife Penelope donated $500 to the Oregon Health & Science University Foundation to advance their cancer research projects. However, the Knights say the Institution will lose the gift if it cannot match it within the next two years.
Older people donate more
Just because the two largest donors in 2013 were aged under 30 does not mean younger people give more. The average age of donors was 72.5, and the majority of them were male.
Twenty-three of the top 50 donors had made their money in finance or investment, 12 in real estate, 6 in technology, and the rest from a mix of other activities or inheritances.
The top ten donors in 2013 were: (source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy):
- Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. Donated $992.2 million.
- George Mitchel. Donated $750 million.
- Philip and Penelope Knight. Donated $500 million.
- Michael Bloomberg. Donated $452 million.
- John and Laura Arnold. Donated $296.2 million.
- Charles Johnson. Donated $250 million.
- Pierre and Pam Omidyar. Donated $225 million.
- Irwin and Joan Jacobs. Donated $221.1 million.
- Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki. Donated $219 million.
- Jeffrey Carlton. Donated $212 million.
Michael Bloomberg has announced a 5-year, $53 million project to help restore fish populations in the Philippines, Chile and Brazil. His foundation is investing $4.6 billion in its Cities of Service program that helps mayors and other non-profit organizations set up volunteer programs.
The Chronicle quoted Patricia Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies, who said “He has realized that cities are where it’s happening. He can make a difference at the local level.”