Which Tech CEOs are the Most Charitable?

We know that it feels good to give our time and money to others, and there has been a great deal of research on how to give to maximize those feelings.

It stands to reason that if you were able to give more to your fellow man, you would end up more satisfied.  Most of us do what we can and enjoy splurging on the occasional fancy Christmas gift, volunteering at the soup kitchen, or picking up trash in our parks.  We use our limited means, even though times are tough, to bring a little more joy into the world.

There are those, however, that have the capability to give so much more than the average well-meaning person.  With the fortune to affect great change in the world and be a true catalyst for social well-being, how do they go about achieving their charitable endorphin rush?

How do they choose who is worthy of the windfall?  Their choice of charity can be a reflection both on their success, and on where they started.  Perhaps some are interested in the tax deductions and positive press of philanthropy.

Some surely see it as a chance to make a remarkable difference to millions of people.  Do they feel a greater sense of well-being than those of us who can only spare a few dollars for Santa’s kettle, or is it all relative?

A little kindness is free, but a grand gesture can cost.  It’s heartening that there are, whatever their motivation, people in this world who give so freely of their wealth in order to improve the happiness of many.

Most Generous Tech CEOs

Which Tech CEOs are the Most & Least Charitable?

Tech CEOs are some of the wealthiest people in the world, and thankfully some are very generous with their fortunes. However, some don’t give as much as others. According to InsidePhilanthropy.com, some of the least generous philanthropists are tech CEOs.

The Metrics

These rankings are based on the percentage of wealth the CEOs have donated.

  • A couple of things to keep in mind:
    • The amounts of money being donated are still often huge by comparison to the average donations received by charities.
    • Some billionaires prefer to give anonymously, which could skew our view of what they give.

The Most Generous

  • Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner
    • Founders of Cisco
    • Net Worth:
      • Bosack: NA
      • Lerner: $100 million
    • Bosack and his now ex-wife Sandy received $170 million in stock when they left Cisco.
    • $34 million → Bosack/Kruger Foundation which focuses on animal welfare.
      • They have donated 70% of what they received from Cisco.
  • Gordon Moore
    • Founder of Intel
    • Net Worth: $5.3 billion
    • Gordon and his wife Betty are active philanthropists that have many areas of focus that they contribute to.
    • A sample of how he gives:
      • $600 million → Conservation International over the years through 30 grants from the Moore Foundation
      • $600 million → Cal Tech for different programs: Quantum Information Science, Center for Analysis of Higher Brain Function and a program focused on improving solar energy tech
      • $100 million → University California nursing school, which was named after her
      • $20 million → Wildlife Conservation Society
      • $20 million → Nature Conservancy
      • $2.5 million → Third Sector New England for marine conservation (through the Moore Foundation)
      • Through The Giving Pledge, Gordon and his wife have pledged at least half of their wealth to philanthropy.
  • Bill Gates
    • Co-Founder of Microsoft
    • Net Worth: $77.8 billion
    • Bill has given away more than any other person, but he also makes more than everyone else.
    • Bill and his wife Melinda give donate through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
    • He also started the Giving Pledge, with Warren Buffett and has pledged majority of his wealth to philanthropy.
    • A sample of how he gives:
      • $28 billion → Initiatives for better health, education and economic development in developing countries
      • $10 billion → Developing and distributing vaccines for children in developing countries
      • $957 million → GAVI Alliance for delivering vaccines
      • $755 million → The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International for polio eradication
      • $500 million → Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria
      • $210 million → Cambridge University Development Office for a global scholarship program

The Not-So Generous

Although they still give, compared to the amount of wealth they have, their donations aren’t even in the same league as the top givers.

  • Jeff Bezos
    • Amazon CEO
    • Net Worth: $31.2 Billion
    • Bezos once told PBS’s Charlie Rose that “For-profit models improve the world more than philanthropy.” This helps explain why he made it to this list.
    • How he gives:
      • $10 million → Immunotherapy research to help fight ovarian, breast and prostate cancers
      • $10 million → Museum of History & Industry for a new tech wing
      • $2.5 million → The campaign for gay marriage in the state of Washington
      • $100,000 → To fight a 2010 measure that would put an income tax on top earners of Washington State
      • Bezos also gives through the Bezos Family Foundation, which was founded by his parents.
        • $500,000 → NBC Universal’s Education Nation
        • $100,000 in Amazon stock → League of Education Voters Foundation for education reform in Washington State.
  • Larry Page
    • Google Co-Founder and CEO
    • Net Worth: $30.5 billion
    • Page encourages people to donate to techies instead of charities.
      • He plans on donating to visionary Elon Musk because he feels Musk can do more good for the world than a charity.
    • How he gives:
      • Tens of millions of dollars → Voice Health Institute for research on human voice loss
        • side note: Page suffers from vocal paralysis, one of his vocal cords is paralyzed and one has limited movement.
      • $177.3 million in Google stock → Charities in February 2014, according to the SEC.
      • $123.8 million of Google stock → Carl Victor Page Memorial Foundation (founded in 2006 in honor of his father)
  • Jerry Yang
    • Yahoo Founder and former CEO
    • Net Worth: $2.1 billion
    • How he gives:
      • $75 million → His alma mater, Stanford University, to help build the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building

“Is the rich world aware of how four billion of the six billion live? If we were aware, we would want to help out, we’d want to get involved.” – Bill Gates

Sources

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