Buffett Tops 2017 Forbes Ranking of Biggest U.S. Givers

Buffett Tops 2017 Forbes Ranking of Biggest U.S. Givers

For the third consecutive year, Berkshire Hathaway chair Warren Buffett tops the Forbes list of U.S. philanthropists who gave the most in the previous calendar year.

In partnership with SHOOK Research, Forbes examined contributions paid out by living philanthropists and their foundations in 2017 and found that Buffett gave shares of Berkshire Hathaway valued at $2.8 billion, with more than $2 billion of the total going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the rest to four family charities — the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the Sherwood Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and the NoVo Foundation.

Ranked second through tenth for 2017 are Gates Foundation co-founders Bill and Melinda Gates ($2.5 billion); Bloomberg Philanthropies founder Michael R. Bloomberg ($702 million); the Walton family (whose family foundation disbursed a total of $536 million); Open Society Foundations founder George Soros ($531 million); Chan Zuckerberg Initiative co-founders Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan ($400 million); Gordon and Betty Moore (whose foundation disbursed a total of $338 million in 2017); Simons Foundation co-founders Jim and Marilyn Simons ($328 million); Wyss Foundation founder Hansjörg Wyss ($315 million); and Good Ventures Foundation co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna ($298 million).

According to Forbes, the philanthropists on this year's Top 50 Givers list donated a total of $12.6 billion in 2017, up from $12.2 billion in 2016, while their collective lifetime giving exceeded $158 billion. Nine of the top ten and forty of the top fifty givers also appeared on the 2018 Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.

Jennifer Wang. "America's Top 50 Givers." Forbes 10/15/2018. Jennifer Wang. "The Greatest Givers: Meet America's Top Philanthropists." Forbes 10/15/2018.