Premji Tops 2019 Forbes List of Biggest Philanthropic Givers

Premji Tops 2019 Forbes List of Biggest Philanthropic Givers

Indian tech entrepreneur and Giving Pledge signatory Azim Premji, chair of software and IT services provider Wipro, made the largest philanthropic gift in 2019, Forbes reports.

The two largest gifts announced over the last twelve months, both valued at substantially more than a billion dollars, involved the shift of assets (privately held stock) to a charitable foundation or foundations. Topping the list was Premji, who donated Wipro shares worth $7.5 billion — approximately 34 percent of the shares he controlled at the time the gift was announced — to the Bangalore-based Azim Premji Foundation, which is focused on education. Warren Buffett, who co-founded the Giving Pledge with Bill and Melinda Gates, claimed the second spot on the list with a gift of Berkshire Hathaway stock worth $3.6 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates, Susan Thompson Buffett, Sherwood, Howard G. Buffett, and NoVo foundations.

Ranked third after Premji's and Buffett's donations was a $750 million gift from Stewart and Lynda Resnick to the California Institute of Technology in support of environmental sustainability research, followed by a $350 million pledge from T. Denny Sanford to the private National University System in support of efforts to address critical challenges in the education sector, and a $200 million gift from Phillip Terrence Ragon and Susan Ragon to endow a vaccine research center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Rounding out the top ten were gifts from private equity mogul Stephen A. Schwarzman (£150 million [$188 million], University of Oxford); the family of chemicals billionaire Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. ($150 million, University of Utah), medical-device billionaire Hansjörg Wyss ($131 million, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University), Chicago-based hedge fund mogul Kenneth C. Griffin ($125 million, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago), and billionaire philanthropists Sanford and Joan Weill ($106 million, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, San Francisco, and University of Washington).

Will Yakowicz. "The Biggest Philanthropic Gifts of 2019." Forbes 12/29/2019.