Large Gifts in 2013 Suggest Rebound

Large Gifts in 2013 Suggest Rebound

Charitable gifts of at least $100 million from America's wealthiest philanthropists totaled more than $3.4 billion in 2013, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.

Fifteen individuals and couples made single nine-figure gifts or pledges in 2013, up from eleven in 2012. The largest of those came from Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, who donated 18 million shares of Facebook stock, valued at more than $990 million, to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; Zuckerberg and Chan are the youngest philanthropists to top the list. Next on the list of the ten largest publicly announced gifts — including six who tied for tenth — were Nike chairman Phil Knight and his wife, Penelope, who pledged $500 million to Oregon Health & Science University Foundation, followed by former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who made a $350 million gift to Johns Hopkins University. Colleges and universities were the main beneficiaries of the largest gifts of the year, with twelve of the fifteen nine-figure donations going to institutions of higher education.

According to the Chronicle's data, gifts of $1 million or more also were up in 2013, totaling nearly $9.6 billion, compared with $6.1 billion in 2012. Still, giving by the wealthiest Americans  has yet to return to pre-recession levels; in 2007, the ten biggest gifts from individual philanthropists — all of $100 million or more — totaled $4.1 billion.

"2013’s Biggest Gifts Signal Rebound." Chronicle of Philanthropy 12/31/2013.