16 tech titans who are giving away most of their money instead of leaving it to their families

Pierre OmidyarREUTERS/Tim ShafferEBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar in Delaware, December 7, 2009.

Some entrepreneurs who have made billions off of their tech ventures like to spend them in some pretty extravagant ways, whether it be on private planes, summer homes, or even an entire island.

Others turn to more-philanthropic efforts, choosing to donate their wealth to different causes through foundations and trusts.

We’ve rounded up some of the most generous people in tech, all of which have decided to donate large portions of their wealth to charity rather than leave all of it to their children.

Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates

Gates has been open about his decision not to leave his $US84.9 billion fortune to his three children. They will reportedly inherit just a small slice, about $US10 million each.

'I definitely think leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favour to them,' he said in a Reddit AMA in February.

He founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 1994, and it currently has more than $US36 billion in assets. Gates also teamed up with longtime friend Warren Buffett to start a campaign called 'The Giving Pledge,' which encourages other billionaires to donate at least half of their fortune to charity.

AOL cofounder Steve Case

Case helped millions of Americans get online, and now he's donating much of his wealth to developing other technologies.

He founded the Case Foundation in 1997, which focuses on using technology to make philanthropy more effective. He also started an investment firm called Revolution, which invests in startups outside of Silicon Valley, and signed the Giving Pledge.

'We share the view that those to whom much is given, much is expected. We realise we have been given a unique platform and opportunity, and we are committed to doing the best we can with it,' he and wife Jean wrote. 'We do not believe our assets are 'ours' but rather we try to be the responsible stewards of these resources.'

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff

Benioff recently launched a campaign called SF Gives, which challenged tech companies to raise $US10 million for San Francisco-based nonprofit programs in just 60 days.

He's encouraged other corporations to follow his 1/1/1 model, which says that a company should donate 1% of its equity, 1% of its employees' time, and 1% of its resources to philanthropic efforts.

He and wife Lynne have also personally given a total of $US200 million to the children's hospital at UCSF.

Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs

Together with wife Joan, Jacobs has given away some $US500 million of his fortune to charitable causes that include the Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island campus, MIT fellowships, and the San Diego Symphony.

He's also signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away at least half of the billions he made with the electronics firm he founded.

Though his son, Paul, now serves as CEO of Qualcomm, his 1.5 million shares are no comparison to his father's 26 million shares.

eBay founder Pierre Omidyar

EBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar in Delaware, December 7, 2009.

Omidyar and wife Pam are some of the most generous people in tech, having given away more than $US1 billion of the vast fortune they made when eBay went public in 1998.

They signed the Giving Pledge in 2010. Bloomberg estimates their current fortune at $US7.8 billion.

'In 2001, I publicly stated that we intend to give away the vast majority of our wealth during our lifetime,' the couple said in their pledge letter. 'Our view is fairly simple. We have more money than our family will ever need. There's no need to hold onto it when it can be put to use today, to help solve some of the world's most intractable problems.'

They have also donated eBay shares to the Omidyar Network, their philanthropic investment firm, and are the single biggest private donors in the fight against human trafficking.

Intel cofounder Gordon Moore

Moore has given away more than $US1 billion to charitable causes, donating about half of his wealth to create the Moore Foundation in 2001.

The foundation, which focuses on issues of environmental conservation, health measures, and the San Francisco community, currently has more than $US5 billion in assets.

He and wife Betty signed Gates' Giving Pledge in 2012.

'We are pleased to be a part of the Giving Pledge not only because we are able to commit these funds, but because we believe they can lead to real learning and measurable change,' they said.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Musk may have five young boys from his first marriage -- one set of twins and one set of triplets -- but he's already donated much of his $US12.9 billion fortune to renewable energy, science and engineering education, and pediatric health.

He signed the Giving Pledge in 2012, committing to donate the majority of his wealth to charitable causes. He receives only $US1 a year for his work with Tesla.

Google CEO Larry Page

Page, on the other hand, has a somewhat unique idea for what he would like to happen to his wealth.

In March, he told Charlie Rose that instead of giving his billions to his two children, he would rather give it to entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, who are coming up with big ideas to change the world.

'(Musk) wants to go to Mars. That's a worthy goal,' he said. 'We have a lot of employees at Google who've become pretty wealthy. You're working because you want to change the world and make it better; if the company you work for is worthy of your time, why not your money as well? We just don't think about that. I'd like for us to help out more than we are.'

Spanx CEO Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely, the CEO of Spanx, became the first woman to sign the Giving Pledge in 2013 and commit to donating the majority of her wealth to charities, specifically aimed for women.

When she told her then-three year old son that she was going to give away half her money, he reportedly said ''OK, Mummy, can we do a puzzle now?'

'I pledge to invest in women because I believe it offers one of the greatest returns on investment. I am committed to the belief that we would all be in a much better place if half the human race (women) were empowered to prosper, invent, be educated, start their own businesses, run for office -- essentially be given the chance to soar!' her letter said.

Oracle founder Larry Ellison

Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison delivers the keynote address during the annual Oracle OpenWorld conference on September 30, 2014 in San Francisco, California..

Even with his lavish lifestyle, Larry Ellison has committed to giving away 95 per cent of his wealth to charitable causes, especially to his medical foundation.

'Warren Buffett personally asked me to write this letter because he said I would be 'setting an example' and 'influencing others' to give. I hope he's right,' his letter to the Giving Pledge said in August 2010.

Despite committing the majority of his wealth to charity, he also gave his children Oracle stock when they were still babies (and the company was also young). Now that both the stock and company are worth a lot more, he is reported as to wanting to teach them charitable giving too.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen

While Paul Allen doesn't have any direct descendants, his family is actively involved in his philanthropy.

The Microsoft co-founder signed the Giving Pledge in 2010 and plans to give the majority of his $US17.2 billion estate to his Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, which he runs with his sister Jody Allen, and to the other charitable work he's involved in, like the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

'I've planned for many years now that the majority of my estate will be left to continue the work of the Foundation and to fund non-profit scientific research, like the ground breaking work being done at the Allen Institute for Brain Science,' he said in his Giving Pledge letter.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

When Mark Zuckerberg signed the Giving Pledge in 2010, he was only worth $US6 billion. Now he's on the books to give away the majority of his $US35.9 billion fortune.

Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla, have already been active philanthropists. The couple recently gave $US75 million in February 2015 to the San Francisco General Hospital, allowing it to add two trauma rooms, three operating rooms and to double the size of its emergency room. He'd also previously donated close to $US1 billion in Facebook shares to Silicon Valley Foundation.

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and SurveyMonkey's Dave Goldberg

Dave Goldberg and Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg, along with her husband Dave Goldberg, signed the Giving Pledge in 2014 to give away half of her wealth. While the couple didn't specify a cause, we have a feeling Sandberg's book 'Lean In' might be a pretty strong indication of where their money ends up.

Dave Goldberg tragically died in May after an accident while exercising in Mexico, leaving Sandberg to care for their two children.

Virgin Group founder Richard and Joan Branson

Richard Branson's children are philanthropists in their own right: Their son Sam set up a production company, Sundog Pictures, and their daughter Holly is involved in Big Change Charitable Trust, according to their 2013 Giving Pledge letter.

The Virgin Group founder, and his wife Joan, signed the Giving Pledge in 2013 to give away half their wealth after they realised as a result of several house fires that money does not equate to happiness.

'Stuff really is not what brings happiness. Family, friends, good health and the satisfaction that comes from making a positive difference are what really matters,' Branson said in the announcement.

Netflix founder Reed Hastings

Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patti Quillin signed the Giving Pledge in 2012 when his net worth was valued only at $US280 million. A new entrant on Forbes' World's Billionaires list, Hastings now has a net worth of $US1 billion.

Hastings has an interest in education after he served as president of the Calfiornia Board of Education from 2000 to 2004. The press release announcing their Giving Pledge hinted that it that might be where they put some of their money since they 'are active in educational philanthropy and politics with a specific focus on charter schools.'

Now see some tech titans who spend their money in more extravagant ways.

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