Warren Buffett tops list of America's biggest givers after donating nearly $15 billion in 5 years

Bill Pugliano/Getty

  • Warren Buffett topped the list of America’s biggest givers after donating almost $US15 billion to charitable causes between 2014 and 2018.
  • The famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway boss led the pack in all five years, primarily giving to causes chosen by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
  • The high-profile philanthropist couple ranked second after Buffett, beating out George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and the Walton family.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett gave nearly $US15 billion to charitable causes between 2014 and 2018, topping a list of America’s 25 biggest givers compiled by Forbes and SHOOK Research.

The famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway boss led the pack in all five years, giving mostly to causes chosen by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The high-profile philanthropist couple took second place, followed by hedge-fund manager George Soros, former New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, and Walmart founder Sam Walton’s family.

Forbes and SHOOK ignored pledges to give and donations to charitable vehicles, focusing instead on money that reached beneficiaries. They also calculated what percentage of each giver’s fortune was given away.

Buffett donated $US14.7 billion or just over 16% of his $US90 billion net worth, the pair found. The Gates, his close friends, gave away nearly $US10 billion or about 9% of their almost $US110 billion Microsoft fortune. Their high-profile foundation focuses on healthcare, education, economic development, and tackling poverty.

Soros gave $US3 billion – roughly 37% of his $US8.3 billion fortune – to causes such as protecting voting rights and reforming the criminal-justice system. Bloomberg gave $US2.3 billion, or about 5% of his $US60 billion net worth, towards fighting climate change, improving public health, and strengthening gun control.

Meanwhile, the Walton Family Foundation deployed $US2.3 billion – about 1.3% of the $US181 billion Walmart fortune – to educational and environmental initiatives.

Other notable entries on the list were Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, who gave away $US1 billion, representing 1.2% of their $US82 billion net worth. Duty Free Shoppers cofounder Chuck Feeney – who told Forbes he aspired to die broke – distributed $US1.6 billion to nonprofits in the five-year period.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.