Did you know that in 2017, the wealthiest people in America donated a combined $14.7 billion to foundations, charities, and causes they are passionate about? Their donations allow the hard work of organizations to continue by providing the financial support that they so often need. With so many significant contributions each year, it is important to become familiar with some of today’s biggest donors and philanthropists.
Bill & Melinda Gates
Most well-known for their previous work with Microsoft, Bill and Melinda Gates decided to leave the massive technology company to focus on their work in philanthropy full-time. Through their foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the duo helps provide resources to help improve healthcare, reduce extreme property, and expand educational opportunities, among other causes. In 2017 alone, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated approximately $4.78 billion to these causes worldwide.
Michael and Susan Dell
Known originally for creating Dell Technologies, which remains of the world’s largest technology companies, Michael and Susan Dell have created a big name for themselves in philanthropy. The couple created the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to help provide more opportunities to children living in urban poverty. They do so by improving access to education, healthcare, and family economic stability. In 2017, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation donated $1 billion to help children and family poverty in Central Texas, India, and South Africa.
Henry Hillman is an American businessman and philanthropist, who gained his wealth by working as the Chairman of the family’s investment company, The Hillman Company. Since 1986, Hillman has worked to create 14 non-profit organizations that focus on a variety of social issues. In 2009, Henry Hillman officially created Hillman Family Foundations as a way to house all of the organizations. In 2017, Hillman donated approximately $850 million to the foundation to help support the causes of the 14 organizations.