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The Chronicles Top 50 US Donor List

18 February 2010 at 11:20 am
Staff Reporter
The Chronicle of Philanthropy has released its annual list of the most-generous people in America – some are well known internationally and others may surprise.

Staff Reporter | 18 February 2010 at 11:20 am


The Chronicles Top 50 US Donor List
18 February 2010 at 11:20 am

The donors on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s top 50 list gave a total of $US4.1-billion to charity in 2009 and not all of them are household names.

In purely financial terms, the Chronicle says last year was a dismal one for megagifts.

On the top of the list is Stanley Druckenmiller, founder of Duquesne Capital Management, and his wife, Fiona, also an investor; a little know philanthropic couple outside of the US. The Druckenmillers gave an amazing $US 705-million to their foundation which is devoted to supporting medical research, education, and the antipoverty work of charities such as Harlem Children’s Zone.

The Chronicle says while innovative philanthropy may be on the rise, the number of wealthy people making big gifts has shrunk.

It says a donor needs to part with just $16.2-million in 2009 to qualify for Philanthropy 50 list. In 2008 that number was $30.5-million; and in 2007 it was $39-million.

Internationally known philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda came in at number three on the list donating $US350 million.

George Soros (No. 6 on the Philanthropy 50), the billionaire hedge-fund manager, is among the big donors who sought to use their largess to prevent future economic crises, according to the Chronicle, and committed a total of $150-million.

The Chronicle says other philanthropists were moved to help alleviate suffering wrought by the recession.

Pierre Omidyar, founder of the online auction service eBay, and his wife, Pam Omidyar (No. 10), dedicated $50-million of the $92-million they gave last year.

The Chronicle’s list is made up of 65 living donors (26 couples), 9 bequests, 44 men, 33 women, four donors are aged under 50, nine are 90 or older with the median age of living donors on the list is 75 years.

The Philanthropy 50, The Chronicle’s survey of America’s largest donors, was compiled by Maria Di Mento, with assistance from Heather Joslyn, Caroline Preston, Joan Waynick, Ian Wilhelm, and Grant Williams.

See the full list at

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