It’s great when the top-ranked individual among the super-rich donates some of his fortune to worthwhile causes. A rising tide lifts all boats, right?
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is trying to stop the literal rising tides, having given $10 billion to the fight against climate change and earning the No. 1 spot for the largest charitable donation of 2020.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Bezos’ gift to the Bezos Earth Fund was the world’s largest, as Bezos announced the first 16 grants from the fund totaled $791 million to 16 different organizations.
The trade journal listed Nike CEO Phil Knight and his wife, Penny, second and third.
In February 2020, Bezos used Instagram to reveal plans to support scientific projects, activists and NGOs addressing climate change.
He wrote that Earth can be saved.
“It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals,” Bezos added. “I’m committing $10 billion to start and will begin issuing grants this summer. Earth is the one thing we all have in common – let’s protect it, together.”
Knight and his wife donated more than $900 million to the Knight Foundation and $300 million to the University of Oregon.
Also making the list, in order:
- Fred Kummer, founder of the HBE Corporation construction company, and his wife June, with a $300 million donation to begin a foundation at the University of Missouri focusing on science and technology.
- Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, with a donation of $250 million for U.S. election security directed to the Center for Tech and Civic Life.
- Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons, with a $200 million donation through his Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta foundation to build a new hospital.