Browse the List of Philanthropists below. View
join the discussion
on this topic.
Add List of Philanthropists
to your Like2do.com topic list for future reference or
this resource on social media.
List of Philanthropists
philanthropist is someone who engages in philanthropy; that is, someone who donates his or her time, money, and/or reputation to charitable causes. The term may apply to any volunteer or to anyone who makes a donation, but the label is most often applied to those who donate large sums of money or who make a major impact through their volunteering, such as a trustee who manages a philanthropic organization.
A philanthropist may not always find universal approval for his/her deeds. Common accusations include supporting an unworthy cause (such as funding
art instead of fighting world hunger) or having selfish motivation at heart (such as avoiding taxes or attaining personal fame). A philanthropist is also someone who cares for someone else's needs instead of their own.
Bono - one of the world's best-known philanthropic performers; named the most politically effective celebrity of all time by the National Journal
Bill Gates - co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Melinda Gates - co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Fazle Hasan Abed - founder of BRAC
Bill Ackman - in 2011, the Ackmans were among s "Philanthropy 50" list of the most generous donors The Chronicle of Philanthropy 
Jane Addams - co-founder of the Hull House settlement house in Chicago 
Prince Karim Aga Khan IV - founder and chairman  of the  Aga Khan Development Network which focuses on health, education, culture, rural development, institution-building and the promotion of economic development 
Howard Ahmanson, Jr. - multi-millionaire philanthropist and financier of the causes of many conservative Christian cultural, religious and political organizations
William Allen - founded and endowed many institutions and causes including 'Schools of Industry' at Lindfield and Newington Academy for Girls
Tarek Ben Halim - investment banker and founder of Alfanar in 2004, the first Venture philanthropy organization with a special focus on the Arab world
Marc Benioff - created the 1-1-1 model of integrated corporate philanthropy, by which companies contribute 1 percent of equity, 1 percent of employee hours, and 1 percent of product back to the community 
Michael Bloomberg - donations include over US$1.1 billion to Johns Hopkins University
David Bohnett - founder of the David Bohnett Foundation supporting a wide range of social issues including LGBT rights
Jon Bon Jovi - American rock star; founder of The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation in 2006
Warren Buffett - pledged US$30.7 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Arpad Busson - founder of Ark (Absolute Return for Kids) Academy
Nicholas Murray Butler - president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1925-1945
Andrew Carnegie - donated money to build over 2500 libraries worldwide; founder of the Carnegie Foundations, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Carnegie Mellon University
Alagappa Chettiar - notable for work on Indian education
George Clooney - known for humanitarian work in aiding the Darfur conflict, organizing Hope for Haiti Now, and involvement in Not On Our Watch
Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury - chairman of the Ragged Schools Union (during the Victorian era)
Peter Cooper - set up a free college in New York City to help poor people ambitious to improve themselves; Thomas Edison was an early alum 
Michael Dell - established the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which focuses on grants, urban education, childhood health and family economic stability
Richard Desmond - President of the Norwood Charity; raised around £14m for charitable causes with the RD Crusaders; helped build the Richard Desmond Children's Eye Centre part of Moorfields Eye Hospital
Anthony J. Drexel - founder of Drexel University
Sir Ganesh Dutt - longest-serving minister in British Empire who gave all his earnings to charitable works, especially education
Abdul Sattar Edhi - head of the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan
Bilquis Edhi - head of the[Edhi Foundation in Pakistan
Larry Ellison - pledged to give more than half the value of his stock in Oracle Corporation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Vijay Eswaran - founder of RYTHM foundation and Q NET
Mohamed Al-Fayed - founder of The New School at West Heath
Chuck Feeney - founder of Atlantic Philanthropies
Henry Ford - co-founder of the Ford Foundation
J. Paul Getty - funded the construction of the Getty Villa, the original Getty Museum, and donated his art collection to it; upon his death, left his fortune to the Getty Museum, which eventually expanded to the Getty Center in Los Angeles
David Gilmour - singer and guitarist of Pink Floyd; was made CBE for his years of philanthropy; gave $7.5 million from sale of his London home to the homeless charity Crisis
Kenneth C. Griffin - founder and CEO of Citadel LLC; co-founder of the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation 
Edward Harkness - various private colleges and boarding schools; medical facilities; Commonwealth Fund
John Harvard - one of the founders of Harvard College
Milton Hershey - founded the Milton Hershey School for lower income children; invested millions of dollars
Amal Hijazi - Lebanese singer, known for her philanthropy
Vernon Hill - founder of Commerce Bank and President of Metro Bank; donated $10m to the Penns School of Veterinary Medicine 
Thomas Holloway - Victorian patent medicine entrepreneur and founder of Royal Holloway, University of London
Johns Hopkins - founder of the Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Hospital
Howard Hughes - aviator, engineer, industrialist and film producer; donated US$1.56 billion to various charities including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Rizwan Hussain - barrister, television presenter, international humanitarian worker; former Hindi music singer and producer; known for presenting Islamic and charity shows on Channel S and Islam Channel  Dr.
Mo Ibrahim - founder of telecom company Celtel International; set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to encourage better governance in Africa, and providing higher education scholarships for leadership and management for Africans; initiated the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership
Yusuf Islam (also known as Cat Stevens) - founder of Islamic schools, Muslim Aid and Small Kindness
Michael Jackson - donated more than US$500 million to various foundations and won numerous awards for his humanitarianism; founded the Heal the World Foundation 
Irwin M. Jacobs - has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the field of education through donations and grants to schools and organizations
Elton John - has raised more than US$125 million just for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. In 2004 he donated over US$43 million to organizations around the world, making him the most generous person in music for that year, "a title he retains year after year." In 1997 he raised US$40 million for charity through sales of the single "Goodbye England's Rose." He currently supports at least 57 charities. 
Angelina Jolie - American actress; known for her humanitarian work worldwide; a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency
Virginia Weiffenbach Kettering - Dayton, Ohio's leading philanthropist and patron of the arts
Alicia Keys - American singer/songwriter; spokeswoman for Keep A Child Alive
Imran Khan - founder of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, which was behind the first cancer research institution in Pakistan
Shahrukh Khan - the only Indian to receive UNESCO Pyramide con Marni award for his charity work in 2011
Phil Knight - co-founder of Nike, Inc.; supporter of Oregon Health & Science University, Stanford University and the University of Oregon
David Koch - founder of the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation; listed by as one of the world's top 50 philanthropists The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Lady Gaga - founder of the Born This Way Foundation, a charity started in 2011
H. F. Lenfest - donated $5 million in coherence with Chester County to preserve over 1,000 acres (4.0 km 2) of land in Newlin Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania; the land is now owned by Natural Lands Trust
Julius Curtis Lewis, Jr. - made an estimated lifetime donations of US$130 million to various civic, spiritual; charitable organizations, many in Savannah, Georgia
Li Ka-shing - founder and chairman of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, which focuses on capacity empowerment through education and building of a caring society through medical and healthcare related projects; in 2006, pledged to donate one-third of his fortune estimated at over US$10 billion to philanthropic projects
Demi Lovato - provides the Lovato Treatment Scholarship; supporter of 13 different charity organization; an official Ambassador for the youth empowerment event We Day and the organization Free the Children
Juliette Gordon Low - founded Girl Scouts of the USA in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia
Catherine T. MacArthur - co-founder of the MacArthur Foundation
John D. MacArthur - co-founder of the MacArthur Foundation
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum - founder of the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives, a grouping of some 33 charities, awards and philanthropic entities.
Chris Martin - lead singer of British alternative rock band Coldplay; known for supporting the Make Trade Fair campaign; he and his band contribute 15% of their money to charity
Paul Mellon - major benefactor of arts and education; co-founder of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Ailsa Mellon-Bruce - co-founder of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Mary Louise Milliken Childs - builder of the Milliken Memorial Community House, the first privately donated community house in America
Sunil Bharti Mittal - set up Bharti Foundation which runs schools for 30,000 underprivileged children in rural India
Samuel Morley MP - founded Morley College, London; endowed other institutions and causes
Jamie and Karen Phelps Moyer - founded the Moyer Foundation to assist non-profit organizations in raising money for children with serious distress
Elon Musk - chairman of the Musk Foundation.
Sidney Myer - founder of the Australian Department store chain Myer
Petra N?mcová - Czech supermodel; founder of the Happy Hearts Fund
Paul Newman - founder of Newman's Own and the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for seriously ill children; major donations to other charities
Alfred Nobel - founder of the Nobel Prizes
James Packer - jointly with his majority-owned company Crown Resorts pledged $200 million over 10 years to support Australian community groups 
Dolly Parton - country singer; advocate for children's education through her foundation, the Imagination Library, which gives books to children to develop their reading skills before starting school
Princess Bernice Pauahi - left properties to the education of Hawaiian boys and girls in what is now Kamehameha Schools
Linus Pauling - donated time and effort and spent personal funds to bring about the worldwide ban on above-ground nuclear weapons testing
George Peabody - considered the father of modern philanthropy, who help to found cultural institutions in the United States and England.
Ty Pennington - host of ABC's ; advocate of doing good towards others in need and to those who give of themselves for the sake of others Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Iain Percy - co-founder of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation which was set up after the death of his best friend Andrew Simpson to facilitate children's access to sailing Raymond and Ruth Perelman - parents of Ronald O. Perelman; om 2011 donated $225 million to the
University of Pennsylvania Medical School, the largest donation in that university's history
Ronald O. Perelman - largest Revlon stockholder; has donated over $200 million to various causes since 2001, including a $50 million gift to create the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center; signed the Gates-Buffett Pledge in August 2010, committing up to half his assets to be designated for the benefit of charitable causes (after his family and children have been provided for) 
Ruth Pfau - head of the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre in Pakistan; as a result of her efforts, the World Health Organization declared leprosy a controlled disease in Pakistan in 1996
Dame Shirley Porter - Tesco heiress; co-founder of The Porter Foundation; has donated to Tel Aviv University, social welfare facilities and ecological funding, the National Portrait Gallery in London
Charles Pratt - founder of Pratt Institute
Usher Raymond - American singer/songwriter; founding Chairman of the New Look Foundation; advocate for social justice
Christopher Reeve - founder of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
Werner Reinhart - industrialist, philanthropist, music and literature patron
Hilmar Reksten - Norwegian shipping magnate, tax evader, patron of the arts
Sir Cliff Richard - one of the vice-presidents of Tearfund, a British religious, relief and development agency; supports The Hunger Project, Kidney Research UK, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Teenage Cancer Trust, Cliff Richard Tennis Foundation, Alzheimer's Research UK; opened two new purpose-built buildings for Self Unlimited, a national charity for people with learning disabilities
Donald Rix - BC Innovation Council, BC Cancer Agency Foundation, BC Medical Services Foundation, and the BC Children's Hospital Foundation
Sir David Robinson - founder of the Robinson Charitable Trust and Robinson College
John D. Rockefeller - founder of the Rockefeller Foundation and Rockefeller University
John D. Rockefeller Jr. - dramatically expanded the Rockefeller Foundation and Rockefeller University; bought and then donated the land in Manhattan upon which the United Nations headquarters was built
John D. Rockefeller III - major third-generation Rockefeller philanthropist; founder of the Asia Society (1956), the Population Council (1952) and a reconstituted Japan Society; chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation for 20 years; established the Rockefeller Public Service Awards in 1958
J.K. Rowling - President of One Parent Families; advocate for social equity
Joseph Rowntree - founder of the four Rowntree trusts
Enriqueta Augustina Rylands - founder of the John Rylands Library
Sandro Salsano - chairman of Salsano Group; founder of Salsano Shahani Foundation
Achyuta Samanta - founder of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS)
Elinor Sauerwein - Salvation Army philanthropist
Shakira - founder of Pies Descalzos Foundation Sir
Run Run Shaw - founder of the Shaw Prize Foundation
Charles Simonyi - founder of Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, $100 million
Gary Sinise - co-founder of Operation Iraqi Children
George Soros - estimated to have donated more than US$6 billion, often through the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundations Sir
Charles Henry de Soysa - Ceylonese entrepreneur who pioneered a multitude of medical, educational, religious and infrastructure projects
Ellen Gates Starr - founder of the biomedical institute that bears his name Hull House
James E. Stowers - founder of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Levi Strauss - gave to many notable foundations of his time; gave to many Jewish synagogues and organizations
Belinda Stronach - co-founder of Spread the Net
John Studzinski - champion of the homeless and the arts in the UK; founder and owner of the Genesis Foundation
Rajinikanth - South Indian actor
Michelle Dilhara - Sri Lankan actress
P. K. Subban - Canadian ice hockey player; donated $10 million to the Montreal Children's Hospital
Abdul Rahman Al-Sumait - founder of Direct Aid, a charity organization that has built 124 hospitals and dispensaries, 840 schools, 204 Islamic centers, 214 women training centers and 2,200 mosques in Africa, has distributed thousands of tons of food and medicines in famine-stricken areas, and has adopted nearly 10,000 orphans  
Mr. T - actor; motivational speaker; donated all his gold to charity
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal - Chairman of investment firm Kingdom Holding Company; pledged US$32bn donation to his charity Alwaleed Philanthropies 
Marian Tompson - co-founder of La Leche League International, a breastfeeding support organization
Cornelius Vanderbilt - funded Vanderbilt University
William Henry Vanderbilt - co-founder of the Metropolitan Opera
Paul Walker - founder of the charity Reach Out Worldwide
Mary Lee Ware - principal sponsor of the Harvard Museum of Natural History's famous Glass Flowers exhibit; key player in the creation of the New Hampshire Rhododendron State Park
William Wilberforce - English politician; headed successful parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade; later supported the campaign for complete abolition
Oprah Winfrey - estimated donations above US$300 million, and founder of Oprah's Angel Network
Isaac Wolfson - managing director of Great Universal Stores
Steve Wozniak - provided the money, and some technical support, for technology program for the Los Gatos School district; co-founder of Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.)
Mark Zuckerberg - co-founder of social media network Facebook John R. Hunting, major contributor to liberal or progressive 527 organizations.   
Greatest philanthropists by amount of USD
The following table orders the greatest philanthropists by estimated amount given to charity, corresponding to USD.
Amount given Cause
Healthcare, extreme poverty, education, access to information technology
Warren Buffett $30.80 billion
Healthcare, education, AIDS-prevention, sanitation
Li Ka-shing $10.7 billion
Andrew Carnegie $9.5 billion
Libraries, education, peace
Azim Premji $8 billion
 Education, healthcare
Chuck Feeney $6.8 billion
Healthcare, youth, ageing, poverty, human rights
George Soros $6.1 billion
Healthcare, anti-fascist publications, human rights, economic, legal, and social reform
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal $3.5 billion
 Foster cultural understanding, develop communities, empower women, enable youth, provide vital disaster relief and create a more tolerant and accepting world
Phil Knight $2 billion
 Education, healthcare, intercollegiate athletics
James E. Stowers $2 billion
Howard Hughes $1.56 billion
For a longer list of philanthropists, see
The Chronicle of Philanthropy (February 6, 2011). "Philanthropy 50". Philanthropy.com . Retrieved .
Haberman, Frederick (1972). . Amsterdam madhav bhan - founder of remadhav art foundation.: Elsevier Publishing Company. Nobel Lectures, Peace 1926-1950
"Introduction to the Aga Khan Development Network". Archived from the original on 2008-04-07 . Retrieved .
^ a b
"About the Aga Khan Development Network" . Retrieved .
Forbes: "Talking Philanthropy With Marc Benioff" By Bruce Upbin September 18, 2012
"Peter Cooper | The Philanthropy Hall of Fame | The Philanthropy Roundtable". www.philanthropyroundtable.org . Retrieved .
Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation Archived 2012-01-02 at the Wayback Machine.
"News Briefs". The DP. September 30, 2005 . Retrieved 2013.
"Beaten up by Bangladeshi officials". . 24 April 2008 BBC London . Retrieved 2009.
DAUNT, TINA (2009-07-08). "Michael Jackson's generous legacy". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035 . Retrieved .
"Elton John: Charity Work & Causes". Look to the Stars . Retrieved .
"James Packer leaves $200 million on the table". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 2014.
Ramirez, Anthony (2006). "Exclusive Interview: Billionaire Ronald Perelman With His Dad". Fortune Magazine . Retrieved 2011.
"King Faisla International Prize".
"Destination Jeddah: Who's Who".
"Saudi prince to donate $32bn fortune to charity". BBC News. July 1, 2015 . Retrieved 2015.
Stephanie Simon (October 30, 2006). "Unregulated Groups Wield Millions To Sway Voters". Los Angeles Times.
The Campaign Finance Institute Archived 2016-09-10 at the Wayback Machine.
"Open Secrets". Archived from the original on 2008-04-10 . Retrieved .
Saudi Prince Alwaleed pledges $32bn to charity - Al Jazeera English
Rogoway, Mike. "Phil and Penny Knight's charitable contributions top $2 billion". The Oregonian . Retrieved 2017.
"James E. Stowers Jr., Benefactor of Medical Research, Dies at 90". The New York Times. 19 March 2014.
Further reading Grimm, Robert T. Notable American Philanthropists: Biographies of Giving and Volunteering (2002) excerpt