The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual list of the biggest charitable donations from individuals or their foundations totaled more than $3.5 billion in 2023.
Buffett gave 1.5 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway Class “B” stock valued at $541.5 million to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named for his first wife, who died in 2004. I Photo: Asa Mathat, Fortune Live Media
Four universities received big gifts in 2023, along with four scientific research institutes and a healthcare system.
The other gifts went to a family foundation and a racial justice group, as disclosed by Maria Di Mento of the Chronicle of Philanthropy to the Associated Press (AP). The list has 11 gifts because of ties.
Eight of the donors are multibillionaires, and their combined net worth is $305.1 billion. Topping the list is a gift from the investment guru Warren Buffett, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at roughly $119 billion.
He gave 1.5 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway Class “B” stock valued at $541.5 million to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named for his first wife, who died in 2004.
Buffett created the grantmaker in 1964 to manage the family’s charitable giving, and it remains a family affair. Buffett’s gift is followed on the list by a donation from the mathematician and hedge-fund founder James Simons and his wife, Marilyn.
The couple gave $500 million through their Simons Foundation to the State University of New York at Stony Brook to support the university’s endowment and to boost scholarships, professorships, research, and clinical care.
The Simons, who have an estimated net worth of $30.7 billion, have deep ties to the university.
Tying for third on the list is a contribution from Ross Brown, the founder of Cryogenic Industries, an industrial equipment manufacturer. In November, Brown gave the biggest gift to science in 2023 when he pledged $400 million to the California Institute of Technology.