June 15, 2015

Big Gifts Top $4 Billion So Far This Year

Wealthy donors gave over $700 million more to nonprofits in the first five months of 2015 than they did in the same period last year, according to a Chronicle tally.

From January through the first week of June 2015, affluent donors gave more than $4 billion to nonprofit groups, a 21-percent increase over the same period in 2014. That’s good news for nonprofits seeking gifts from rich supporters.

The tally is based on publicized donations of $1 million or more from individuals and their private foundations.

The largest increases came from the wealthiest donors: Money given by those who contributed $50 million or more grew by almost a third, accounting for $2 billion so far this year, compared to $1.5 billion by this time in 2014. And five more gifts of that size have been made than during the comparable period last year.

The amount given by those donating $100 million or more grew the most of any category — 41 percent — primarily because of the $400-million contribution from the financier John Paulson to Harvard earlier this month

The Chronicle did not include donations of artwork in its tally.

To learn about big donations throughout the year, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated throughout the week.

10 Largest Gifts of 2015 So Far

Donor Gift Amount Recipient
John Paulson $400 million Harvard U.
Stephen Schwarzman $150 million Yale U.
David Koch $150 million Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
David Geffen Foundation $100 million Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Roberta Buffett Elliott $100 million Northwestern U.
Rady Family Foundation (Ernest and Evelyn Rady) $100 million U. of California at San Diego, Rady School of Management
Marion Anderson $100 million U. of California at Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management
Henry and Marie-Josee Kravis $100 million Rockefeller U.
Querrey Simpson Charitable Foundation (Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey) $92 million Northwestern U.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan through their fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation $75 million San Francisco General Hospital Foundation

Send an e-mail to Maria Di Mento.