News and analysis
February 09, 2016

How The Chronicle Compiled Its List of the Top 50 Donors

The 16th annual Philanthropy 50, The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of America’s most generous donors, is based primarily on gifts and pledges of cash and stock to nonprofit organizations.

Although The Chronicle sought information about every large charitable donation made by individuals in 2015, not all philanthropists publicly disclose details about their giving, and they are not legally required to do so.

The Chronicle counted only those gifts and pledges made to organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code, not to other entities like limited-liability companies.

Gifts to family foundations were counted, but grants from those foundations were not counted to avoid including that money twice.

For the same reason, The Chronicle counts pledges during the year they were made but does not count payments as they are made on those pledges.

The Philanthropy 50 report was compiled by Maria Di Mento, with assistance from Kathleen Kelly and Nicole Lewis.

Send an email to Maria Di Mento.