November 24, 2009

Who Are the World's Most Powerful Philanthropists?

The billionaire Eli Broad has chosen seven people who he says are the “most powerful philanthropists” in the world.

His list is part of a Forbes magazine effort to find out who the most powerful people are in politics, Hollywood, finance, and in other categories.

Mr. Broad, who is an avid arts and education donor, picked Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Dell, Michael Bloomberg, Peter Peterson, David Rockefeller Sr., and Wallis Annenberg.

Perhaps as interesting as who he included is who he left out. Big-name donors like Ted Turner and George Soros failed to make the list. So did the technology moguls Pierre Omidyar and Jeff Skoll.

To be fair, Mr. Broad writes that he had trouble whittling his list down.

“I immediately came up with a list of more than 20 philanthropists who are notable in their passion and generosity,” he says. “But the seven I chose are remarkable because they do far more than just give money to causes. They get their hands dirty in the work.”

What do you think? Who do you think the seven most powerful philanthropists are? Click on the comment button below and share your picks.