December 21, 2016

Roundup: Personal Experience Often Drives Wealthy Donors’ Giving Decisions

Credits clockwise from top left: Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman; Lloyd DeGane, The University of Chicago; Castellano Family Foundation
Clockwise from upper left: the actress Peggy Helmerich, Ariel Investments founder John Rogers Jr., and lottery winners Alcario and Carmen Castellano

The Chronicle took a close look at a wide variety of donors who made big gifts over the past year and what motivated them. If you’re looking for information on the nation’s biggest donors, our annual Philanthropy 50 is a great place to start. Here’s a look back at some of the other people we profiled in 2016.


February 29, 2016

Former Actress Plays Starring Role in Tulsa’s Philanthropy

Instead of supporting remote charities, Peggy Helmerich decided she and her husband should create a "little gem of culture" in Oklahoma.

April 04, 2016

Crash Course in Racial Justice Redirects Couple’s Giving

St. Louis philanthropists Maxine Clark and Bob Fox were moved to act after studying the issues behind the outpouring of anger in Ferguson, Mo.

June 01, 2016

For a Chicago Businessman, Philanthropy Is a Team Sport

A love of basketball helped lead John Rogers Jr. into the game of philanthropy. Now one the nation’s most admired money managers, he hopes to spread the wealth to kids struggling to achieve the American dream.

July 06, 2016

Music at the Heart of Billionaire Couple's Quiet Giving

Billionaire hedge-fund manager Bruce Kovner and his wife, Suzie, pour money into efforts to help needy students afford a top-tier education, particularly in the arts.

July 21, 2016

Lottery Winners Pour Millions Into Nonprofits, Make Diversity a Priority

Marvin and Mae Acosta, who pledged some of their $328 million in Powerball winnings to charity, may want to give Alcario and Carmen Castellano a call for advice. They hit the jackpot 15 years ago, and dozens of San Jose area charities ended up as winners, too.

November 01, 2016

A Hong Kong Philanthropist With a Vision

Having helped pioneer the "family office" concept in Chinese giving, entrepreneur James Chen sets his sights on helping vision-impaired people in the developing world.

November 29, 2016

Physicist From Humble Origins Showers Cash on Education

Mani Bhaumik suffered poverty in his native India before amassing a fortune in real estate and hobnobbing with the glitterati in Hollywood. After giving millions to charity, he’s now focused on connecting science and spirituality.