SPECIAL REPORT
February 09, 2016

The 2016 Philanthropy 50

Last year was hard on megagift donors. Uneasiness about the country’s growing inequality revved up the criticism that often follows philanthropy by the wealthy: The gift does nothing for the common good; or it’s a pittance of the donor’s wealth.

In the Philanthropy 50, such critics will find ammunition. Ten of the billionaires on the list gave away less than 1 percent of their wealth. And more than $2 billion went to major American universities and colleges, many of which have enormous endowments.

Still, the Philanthropy 50 also offers a more appealing story. Many of 2015’s biggest gifts aim to drive social change, and several emerging philanthropists are making gifts to the needy.

Crossing the midpoint of the decade, big-gift philanthropy seems at a crossroads.

Data
February 09, 2016

The Philanthropy 50

Search or browse this year's list of America’s biggest donors and all of the past lists going back to 2000. You can sort by name, amount donated, source of wealth, location, and top cause.

Article
February 09, 2016

Conservative Billionaire Richard Scaife Tops List of 50 Biggest Donors

The banking and oil heir left bequests totaling more than $750 million. A little-known theater owner came in second, with $605 million in donations. Read about the trends and some of the most interesting donors.

Article
February 09, 2016

In a University’s Remarkable Year, One Big Gift Led to Another

For Northwestern, cultivating big donors was important, but momentum was magical.

Article
February 09, 2016

Gifts by the Philanthropy 50 Include Big Bets for Social Change

Media mogul Gerry Lenfest, steel magnate David Dornsife, and Hyatt hotel scion J.B. Pritzker were among those making donations last year that were noteworthy for both their size and their purpose.

Article
February 09, 2016

New York Rises Anew as Nation’s Center of Philanthropy

Largely forgotten in the fuss over Silicon Valley’s new wealth, New York philanthropy roars back from the recession.

Article
February 09, 2016

4 New Yorkers Show Silicon Valley How it’s Done

These Big Apple philanthropists demonstrate that not every fresh idea is coming from the booming tech corridors on the West Coast.

Article
February 09, 2016

Mystery Money: Small Charity Searches for Meaning Behind a Surprise $125 Million Gift

Read about the search to find out more about the man who contributed to a charity out of the blue.

Article
February 09, 2016

How The Chronicle Compiled Its List of the Top 50 Donors

The Philanthropy 50 shows how much wealthy Americans contributed to charitable organizations last year.

Article
February 09, 2016

The Rich List

Find out how many of the people on the Philanthropy 50 are also on the Forbes 400 and how many are Giving Pledge signers.

Article
February 09, 2016

Big Gifts That Didn’t Make the List

The Philanthropy 50 counted contributions only to charitable groups and includes pledges but not payments on those pledges.

Article
February 09, 2016

6 Graphics to Tell You More About the Philanthropy 50

Learn where the money went, which states have the most big donors, which got the most in contributions, and more.