These 3 couples donated $1B or more to their foundations in 2017

2017 was a very good year for large charitable donations, with three of the top ten biggest gifts hitting $1 billion or more, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported. 

The 10 largest donations given this year totaled $10.2 billion, more than double the $4.3 billion total from the top ten gifts given in 2016. 

And where did all this money go? Five of the top 10 gifts went to universities, four to foundations and one to a conservation group.

But foundations scored the top three billion dollar prizes and the gifts were given by three wealthy tech entrepreneurs to their self-named endowments.  

Leading the charge were Bill and Melinda Gates. The Microsoft co-founder and his wife gave a gift of Microsoft stock worth $4.6 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It was the billionaire’s largest donation since 2000 when he gave $5 billion worth of stock to create the foundation, which focuses on improving the U.S. education system and global development, health and policy.  

The second largest in 2017 was a $1.9 billion donation by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. The money went to their Chan Zuckerberg Foundation for education, housing, science and improving the criminal justice system. 

And the final $1 billion gift came from Dell Technologies founder Michael Dell and his wife Susan. It was given to the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. 

Here are the rest of the top 10 largest single donations in 2017: 

• Henry Hillman: $800 million bequest to Hillman Family Foundations 

• Florence Irving: $600 million to Columbia University Herbert and Florence Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Irving Medical Center 

• Helen Diller Foundation: $500 million to University of California at San Francisco 

• Roy Vagelos: $250 million to Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons 

• A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation: $219.5 billion to University of Maryland 

• Henry and Susan Samueli: $200 million to University of California at Irvine 

• Jack and Laura Dangermond: $165 million to Nature Conservancy



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