Men like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie became famous for their success in business, but today their legacies live on through their philanthropic contributions to causes such as education, scientific research, aid to the poor, medicine and public health, and many others. In fact, these men were so charitable that they established a model for philanthropic commitments that has been followed by generations of American business leaders–even us over at Windows USA!
In honor of the philanthropic spirit of leaders like Carnegie and Rockefeller, take a look at some of today’s most prolific philanthropists and the causes they support.
Over the course of his lifetime, the Oracle of Omaha has given over $30 billion to charities and philanthropic organizations. He doesn’t intend to stop any time soon: Buffett, whose net worth exceeds $66 billion, has pledged the majority of his wealth to various philanthropies upon his death. He has supported organizations focused on poverty, education, healthcare, and many other causes.
Bill and Melinda Gates
The co-founder of Microsoft and his wife have donated more than $29 billion to charities and worthy causes, mainly through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation takes aim at a wide variety of issues around the world but focuses specifically on fighting extreme poverty, enhancing healthcare, and in the United States, improving access to information technologies and educational opportunities. Additionally, Bill and Melinda Gates plan to leave 99.9% of their total wealth to philanthropic organizations when they pass away.
Originally from Hungary, Soros left his native land in 1947 after it had been ravaged during the Second World War and fallen behind the Iron Curtain. With that kind of personal background, it comes as no surprise that much of Soros’ philanthropic focus is on supporting nonviolent efforts to strengthen democracy in the former Soviet Union. Soros has been a supporter of human rights around the world as well: for example, during apartheid in South Africa, he provided funds to help black students attend the University of Cape Town.
In 2010, Zuckerberg gave $100 million to the public school system in Newark, New Jersey. He continues to be passionate about education, for in 2015, he and his wife pledged 99% of their Facebook shares–then valued at over $45 billion–to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, an organization that they founded with a focus on health and education. Along with other philanthropic heavyweights like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Zuckerberg signed the Giving Pledge in 2010 in which he promised to give at least 50% of his wealth to charity over time.
A passionate environmentalist, the founder of Bloomberg L.P. and three-time Mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg L.P. has supported a variety of environmental causes, financially and otherwise, such as sustainable energy and climate change. Additionally, the Bloomberg Philanthropies–the foundation that encompasses all of his charitable giving–focuses on the arts, the environment, public health, education, and government innovation; Bloomberg has pledged the majority of his wealth to the organization upon his death.
For more information about our commitment to philanthropy, visit our website!