American tech billionaires dominate the annual Forbes 400 richest Americans list, and they are a generous bunch. On Forbes’ recent list of America’s Top 50 Givers, tech tycoons like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg were among the biggest donators last year.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman and CEO Warren Buffett has maintained his place on the top spot for five consecutive years. Overall, America’s 50 biggest givers handed out $14.1 billion last year—more than the $12.6 billion they gave in 2017.
Here are the eight tech billionaire philanthropists that made it onto the top givers' list as revealed by Forbes.
Bill and Melinda Gates
2018 Giving: $2.6 billion
Melinda and Bill Gates are renowned for their philanthropic work. They lead the world’s largest charitable foundation with a $40 billion trust endowment. Their donations have made them the second most charitable billionaires, right after Warren Buffett.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focuses on global health, U.S. education, and international development as well as creating equal opportunities globally. Founded in 2000, the organization donated millions towards polio elimination ($530 million), malaria and HIV treatment and prevention ($400 million), vaccine delivery ($450 million), and agricultural development ($390 million).
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan
2018 Giving: $410 million
When he’s not defending Facebook’s stance on political ads, data sharing, and user privacy, Facebook’s co-founder, chairman and CEO and his physician wife run the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), which they established in 2015, with a mission to “build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone,” the website states. It has awarded $5 million for open source software projects essential to biomedical research. Last year, the couple donated a total of $410 million.
2018 Giving: $392 million
The eBay founder was the third most charitable philanthropist billionaire in technology last year and ninth on the overall Forbes’ list, giving $392 million last year alone.
He donated through Omidyar Group, which has a diverse collection of nonprofits, organizations, and initiatives that tackle global problems. Last year, he launched global philanthropic firm Luminate, which supports issues such as digital rights and media freedom.
Gordon and Betty Moore
2018 Giving: $298 million
The Intel cofounder and his wife have run the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which holds more than $6 billion in assets, since the early 2000s. The couple donated a total of $298 million last year, making them the 10th biggest givers in America. In 2018, Gordon and Betty Moore’s foundation announced its $85 million investment to improve diagnostic performance through its Diagnostic Excellence Initiative.
Steve and Connie Ballmer
2018 Giving: $237 million
At number 13 on America’s Top 50 Givers list are former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie Ballmer, who was the company’s former public-relations executive. The philanthropist and owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers started his philanthropic work with his wife in 2014, giving more than $2 billion into a donor-advised fund to focus on preventing poverty in the US. Last year, the latter invested $59 million in social solutions with a five-year commitment.
Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna
2018 Giving: $188 million
Since their early 20s, the Facebook co-founder and his wife Cari Tuna have donated over $1 billion towards charitable causes. They started philanthropic foundation Good Ventures in 2011 and have donated millions to Malaria Consortium and The Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford to fight global risks. Last year alone, Moskovitz and Tuna donated $188 million. The couple has signed Gates and Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge—a campaign to get the ultra-wealthy to donate more than half of their wealth to charitable causes.
Michael and Susan Dell
2018 Giving: $158 million
Since its launch in 1999, Michael Dell, the chairman, and CEO of Dell Technologies and his wife paid out $1.7 billion in donations through their charitable foundation, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. It focuses on supporting children in urban poverty by improving every child’s health and education as well as family economic stability. They donated around $158 million altogether last year.
2018 Giving: $131 million
Last year, the Amazon CEO and the world’s richest man launched the Bezos Day One Fund, his first large philanthropic initiative, with an initial $2 billion commitment. The foundation aims to reduce homelessness, and support quality education in low-income communities. The billionaire’s charity foundation provided a total of $97.5 million in grants to 24 organizations based in America in 2018. Recently, Bezos awarded a collective $98.5 million in grants to 32 firms that are combating homelessness.