This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

World’s most generous people and how to contact them

This list is almost 6 years old

They're known for their incredible wealth but want to leave the world renowned for their generosity. As such the world's richest are literally giving it away. Here we list the world's most generous philanthropists (with their donations in dollars as they're mostly American) and the foundations they fund, just in case you want to get in touch.

*All figures are compiled by Wealth-X

1. Chuck Feeney

Lifetime Giving: $7.5 billion (all of current net worth)

Feeney decided to give all of the cash he made from Duty Free shops to good causes via his The Atlantic Philanthropies. Now 81 years old, he’s even given his house away and lives in rented accommodation.

2. Karen and Jon Huntsman

Lifetime Giving: $1.55 billion (160% of current net worth)

Husband and wife team, the Huntsman’s made their billions through chemicals. Jon survived prostate and mouth cancer and, as a result, established the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

3. W. Barron Hilton

Lifetime Giving: $1.3 billion (137% of current net worth)

Barron Hilton, of Hilton Hotels fame, joined the company bearing his father’s name in 1950. Following his father’s example, he has committed the bulk of his personal fortune to the Hilton Foundation.

4. Gordon and Betty Moore

Lifetime Giving: $5.37 billion (71% of current net worth)

Moore co-founded Intel in 1968 but these days he is focused on philanthropy. He retired from his corporate positions in 2006 and currently runs the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation with his wife

5. Eli and Edythe Broad

Lifetime Giving: $4.22 billion (57% of current net worth)

Through The Broad Foundation, billionaire financier and housebuilder Eli Broad and wife Edythe have created groundbreaking independent institutions in each of its three investment areas of public education, science, and the arts.

6. Irwin and Joan Jacobs

Lifetime Giving: $706 million (50% of current net worth)

Irwin Jacobs cofounded mobile chipmaker Qualcomm in 1985, but since retiring from its board in 2012, he has focused on giving away his fortune through the Jacobs Family Foundation. It funds community change and works to empower individuals.

7. George Soros

Lifetime Giving: $12.1 billion (49% of current net worth)

Known as the man who broke the Bank of England, billionaire Hungarian financier Soros is also one of the world’s most generous people. He launched his philanthropic work in South Africa in 1979. Since then he has given most of his wealth to his Open Society Foundations, which works in over 100 countries around the world.

8. Julian and Josie Robertson

Lifetime Giving: $1.56 billion (43% of current net worth)

The “Wizard of Wall Street” Julian Robertson earned his billions from hedge funds. Now alongside his wife and family, he has created the Robertson Foundation to fund not-for-profit groups and to encourage philanthropy from the billions he made from the financial boom in the 1980s and 1990s

9. Bill & Melinda Gates

Lifetime Giving: $32.91 billion (41% of current net worth)

Easily the most famous philanthropists in the world, the Gates’ have encouraged other billionaires to give their cash to their foundation. Warren Buffett (below) did so saying he didn’t have a clue how to give his immense cash away. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation issues grants for initiatives and programs across the globe, focusing on agricultural development, emergency relief, global libraries, urban poverty, global health, and education

10. Warren Buffett

Lifetime Giving: $25.54 billion (39% of current net worth)

Despite being one of the world’s richest men, Warren Buffett always shunned the trappings of wealth and still lives in the first house he bought. Buffett made a commitment to gradually give all of his cash to philanthropic foundations and will leave the bulk of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.