Bill and Melinda Gates

MAXIM - The financial goals of the billionaires on this list are unusual: some of them intend to give away almost all of their fortune - and at least one has already succeeded. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, and other Forbes America's Most Generous American Entrepreneurs have spent nearly $ 150 billion in charity in their lifetime - and they still have five times more.

After the outbreak of the pandemic, America's prominent philanthropists opened their wallets to help stop the spread of the virus. The record for donations last year was set by Mackenzie Scott, who decisively plunged into charity after her divorce from Jeff Bezos. In July and December, she announced that it would give a total of $ 5.8 billion in grants to 500 different groups working in the United States.

Small charities scattered across America suddenly found themselves cashed in checks from one of the largest fortunes in the IT industry. “I still can't get my jaw off the floor,” the director of Goodwill of North Florida, to which Mackenzie Scott donated $ 10 million, told local reporters. The pace and scale of her philanthropy is staggering. Forbes estimates that in less than a year of public philanthropy, Scott gave away more money than all of the largest US philanthropists, with the exception of only five people, in their entire lives.

Bill and Melinda Gates are also major contributors to the fight against coronavirus. Their foundation has played a key role in vaccine research over the years and has pledged $ 1.75 billion over two years to fight the pandemic. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated about $ 330 million to projects related to the fight against COVID-19. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has allocated at least $ 100 million.

The past year was marked not only by a pandemic, but also by a stormy political life. Several billionaires, including Mark Zuckerberg and investor George Soros, have spent large sums of money to support democracy. Others remain focused on long-term goals such as poverty reduction and climate change.

In total, the 25 billionaires in our ranking have donated about $ 149 billion to charity in their lives.And they still have a lot to do: according to Forbes, their total fortune is still estimated at $ 799 billion.

In our calculations, we took into account the total amount of lifetime donations of American billionaires, expressed in dollars, given directly to charities. In other words, we did not take into account the money in the fund that has not yet brought any benefit. We also did not include donations that were promised but not yet disbursed, or funds donated to donor funding funds - opaque entities that enjoy tax incentives and are not required to comply with any disclosure or distribution requirements (unless the donor himself published information about grants that were actually paid). 

The list includes individuals and married couples who are US citizens. We excluded from the ranking large families like the Walmart owners, the Waltons, and big philanthropists like Hansjörg Wyss, who lives in the United States but is a Swiss citizen. Donations are at the end of 2020, and wealth estimates are at January 14, 2021. (Forbes)

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