The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual Philanthropy 50 list is out.  The list identifies the top 50 donors from 2012 and as would be expected, billionaire Warren Buffett topped the list with $3.1 billion in charitable donations last year. What may be surprising, though, is that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan were the second most generous donors in 2012 with $498.8 million in charitable donations.

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation was the recipient of Zuckerberg and Chan’s generosity, which included 18 million shares of Facebook stock.  The foundation was created in July 2006 when two existing organizations merged, the Peninsula Community Foundation and Community Foundation Silicon Valley.

Today, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation is one of the largest organizations of its type with 1,600 funds and $2.9 billion in assets.  “The community foundation is focused on solving the most challenging problems, improving the quality of life and inspiring greater civic participation throughout the region.”  Source: Silicon Valley Community Foundation

John and Laura Arnold took the number three spot on the Philanthropy 50 with $432.4 million in charitable donations.  John Arnold is a former hedge fund manager that retired last year at the age of 38 and his wife Laura is an attorney.  The Houston, Texas-based couple operates the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, which focuses on several key initiatives including K-12 education, criminal justice and research integrity.

Top 10 Donors of 2012

  1. Warren Buffett - $3.1 billion
  2. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan - $498.8 million
  3. John and Laura Arnold - $432.4 million
  4. Paul Allen - $309.1 million
  5. Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki - $222.9 million
  6. Mortimer Zuckerman - $200 million
  7. Fred Fields - $191.5 million
  8. Carl Icahn - $150 million
  9. Sheldon and Miriam Adelson - $143 million
  10. G. David Gundlach - $140 million
Twenty of the Philanthropy 50 live in California and their charitable donations topped $1.8 billion, just over half of Nebraska’s single philanthropist donation of $3.1 billion.  In case you didn’t know, Mr. Warren Buffett lives in Nebraska.  New York was the second most popular state among the top 50 with 14 donors giving a total of $1.093 billion to charity in 2012.  

When looking at the other side of the coin, the organizations that received the funding, New York came out on top with 30 charities receiving nearly $2 billion in donations.  California came in second with 17 organizations receive $1.26 billion and Illinois was third with five organizations receiving $1.1 billion in donations.

via [CNN]

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