As part of its annual Forbes 400 package, Forbes, in partnership with Global Citizen, has unveiled an enhanced Philanthropy 400 score that counts grants billionaires put toward actual charitable uses rather than money parked in their charitable foundations.
Using this year’s stricter criteria, ten billionaires on the 2020 Forbes 400 list received a score of 5, meaning they have given away more than 20 percent of their wealth over their lifetime. They include Berkshire Hathaway chair and investor Warren Buffett (net worth: $73.5 billion, #4 on Forbes 400), whom Forbes estimates has given more than $41 billion to nonprofits — more than anyone else in dollar terms — primarily through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Open Society Foundations founder George Soros ($8.6 billion, #56), who has donated 64 percent of his original fortune over his lifetime, making him the most generous giver on the list. Other billionaires earning a score of 5 include Arnold Ventures LLC co-founders John and Laura Arnold ($3.3 billion, #249); Eli and Edythe Broad ($6.9 billion, #85), whose Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation and Broad Art Foundation have awarded grants totaling $4 billion; cable TV pioneer and Barr Foundation co-founder Amos Hostetter, Jr. ($3.5 billion, #228); George Kaiser Family Foundation founder George B. Kaiser ($4.9 billion, #137); Gordon and Betty Moore ($10.3 billion, #48), whose foundation awards $300 million in grants annually; Tiger Management founder Julian H. Robertson, Jr. ($4.3 billion, #170), who has given $1.1 billion to charitable causes, mostly through his family foundation; Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation co-founder Lynn Schusterman ($3.4 billion, #238); and Ted Turner ($2.2 billion, #378), who established the United Nations Foundation in 1998 with a then-historic gift of $1 billion, among other philanthropic efforts.
Those receiving a philanthropic score of 4 (meaning they have given between 10 percent and 19.99 percent of their wealth) include Bill and Melinda Gates ($111 billion, #2), former New York City mayor and Bloomberg Philanthropiesfounder Michael R. Bloomberg ($55 billion, #14), Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus and his wife, Billi ($7.4 billion, #72), and Participant Media and Skoll Foundation founder Jeff Skoll ($5.5 billion, #115).
And billionaires receiving a score of 2 or 1 include media mogul Oprah Winfrey ($2.5 billion, #327), Twitter and Square co-founder Jack Dorsey ($6.3 billion, #43), Walmart heirs Jim Walton ($65.5 billion, #11), and Rob Walton ($65.2 billion, #12), and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos ($179 billion, #1), the world’s richest individual.
Forbes notes that the four hundred billionaires on the list collectively have given a total of $171 billion over their lifetimes, while their aggregate wealth increased 8 percent, to $3.2 trillion, over the last twelve months, helped in part by a rising stock market.
“The remarkable growth in fortunes of the Forbes 400 stands out at a time of pandemic-induced economic upheaval,” said Kerry A. Dolan, assistant managing editor for wealth at Forbes. “Much of the wealth is highly concentrated. The top twenty-one richest on the list (there is a tie at No. 20) account for 42 percent of the total wealth.”