The Chronicle of Philanthropy just came out with its annual list of the country’s top givers, and somewhat surprisingly found that the country’s most generous citizens gave almost double in 2008 than they did in 2007.
(You can check out the complete list here. Thank you to the Chronicle of Philanthropy for making the subscription-only story available for free to Fundermentalist readers.)
In 2008, even as the economy started to tank, those on the Chronicle’s top 50 list gave $15.5 billion, compared to $7.3 billion in 2007.
Granted, that number was bolstered by Leona Helmsley’s $5.2 billion bequest to her foundation – and only three of the top 10 givers are still living, compared with all 10 in 2007.
Those on the list said that 2009 could be tight, as they might hold back on giving for now.
"We’ll all bounce back," Mr. [T. Boone] Pickens wrote, "but it’s going to be tough for businesses and nonprofits for a while."
Other big donors echo that sentiment.
"2009 is going to be a year of sitting back and protecting capital," says Lorry I. Lokey (No. 37), founder of Business Wire, who in October announced a $42-million gift to a donor-advised fund at Stanford University.
The Chronicle singled out casino mogul Sheldon Adelson for having a particularly tough year.
The Birthright Israel Foundation benefited from $30-million in support from the real-estate mogul Sheldon Adelson (No. 40) last year, but because of other fund-raising losses, the New York group still must cut back on the number of young people it can send to Israel this year.
The Adelson Family Charitable Foundation, meanwhile, posted an announcement on its Web site last year that it would not accept new requests for support until June. Mr. Adelson lost an estimated $24-billion last year, according to Forbes magazine.
As usual, the top 50 list was made up of a fair number of Jews, including the top giver Helmsley and Adelson.
While last year Adelson was expected to become the Jewish commmunity’s most significant benefactor, he was only the 14th most generous Jew we found on the list.
Here are the Jewish givers that I found on the list. I’ve included their overall ranking in the top-50, as well as the amount they pledged and the amount they actually paid up in 2008.
THE PHILANTHROPY 50: AMERICA’S MOST-GENEROUS DONORS IN 2008
1) Leona M. Helmsley — $5.2-billion (bequest) $5.2-billion
9) Michael R. Bloomberg — $235-million $235-million
12) Helen L. Kimmel — $156.5-million $6.5-million
15) Jeffrey S. Skoll — $110.8-million $110.8-million
16) Stephen A. Schwarzman — $105-million n/a
18) Eli and Edythe L. Broad — $100-million $33.2
20) David H. Koch $100-million — $15-million
26) Ronald O. Perelman — $63.5-million $16-million
31) Stewart A. and Lynda R. Resnick — $55.3-million $9.5-million
32) Donald J. and Ruth Weber Goodman — $52.7-million (bequest) $52.7-million
33) Jerome and Anne Fisher — $50-million n/a
34) Michael Moritz and Harriet Hayman — $50-million n/a
37) Lorry I. Lokey — $46.7-million $4.7-million
40) Sheldon G. and Miriam Adelson — $41.9-million $6.9-million
42) Lawrence J. Ellison — $40.3-million $40.3-million
48) Andrew H. and Ann Rubenstein Tisch — $35-million