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Top 50 Philanthropists In The World (2024)

One does not need to be rich to be a giver, but one needs to be wealthy to get a spot among the top 50 philanthropists in the world. The reason is simple; the list is made according the sheer size of donations made.

There are givers who avoid the spotlight, and who make their donations without fanfare. Those givers would have a mention here if the details of their charitable works were available. Perhaps it is for the best; naming them would amount to doing exactly what they were trying to avoid.

Nevertheless, some givers call the press so as to draw attention to the cause they are donating to, and not necessarily to draw attention to themselves.

Top 50 Philanthropists In The World

1. Jamsetji Tata         

Donations: $102.4 billion

Education, Healthcare

Jamsetji Tata is the greatest philanthropist on record; it is going to be difficult to outdo him in terms of charity; the money he has given is more than the total wealth of some small countries.

Jamsetji Tata was an Indian pioneer industrialists his hard work, foresight and dedication built Tata Group; India’s biggest conglomerate.

Jamsetji Tata was more than a man- he was a visionary. He built a good life for his family, and he wanted to extend it to the whole world. He knew it could not be achieved within his lifetime, and so he created a foundation, and gave massively. His primary points of focus were Education and Healthcare.

2. Bill Gates

Donations: $75.8 billion

Healthcare, Extreme Poverty, Education

Bill Gates was named the richest man in the world for over two decades; he founded Microsoft; which is the world’s biggest computer technology brand. While he has taken a back seat from that stressful position as the world’s richest man, his influence and respect have not faded across the world.

Bill Gates has been a vocal personality; steering the world towards the right path by sounding warnings about the development of AI, extreme poverty, inadequate healthcare services in poor countries and the lack of readiness for the outbreak of disease.

He has used his voice to spread these warnings, and has also used his money to make a difference.

3. Warren Buffett

Donations: $32.1 billion

Healthcare, Education, Cleaner Environment, AIDS-prevention

Warren Buffett is an iconic American investor; he is known as the Oracle of Omaha. He is not just an investor; he is someone that the younger generation looks up to. He has used his platform to teach sound financial principles.

Warren Buffett has also made money available for charitable causes, especially in the areas of healthcare, education, sanitation, and AIDS prevention.

He has also devoted his time to be on advisory boards of various organizations that work with governments to bring hope and relief to the people.

4. George Soros

Donations: $32 billion

Healthcare, anti-fascist publications, human rights, economic, legal, and social reform

George Soros is a case study for giving away most of one’s accumulated wealth. George Soros has given away more than $32 billion of his personal wealth, and is now worth around $9 billion. He made his money as a hedge fund manager; he knows the art of multiplying capital.

He is also an author; and it is this inner craving within him to create a better world that has motivated him to give out the bigger part of his wealth to charity.

His core focus has been healthcare, human rights, and social reforms. He has funded political movements, and has bankrolled publications aimed at making the world a better place.

5. Azim Premji

Donations: $21 billion

Education, Healthcare

Azim Premji is a businessman; his field of business is the IT industry, and he is known as the Czar of the Indian IT sector. He is the chairman of Wipro; a company that provides computer based solutions to businesses.

Azim Premji has stepped down from the day to day affairs of Wipro; he is now more or less occupied with his charity work, although he still occupies the position of chairman of the company.

The focus of his charity work has been Education, Healthcare, and Social Development. He has given more than $21 billion to charity in these various areas.

6. MacKenzie Scott

Donations: $14 billion

Racial equality, LGBTQ, climate change

MacKenzie Scott is the former wife of American billionaire entrepreneur and businessman Jeff Bezos- the founder of Amazon. She owns a 4% stake in Amazon; and that translates to over $29 Billion.

She has already given away $14 billion of her personal wealth, and has focused her giving to organizations promoting causes such Racial Equality, Climate Change, and the LGBTQ community.

7. Michael Bloomberg

Donations: $12.7 billion

Environment, Education public health, arts, government innovation

Michael Bloomberg is one of America’s most notable business and political figures. He has become one of the country’s foremost citizens by virtue of his success in the business world. He worked with a financial services firm before establishing Bloomberg LLC, which is one of the world’s foremost financial information companies.

He was also Mayor of New York for a long time. He launched the biggest self-funded presidential campaign the US has ever seen- thus proving his financial capacity.

Michael Bloomberg has given away more than 12 billion USD to good causes; especially those relating to the Environment, Education public health, and the Arts.

8. Li Ka-shing

Donations: $10.7 billion

Education, Healthcare

Sir Li Ka-shing is a Hong Kong billionaire investor and businessman. He is the cofounder of CK Hutchinson Holdings which is a conglomerate which controls several ports around the world. Aside from that; his company is the largest health and beauty retailer in Europe and Asia.

Li Ka-shing has not been stingy with the money he has made; he has generously donated to good causes around the world; especially in the areas of education and healthcare. His donations are estimated at around $10.7 billion.

9. Andrew Carnegie

Donations: $9.5 billion

Libraries, education, sustainable peace

Andrew Carnegie was the Czar of the American steel industry during the 19th century. He founded the Carnegie Steel Company; and he developed the industry.

Andrew Carnegie became one of the richest Americans in history; but he did not revel in his status- he used his wealth to fund charitable ventures in the US, the UK, and Scotland.

10. Elon Musk

Donations: $7.6 billion

Science education, COVID-19 relief, renewable energy

Elon Musk was born in South Africa; but he has lived and worked in America for the best part of his life. As at the time of writing this report he is the richest man in the world; and his wealth is tied to the success of his electronic vehicle brand Tesla.

Elon Musk has donated generously to causes related to science education, renewable energy, and he was particularly active as a giver during the height of the covid 19 pandemic.

The following is a more extensive list of the top 50 biggest philanthropists in the world.

Position Name Country Donations
1 Jamsetji Tata India $102.4 billion
2 Bill Gates American $75.8 billion
3 Warren Buffett American $32.1 billion
4 George Soros American $32 billion
5 Azim Premji India $21 billion
6 MacKenzie Scott American $14 billion
7 Michael Bloomberg American $12.7 billion
8 Li Ka-shing Hong Kong $10.7 billion
9 Andrew Carnegie American $9.5 billion
10 Elon Musk American $7.6 billion
11 Chuck Feeney American $6.8 billion
12 Alisher Usmanov Russian $5.8 billion
13 The Sainsbury family American $5 billion
14 Sir Christopher Hohn British $4.5 billion
15 Carlos Slim Helu Mexican $4.2 billion
16 Alwaleed Philanthropies Saudi $4 billion
17 The Weston family American $2.3 billion
18 Phil Knight American $2 billion
19 James E. Stowers American $2 billion
20 Hansjoerg Wyss Swiss $1.9 billion
21 Howard Hughes American $1.56 billion
22 Stephan Schmidheiny Swiss $1.5 billion
23 Vitalik Buterin Russian $1 billion
24 Elton John British $600 million
25 David Koch American 600 million
26 David Gilmour American $21.5 million
27 Larry Ellison American 15 billion
28 Dolly Parton American
29 Cristiano Ronaldo Portuguese
30 Dame Shirley Porter British
31 Đorđe Vajfert Serbia
32 Don Ball American
33 Donald Rix Canada
34 Dr. Mo Ibrahim Nigerian
35 Dustin Moskovitz American
36 Edward Harkness American
37 Gautam Adani Indian
38 George Clooney American
39 Godwin Maduka Nigerian
40 Henry Ford American
41 J.K. Rowling British
42 J. Paul Getty American
43 James Packer Australian
44 Jeff Bezos American
45 Joe Blackman American
46 John D. Rockefeller American
47 John D. MacArthur American
48 John Cena American
49 Johns Hopkins American
50 Jon Bon Jovi American
51 Kumar Mangalam Birla Indian
52 Levi Strauss American
53 Madonna American
54 Messi Argentina


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The top philanthropists in the world do not often wish to expos the details of their charity; or to make known how much they have given out; except when they are convinced that doing so will highlight the urgency of the cause, and prompt other high net worth individuals to make similar commitments.

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