Do you want to learn how to become a philanthropist? It never hurts to look up to the most famous philanthropists who are changing the world. Here are 10 of the most famous philanthropists making a difference.
1. BILL GATES
Bill Gates is the most frequently mentioned celebrity philanthropist. His charitable donations have made headlines for years. Over the years, Gates, who is estimated to be worth $120 billion, has given away more than $50 billion to non-profits and causes. Furthermore, Gates believes that incredibly wealthy individuals have a responsibility to give back to society.
Bill and Melinda Gates founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 as a way to improve the lives of individuals around the world. From providing educational resources in Chicago to supporting healthcare in Nigeria, there is no end to what this foundation has done.
2. WARREN BUFFETT
Warren Buffett has donated more than 46 billion dollars to charity since 2000. Philanthropists around the world reckon him to be one of the biggest. In addition to being CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett is valued at roughly $79 billion. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, NoVo Foundation, and many others benefit from Buffett’s investment wealth.
The famous philanthropist has not only donated a substantial chunk of his wealth, but he has also set a precedent for other ultra-rich individuals to follow. Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates launched The Giving Pledge in 2010, urging billionaires to publicly donate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes.
3. OPRAH WINFREY
After growing up in a poor family in Mississippi and enduring sexual abuse, Oprah Winfrey still managed to overcome the many obstacles she faced and succeed. She is perhaps the world’s top celebrity philanthropist because she truly fits the definition of “self-made”. The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation has donated millions of dollars in support of people around the world through Winfrey’s show and reporting endeavors. Her foundation took over the Angel Network and Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation’s duties, contributing more than $140 million to the Academy.
Furthermore, as a philanthropist, she’s also supported Time’s Up, N Street Village, and the Museum of African American History and Culture.
4. MICHAEL JORDAN
Among the greatest basketball players in history, Michael Jordan has turned into one of the most celebrated philanthropists of our time. As the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Jordan has given the team more than $3 million to a variety of causes, including providing scholarships to military personnel and assisting with hunger relief.
His philanthropic contributions include multimillion-dollar donations to Friends of the Children, a $2 million donation for Hurricane Florence relief efforts, and holding the title of Chief Wish Ambassador for Make-A-Wish since 2008. The way Jordan contributes outside himself to make a big difference in the lives of others shows that he understands that lifelong growth is possible.
5. MARK ZUCKERBERG
In college, Mark Zuckerberg created a website that later became Facebook. Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg’s wife, has committed to giving away 99% of the family’s wealth for the rest of her life. That is currently around $46 billion, making them the largest philanthropists on earth. Together, they created the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which aims to empower people while unlocking their potential.
The Chan-Zuckerberg family aims to change the world through its support of science, justice, and education initiatives. They are likely to remain at the top of the list of famous philanthropists for many years to come, considering their substantial personal and professional net worth.
6. SERENA WILLIAMS
On the court, Serena Williams is a superstar, but she’s just as popular when it comes to her philanthropic work. During her childhood, she and her sister opened a resource center in Compton named after their sister, Yetunde Price, a gang violence victim. It provides resources to Compton community members and promotes healing and resiliency.
Furthermore, Serena sells her daughter’s baby clothes on Poshmark and donates proceeds to the Williams Sisters Fund, an organization that aims to prevent violence for inner-city youth through education, sports, and athletic participation.
7. J.K. ROWLING
When you think of wildly successful authors, J.K. Rowling always comes to mind. Her magic-filled world-building and spellbinding characters have captivated people all over the world. She is also one of the most recognized philanthropists in the world. Rowling quickly became a billionaire from her books, movies, theme parks, and merchandise sales.
Her net worth has now risen to more than $60 million, and she has emerged as a role model for philanthropy. Founded in the wizarding series, Lumos is an international charity dedicated to helping children who were wrongfully separated from their families and placed in orphanages.
8. DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
An iconic designer and philanthropist, Diane von Furstenberg, is among the most glamorous philanthropists. The fashion designer responsible for the creation and popularity of the wrap dress, von Furstenberg has become one of the most famous philanthropists in the fashion industry.
Together, she and her husband have pledged to give over $1 billion to charity. This well-known philanthropist has raised millions of dollars for governments, schools, arts organizations, human rights groups, and environmental organizations as director of The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation.
Pitbull, a Cuban-American rap superstar, knows the power of music and happens to be one of the most famous philanthropists in the world. To provide young disadvantaged individuals in Miami with opportunities, he established Sports Leadership and Management Academy (SLAM) in Little Havana. He recently announced plans to expand SLAM into seven more locations, including Atlanta and Las Vegas.
In addition to his support of the Miami Children’s Foundation, the entertainment mogul was inducted into the David M. Walters International Pediatric Hall of Fame. The Imaginate Foundation, a charity that provides resources for low-income families in Miami, is also a favorite of his. “Mr. Worldwide,” aka Pitbull could just as easily be “Mr. Philanthropist.”
10. GEORGE SOROS
In the list of Most Famous Philanthropists, George Soros was included. He donated over $23 billion to his charity, the Open Society Foundations. His contribution goes far beyond that, however. Having given charitably since 1979, he understands how important it is to keep giving. Over 100 countries are home to his international group of charities.
Several public health and refugee relief projects as well as scholarships for underprivileged children are also undertaken by the foundation. It also donates time, talent, and money to these programs.