Bill Gates' new donation record: 5 other generous donations worldwide

Microsoft founder Bill Gates at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting weekend in Omaha, Nebraska, US, on May 7, 2017.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting weekend in Omaha, Nebraska, US, on May 7, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

This article was first published on May 22, 2017, and updated on Aug 16, 2017.

American billionaire Bill Gates made his largest donation since the turn of the century, giving away Microsoft Corp. shares valued at US$4.6 billion (S$6.26 billion) on June 6, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing released Monday (Aug 14).

While the recipient of the gift wasn't specified, Mr Gates made the majority of his donations to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charity he and his wife use to direct their philanthropic efforts.

Here are 5 more gargantuan donations by ultra-rich philanthropists worldwide

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1. Andrew Forrest

A$400 million to causes covering health, education and fighting modern slavery 

Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest made the country's biggest philanthropic gift by a living individual on May 22, donating A$400 million (S$413.45 million) to causes covering health, education and fighting modern slavery.

The donation by the one-third owner of the world's No. 4 iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group, set a new benchmark for private sector philanthropy in Australia, where educators, doctors and arts organisations - the typical beneficiaries of private sector charity - have traditionally relied on government subsidies to stay afloat.

Mr Forrest said he wanted his donation to include A$75 million for cancer research, A$75 million for higher education, A$75 million for childhood education and $75 million to be directed towards fighting modern slavery.

2. Warren Buffett


Warren Buffet is also a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. PHOTO: REUTERS

US$2.13 billion to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

With a fortune historically second only to Gates, the "Oracle of Omaha" was the first to commit to the Giving Pledge, pledging to give away 99 per cent of his fortune, which was estimated by Forbes magazine in March to be worth US$75.6 billion.

A close friend to the Gates, he is also a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and has made annual contributions to the foundation's already-massive coffers since 2006.

His latest contribution to the foundation came last July in the form of 14.96 million shares in his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, worth a cool US$2.13 billion.

3. Sean Parker

US$250 million to Parker Institute of Cancer Immunotherapy

Hacking prodigy, founder of Napster and Facebook's first president, Sean Parker donated US$250 million to immune research, setting up the Parker Institute of Cancer Immunotherapy last year.

The non-profit organisation aims to "accelerate" research into cancer immunotherapy, providing more viable treatments against the ravages of the disease.

It is not the first time Mr Parker has donated to health causes. In 2015, he donated US$24 million to Stanford University to fund research into curing severe allergies, after a near-death experience from an allergic reaction to nuts.

4. Phil Knight


Phil Knight's donation will go towards a new institute of scientific research in the the University of Oregon. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

US$500 million to University of Oregon

Co-founder of Nike Phil Knight made the joint-largest donation to a single entity last year with a US$500 million gift to the University of Oregon, his alma mater.

The funds will go towards a new institute of scientific research in the university.

Mr Knight extended his dominance of the donation list by giving another US$400 million to Stanford University for a new scholarship programme that awards 100 postgraduate scholarships a year to outstanding Stanford graduates.

5. Pony Ma

US$2.3 billion to new charity fund


Pony Ma pledged 100 million shares of his internet service provider to a new charity fund. PHOTO: REUTERS

The founder of China's Tencent holdings, which created the QQ messaging system and Wechat, pledged 100 million shares of his internet service provider, worth about US$2.3 billion, to a newly set up charity fund, reported Forbes magazine last July.

The fund will support causes in healthcare, environment protection and new technology.