International Day of Charity 2021: Most generous and unique philanthropists in world

The HNIs honouring Mother Teresa by giving away freely

Society

September 5, 2021

/ By / New Delhi

International Day of Charity 2021: Most generous and unique philanthropists in world

According to Forbes magazine, the world’s 400 richest persons figuring in Forbes 400 list of 2020, have given away at least USD 171 billion

As the world marks its second International Day of Charity 2021 in the midst of the debilitating Covid-19 pandemic, poverty has sharply risen all over the world as almost half a billion jobs have been lost and most of those who lost employment in developing and poor countries are yet to find another. Fortunately, the pandemic has also seen a sharp rise in donations and help offered by all – from the richest to the poorest – and there have been millions of cases of a humane touch and aid for the needy all over the world.

It was in 2015, during the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit that the idea of International Day of Charity was conceptualised as a way to help bridge the gap between the rich and poor and also to help the poor nations with finance to meet the sustainable development goals set for the world to achieve by 2030.

September 5 was chosen as the International Day of Charity to commemorate the death anniversary of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who devoted her entire life to help the underprivileged and the ill, lead a life with dignity and who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work.

As the world marks the day of the giving, here is a look at what the richest and those most capable of giving have been up to and how much have they really done so far.

According to Forbes magazine, the world’s 400 richest persons figuring in Forbes 400 list of 2020, have given away at least USD 171 billion. But their net worth is USD 3.2 trillion, meaning most have so far donated an average of about 5 pc of their net wealth.

Some have been more generous than others. Here are some of the most generous persons in the world, as proportion of their wealth and some unique cases who deserve a mention in this list.

Renowned hedge fund manager George Soros has donated about 64 pc or USD 15 billion of his original fortune through his Open Society Foundations that supports advancing justice, education, public health and independent media.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet has donated about USD 43 billion, the most in sheer amount in the world, representing about 49 pc of his fortune.

Intel founder Gordon Moore and his wife Betty have given away over USD 5 billion of their USD 12.6 billion wealth, making just under 40 pc of their total riches.

Charles Chuck Feeney and his wife Helga, of Duty Free Shoppers, a retail chain, have unique place in list of philanthropists. They set and achieved their goal of giving away all of their fortune while still alive. The two donated over USD 8 billion to human rights, science and youth and have now only USD 2 million left for themselves.

India’s Azim Premji, of soap to software giant Wipro, is the most generous Indian donor, having given away USD 8 billion of his USD 33 billion wealth. In 2020, as India was swamped by the Covid-19 pandemic, Premji gave away INR 220 million (USD 3.3 million) every single day throughout the year.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, along with his now-divorced wife Melinda French, run Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which has been supporting causes for alleviation of diseases and poverty for over 20 years. Worth currently about USD 130 billion, before the divorce, the couple committed USD 55 billion to the foundation.

Another remarkable name in the list is MacKenzie Scott, who divorced Amazon founder Jeff Bezos two years ago. Soon after she promised to give away half of her wealth, then worth USD 38 billion, for charitable causes and she has been on a giving spree ever since. Currently her net worth tops USD 58 billion and beneficiaries can hope to see a noticeable bump in their receipts.

Mexican business leader Carlos Slim Hel also features high on the list of generous philanthropists. Chairman of Grupo Carso, a sprawling conglomerate that is best known for America Movil, largest telecom firm in Latin America. Slim was named the wealthiest person on the planet by Forbes magazine from 2010 to 2013. His net worth stands at USD 63 billion of which he has committed or given about USD 28 billion so far through various activities and organisations like Grameen-Carso microcredit programme, providing modest loans to the poor as well as three other charitable organisations which focus on health, education and arts.

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