Who Made the Biggest Charity Donations in 2013?

Mark Zuckerberg

The more you read about wealthy CEOs raking in millions every year, the more donating and charity come to mind. Luckily, a number of big names — and big wallets — made hefty donations in 2013. The biggest donation was made by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Priscilla Chan, his wife, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The two gave 18 million shares of Facebook stock to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

In value, a donation such as that comes out to be over $990 million. This also marks a new record for the biggest donation from individuals under thirty years of age. This newly past year was also a great one for the number of donators, beyond just how much was donated. Compared to the eleven in 2012, fourteen Americans made enormous Zuckerberg-like donations.

As to where all of this money is going, much of the money was given to universities and colleges. Coming in second for big donations was Phil Knight, the Chair of Nike (NYSE:NKE), and his wife Penelope. They pledged $500 million to the Oregon Health & Science University Foundation to support cancer research.

Michael Bloomberg pledged $350 million to John Hopkins University, to go towards cross disciplinary efforts and to help students in need of financial aid. Next on the list was Charles Johnson, who gave $250 million to Yale University to be put towards building new residential halls. Fifth on the list was Stephen Ross, a big-time real-estate developer, who pledged $200 million to the University of Michigan for both its athletics and the University of Michigan Business School.

The recession took its toll on big yearly donations to charities, but with improved economic health philanthropic efforts are starting to pick up again. The Chronicle of Philanthropy noted that they haven’t returned to the height reached prior to the recession quite yet though.