U.S. donors gave $7.7 billion in 2013; Facebook CEO top philanthropist

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The top 50 American donors in 2013 bequeathed a total $7.7 million with Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, topping the list, according to philanthropy news provider The Philanthropy Chronicle.

Zuckerberg and Chan donated nearly $1 billion worth of Facebook stock, or 18 million shares, to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which provides grants to a variety of nonprofits, as last year’s total donation rose 4 percent from $6.2 billion in 2012.

The Zuckerbergs were followed by fracking developer George Mitchell, who left $750 million to his family foundation before he died in July at the age of 94. The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation will use the donation to fund clean energy, natural gas sustainability and other environmental projects.

The third biggest donor in the list is Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who donated $500 million to the Oregon Health & Science University Foundation for research on the early detection of deadly cancers.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $452 million to a variety of arts, education, environment and public health nonprofits to rank fourth in the list.

Bulk of the donations came from California residents who gave away $2.8 billion. New York residents donated $1.6 billion; Texas, $1.2 billion; Oregon, $500 million; and Washington state residents, $345 million. The beneficiaries getting the bulk of donation were mostly education institutions, which received $2.6 billion.

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