Some people, when they fall on particularly good financial times, choose to donate some of their wealth to those less fortunate. Others, like Warren Buffett, have such massive wealth that they can afford to give away ‘small’ donations of $50 million to deserving causes. Some of the extremely wealthy have pledged to donate large amounts of their fortune to those in need. Let’s take a look at 5 of the most generous financial philanthropists and the contributions they’ve made to the country.

  1. David Rockefeller – At 101 years old, this former JPMorgan Chase CEO has donated over a billion dollars throughout the duration of his life, with even more donations that will follow his death. Rockefeller has already committed to donate $225 million postmortem to the Rockefeller Brothers fund, with another $25 million going to the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.
  2. Stanley Druckenmiller – Named the most charitable man in America in 2009, he earned this distinction by donating $700 million of his personal wealth to his foundation and boosted the organization’s annual giving from less than a million dollars to $25 million in just one year. On top of that $700 million, he’s given over $300 million more to various other charities, putting his donation worth at well over $1 billion, nearly a third of his $3.1 billion fortune.

    Philanthropists in Finance

    Warren Buffet plans to give away 99% of his wealth.

  3. Warren Buffet – With a name that has become synonymous with philanthropy, Buffett has pledged to donate 99% of his fortune to charity. He has given away approximately $25 billion so far, primarily to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and his fortune still stands at $65 billion. He’s pledged $2 billion each to the foundations belonging to each of his three children, as well, putting them well on the track to turning philanthropy into a family business.
  4. George Soros – For more than 30 years, Soros has been the poster child for making money faster than it can be given away. His organization has given away more than $11 billion in the past 10 decades, with $873 million donated in just one year. No matter how much he donates, though, he can’t keep up with the money that’s flowing in and, over the past several years, has more than doubled his worth to $23 billion.
  5. Pete Peterson – Back in 2008, Peterson scored big when he sold his shares of The Blackstone Group, a private equity firm which he’d co-founded, for $1.85 billion, a billion of which he immediately pledged to give to his foundation. His net worth is now about $1.7 billion, and he’s dumped over half a billion back into his foundation, setting him well on his way to fulfill his pledge.

For many people with considerable wealth, giving back to the country and to their community is the best way to show gratitude for the help they’ve had in life. Many people, like Warren Buffett or Bill and Melinda Gates, strive to give away all of the wealth they’ve accrued in the interest of pursuing a better, brighter tomorrow.