The “One Percent” gets a bad rap about hogging vast quantities of the country’s wealth. And often, those complaints are justified.
But that doesn’t mean everyone in the wealthiest tier of society is just sitting on piles of money. Many of America’s richest people give away huge sums to charities, scientific research and other worthy causes each year.
As a reminder that some people in the One Percent actually do good, we’re looking at the 25 biggest philanthropic donors of 2010, using data from theChronicle of Philanthropy.
2010 actually saw a dip in the generosity of the biggest donors. The combined sum donated by the top 54 totaled just $3.3 billion, the smallest amount since the magazine started tracking donations in 2000. In 2006, donations from the top 50 totaled $50.7 billion (including Warren Buffett’s $36 billion pledge to the Gates Foundation). And of the 400 wealthiest Americans onForbes‘ annual list, just 17 also appeared on the Chronicle of Philanthropy‘s top 50.
But there are already signs that things are turning around in 2011. Philanthropist and steel magnate William S. Dietrich II pledged $440 million to two universities in Pittsburgh before he died this month. That figure tops the highest amount donated in 2010.