Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg top list of the world’s 20 most generous people

The billionaires have donated a significant amount of their net worth to charity

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Tuesday 13 October 2015 15:55 BST
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett created the giving pledge
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett created the giving pledge (AFP)

The world’s most generous individuals have been revealed - and Bill Gates has topped the list.

According to research compiled by Business Insider and Wealth-X, the Microsoft co-founder has a net worth of $84.2bn and has so far donated $27bn over the course of his lifetime.

He owns and runs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife, which is known for its work on advances in science and technology to improve health in developing countries, while aiming to tackle poverty globally.

Together with Warren Buffet, Gates created the Giving Pledge, which encourages high-wealth individuals to promise to give a sizeable percentage of their money to charity.

Buffet is one of the wealthiest men in the world and second on the list of the most generous. With a net worth of $61bn and having already given away $21.5bn, the affectionately named Oracle of Omaha has promised to give most of his assets to charity.

Mark Zuckerberg comes ninth on the list of the world’s most charitable people, having given away $1.6bn in donations over his lifetime. The entrepreneur has a net worth of £40.7bn and has also joined the Giving Pledge.

Business Insider and Wealth-X also created a Generosity Index as part of the research, which measures the ratio of a person’s donations over their lifetime to their current net worth. It means that while Zuckerberg was in the top 10 most generous individuals in terms of money donated, his Generosity Index was four per cent.

A few on the list managed a Generosity Index of above 100 per cent, however, if their overall donations exceeded their net worth. Jon Huntsman Sr, for example, has a score of 128 per cent as the founder of Huntsman Corporation’s current worth is $140m, but his donations amount to $1.2bn.

Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al Raijhi, the co-founder of one of the largest Islamic banks, has donated $5.7bn but is worth less than a billion dollars, earning him a Generosity Index score of 966 per cent. The most impressive by far is Charles Francis Feeney however, who is worth $1.5m but has donated $6.3bn over time, and has a Generosity Index score of 420,000 per cent as a result.

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