A new ranking by Forbes puts at the top the list of the fifty U.S. philanthropists in 2015, while , co-founder of the Duty Free Shoppers Group and founder of , ranks as in terms of lifetime giving.
To come up with its list of the most generous philanthropists, Forbes calculated which of the wealthy Americans on its annual Top 50 Givers list gave the most over their lifetimes as a percentage of their current net worth. Feeney, who ranked seventh in 2015 giving with $427 million, has given a total of $7.46 billion to philanthropic causes since 1984, or 373,000 percent of his current net worth. Buffett, who donated Berkshire Hathaway shares worth $2.84 billion in 2015, the bulk of them to the , has given $25.54 billion, or 39 percent of his current net worth, over his lifetime and is ranked as the tenth most generous giver.
Ranked second through ninth on the list are (lifetime giving: $1.55 billion/160 percent of current net worth; 2015 giving: $35 million/45th on Top 50 Givers list); (lifetime giving: $1.3 billion/137 percent; 2015 giving: $108 million/23rd); (lifetime giving: $5.37 billion/71 percent; 2015 giving: $117 million/11th); (lifetime giving: $4.22 billion/57 percent; 2015 giving: $117 million/19th); (lifetime giving: $706 million/50 percent; 2015 giving: $68 million/30th); George Soros (lifetime giving: $12.1 billion/49 percent; 2015 giving: $654 million/3rd); (lifetime giving: $1.56 billion/43 percent; 2015 giving: $122 million/17th); and (lifetime giving: $11.91 billion/41 percent; 2015 giving: $1.4 billion/2nd).
Among those ranked high on the 2015 Top 50 Givers list but not included on the most generous givers list are , who ranks fifth on the former with $510 million in 2015 giving but whose lifetime giving of $4.22 billion amounts to about 9 percent of his $45 billion fortune, and the Waltons, whose disbursed $375 million in 2015, putting it in eighth place on the Top 50 Givers list, but whose total giving of $5.65 billion to date is less than 5 percent of the family's combined fortune of $123.3 billion. Collectively, the fifty top givers donated $11.1 billion in 2015 and have given away more than $127 billion over their lifetimes.
New to the Top 50 Givers list this year are Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, art collectors who donated works worth an estimated $400 million to the , and , whose donated $43 million to a variety of causes, including early childhood education and climate change research.
"We're seeing more givers who were formerly donating anonymously now willing to give openly as a way to inspire others to follow their lead," said R.J. Shook, founder of , which partnered with Forbes to compile the lists. "These are the real role models in the world of philanthropy."