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Even amidst economic uncertainty and continued challenges in light of the pandemic, there have been plenty of people who have continued to give generously of their wealth. Many of them are names recognized as some of the wealthiest in the nation, so it’s great to see how they continue to share their prosperity with causes and organizations they are invested in! Below is a list of some of the top philanthropists of 2021 and an overview of some of their significant contributions.


Bill and Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates have been well-known for quite a while as both some of the wealthiest people and some of the most philanthropic, especially seen in the Gates Foundation, which fights poverty and disease worldwide. Early in the year, the couple announced their separation, and at the same time, donated 15 billion dollars to the foundation.


Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is another well-recognized philanthropist. He annually donates his Berkshire Hathaway stock, which totaled over 4 billion dollars this year. His donation was also directed to the Gates Foundation, as he is good friends with Bill and Melinda.


Phil and Penny Knight

Phil Knight is the co-founder of Nike. He and his wife donated 500 million dollars to the University of Oregon, designated to expand the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, which they sponsored several years ago. This campus strives to accelerate scientific advancements for medical treatments.


George Soros

With a donation equal to Phil and Penny Knight’s, George Soros earned himself a place on this list with his pledge to Bard College. This gift to the small liberal arts college will hopefully help persuade other donors to join alongside him to help the college reach some significant funding goals in the next several years.


MacKenzie Scott

MacKenzie Scott has been the subject of many talks, as she is surprisingly quiet about her donations. Her lifetime donations total over 8 billion dollars, and over this past year, she has refrained from sharing specifics about her contributions. In 2020 Scott donated almost 6 billion dollars, so while the value of her 2021 gifts is currently unknown, she has stated she plans to share more about them in the coming year, and she is still considered a top philanthropist.