Monday, January 14, 2008
The Chronicle of Philanthropy lists the top 50 donors in 2007 based on amounts given or pledged last year. The top five were William Barron Hilton ($1.2 billion), John M. Sr. and Karen H. Huntsman ($750 million), T. Denny Sanford ($475 million), George Soros ($475 million), and John W. Kluge ($400 million). In an accompanying article, the Chronicle notes that for the first time in seven years all of the top five donors were living. It also stated that the 20 donors made total gifts of $100 million or more, almost tying the record of 21 such gifts in 2006. The bulk of the contributions from the four largest donors went to foundations they had established, although many of the other contributions went to higher education, including Mr. Kluge's $400 million pledge to Columbia University. Missing from the 2007 list were two bequests - from Leona M. Helmsley and Helen R. Walton - that would probably have made the list except their estates have yet to be settled.