Jamsetji Tata top donor in 100 years


Jamsetji Tata has been the most philanthropic person in the world in the past 100 years, with his total donations being worth about $102 billion based on current value, says a study.

Called ‘Philanthropists of the Century’, the study by EdelGive Foundation and Hurun India identifies 50 of the world’s top philanthropists. The US tops the list with 39 people, followed by 5 from the UK, 3 from China, and 2 from India. Wipro promoter Azim Premji is the second person from India and is ranked 12th, with the current value of donations estimated at $22 billion. Healthcare was the dominant cause of philanthropy.

The ranking is based on total philanthropic value, calculated as the value of the assets today, together with the sum of gifts or distributions to date. In the case of Tata, the philanthropist’s $102.4-billion donation denotes the value of Tata Trusts’ indirect holding in listed companies. The world’s 50 most generous individuals are estimated to have contributed $832 billion, of which $503 billion are in foundations today, and $329 billion have been disbursed in the last century.

EdelGive is a grant-making organisation, and Hurun promotes entrepreneurship through research and lists.

Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report, said, “Whilst American and European philanthropists may have dominated the thinking on philanthropy over the last century, Jamsetji Tata, founder of India’s Tata Group, is the world’s biggest philanthropist.”

He also notes that today’s billionaires are not keeping up with philanthropy, making money much faster than they are giving it away. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Tesla’s Elon Musk and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg do not figure in the list. But Bezos’ former wife, MacKenzie Scott, is 29th on the list, with $8.5 billion in donations to date, and is also the top annual grant maker. Premji is the 7th biggest annual grant maker.

Nearly 66% of the top 50 philanthropic institutions are managed by founders or founding family members.


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