Big Gifts are Getting Bigger

We’re honored to work with so many attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors who are committed to helping clients achieve their philanthropic goals. Every day, we are inspired by our donors–your clients–who frequently tell us how grateful they are for the strong working relationship between you, as their trusted advisors, and our team, as a trusted source for community knowledge and charitable gift planning.

In that spirit, I’d like to share some interesting information on a charitable giving trend: big gifts are getting bigger. Ranging from $175 million to a whopping $15 billion, the 10 largest gifts (listed below) to charity in 2021 may have caught your clients’ attention. Not only do philanthropic gifts seem to keep getting bigger, but the future looks bright, too, with more than $84 trillion projected to be handed down in what may be one of the largest intergenerational transfers of wealth in history. Although most of that money will flow to heirs, projections indicate that charities could receive as much as 14% (nine percent in the form of bequests and the rest as lifetime gifts to charity).

As your Baby Boomer clients plan their estates, keep that 14% in mind, especially as philanthropists at all levels are becoming increasingly intent on making an immediate impact.

The Foundation can help you develop an impact-focused philanthropy plan for your clients. 

Keep an eye out for clients who match these characteristics:

–Families who have started to talk with you about multi-generational participation in philanthropy but do not yet have any formalized plans.

–Families who have publicly demonstrated a commitment to three or more charitable organizations.

–Families who own a multi-generational family business such that corporate giving and enterprise legacy have become intertwined.

–Families in which members across multiple generations appear to be actively involved in philanthropy discussions.

The team at The Foundation has the depth and breadth of experience to help you in these instances, and much more. As always, we’d love to hear from you!

The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Top 10 List of Biggest Gifts

1. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, and Melinda French Gates, founder of Pivotal Ventures, an investment firm, gave $15 billion to Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for endowment

2. (tie) Philip Knight, co-founder of Nike, and his wife, Penny gave $500 million to University of Oregon to expand the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact

2. (tie) George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management, through his Open Society Foundations gave $500 million to Bard College for endowment

4. Patrick Ryan, founder of Ryan Specialty Group, an insurance services company, and his wife, Shirley gave $480 million to Northwestern University for a variety of programs

5. Denny Sanford, chairman of United National Corporation Sanford Health, gave $350 million to establish a virtual-care hospital

6. Denny Sanford, chairman of United National Corporation Sanford Health, gave $300 million for graduate medical education and to expand a sports complex

7. William Goodwin Jr., a real-estate developer, his wife, Alice, and their late son, Hunter, gave $250 million to establish Break Through Cancer, a foundation that will support cancer research

8. Joe Tsai, co-founder of Alibaba Group, and Clara Wu Tsai, co-owner of professional sports teams, through their Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, gave $220 million to establish the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, a medical research nonprofit

9. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon gave $200 million to Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum for an education center and museum renovations

10. Gerald Chan, co-founder of Morningside Group, an investment firm, through his Morningside Foundation gave $175 million to University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School for endowment