Philanthropy Roundup: February 2018

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
America’s top 50 donors, including Bill and Melinda Gates, gave a combined $14.7 billion to charity in 2017.

If you’re a philanthropist, your schedule might make it hard to keep up with the latest news, topics and emerging trends in the world of giving back.

That’s why we’re making it easier for you to stay current.

Our “Philanthropy Roundup” posts highlight stories – at the local and national level – that are valuable to our readers and will keep you up to date in the world of philanthropy. Check out the articles below.

Philanthropy Roundup

America’s Top 50 Donors Show How Tech Riches Continue to Shake Up Philanthropy
Fast Company
America’s top 50 donors gave a combined $14.7 billion to charity last year, close to triple the amount given by the same set in 2016. Eleven of the top contributors made their money in technology, and have contributed 60 percent of the value in overall gifts. The top three biggest givers are familiar names, Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan and Michael and Susan Dell.

La Jolla Billionaire Denny Sanford Donates $30 Million for College Scholarships
The San Diego Union Tribune
Denny Sanford has pledged $30 million dollars to help put 3,000 students through college, including some who will attend UC San Diego and National University. Sanford made the gift to the Horatio Alger Association, a Virginia-based nonprofit that provides scholarships to students. “The association is unlike anything else, it provides scholarships to children who’ve done well in high school despite experiencing incredible disadvantages” noted Sanford on his gift.

Business Leaders, Consumers and Employees Find Value in Enhanced Philanthropy
The Denver Post
No matter the size of the company, the community or the contribution, businesses increasingly understand that a reputation as a good corporate citizen helps them recruit, engage and retain employees; create better relationships; satisfy investors’ objectives; and deepen ties with customers. In today’s highly competitive and rapidly changing environment, corporate philanthropy is a critical component of citizenship. It must be strategic and part of a company’s DNA – and so much more than random acts of kindness.

Did the Tax Overhaul Create a Spike in Donor-Advised Funds? Well, It’s Complicated…
Nonprofit Quarterly
Long before the contents of the 2017 tax overhaul were finalized, and in the context of a booming stock market, most understood that DAFs would likely continue to grow significantly year upon year. What remains uncertain are the effects of a new tax bill passed near the end of last year that would nearly double the amount taxpayers must itemize before they can deduct their charitable contributions.

Small Groups Win Big in Bitcoin Donor’s $56 Million Giving Spree
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
An anonymous donor, known only as “Pine”, donated $56 million during a 3-month period to a variety of organizations, many of which were smaller organizations working on complex, obscure issues.  Pine began this most unusual giving spree in December, aiming to give away the majority of a newly earned fortune in bitcoin. “I have far more money than I can ever spend,” Pine said on the social-media platform Reddit and invited groups to apply for money.