It’s already a cliché when people say that money is not the key to happiness, but for billionaires with money, we beg to differ. Because of their wealth, they are able to give back to those in need and giving back to people, in the form of charity and donations, gives them a sense of purpose and happiness. These philanthropists have too much money that even if they give back a huge chunk of it, there’s still so much left.
The philanthropists we mention in our list are named as the most generous billionaires. This is based on a Generosity Index which is the ratio of how much money a person donates to how much money they make in a lifetime. And believe it or not, there are billionaires who have given more than 80% of their life’s work!
Charles Francis Feeney
Charles Feeney is referred to as the James Bond of Philanthropy. This is because he was able to give more than what he received. Feeney is an Irish-American businessman who is the founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies. He made his fortune by being the co-founder of the Duty Free Shoppers Group. According to his Generosity Index, Feeney has a score of 420,000%. This might seem impossible but for the man, it definitely is not. Feeney’s lifetime donation is up to $6.3 billion (and counting), whereas his net worth is only at $1.5 million since he has given most of his wealth away.
Azim Premji is the chairmain of Wipro, an Indian IT consulting company. Aside from managing the huge empire, Premji managed to build the Azim Premji Foundation. This foundation is the man’s lifework where it pushes for educational reform in his country. As of the moment, Premji has already given $8 billion to charity and his net worth is still at $15.9 billion, giving him a 50% generosity index.
Soros is not given wealth by his parents. Rather, he worked hard for it until he reached the top. He rose from the ground up and acquired huge wealth after founding the Soros Fund Management. He is already retired from the corporate world but that doesn’t end his life’s mission. Now, Soros is the chairman of the Open Society Foundation that supports international services, health, and education, among other things. Soros have already donated $8 billion from his $24.4 billion net worth, which is about 33% on the generosity index.
Buffet is a household name in the field of giving back. Aside from being the chairman and CEO of Berskshire Hathaway, he is also a full-time philanthropist who have donated 85% of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The 85% is a big deal because Buffet is simply the wealthiest man in the world with a net worth of $61 billion. Buffet has a 35% generosity index, but it clear that he has no plans of stopping, yet.
For more than a decade, Gates’s name is always on the list of the wealthiest man in the world. He is the founder and the man behind the multi-billion dollar company, Microsoft. Gates is known for his humble demeanor and his unique perspective about wealth. Despite having too much, Gates is not seen flashing his money through clothes and cars. What he does is pour all his heart into the field of giving back to people and creating possible hope for others. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which he and his wife have founded, supports causes such as global health, urban poverty, and emergency relief. He has already donated $27 billion of his $84.2 billion net worth, giving him a 32% on the generosity index.
Hearing the stories of these philanthropists not only restores our faith in humanity but it also makes us see things in a different perspective. The people included on this list have all the riches that can possibly run an entire country. They all have the money to do the things they want and buy the things they like. But instead of living in pure luxury, they decided not to turn a blind eye towards fellow human beings who need help and attention. Maybe having too much money is not an assurance of happiness. But true happiness will come from being able to help other people and have purpose in life.