Top 10 Quotes From Our Favorite Philanthropists

Top 10 Quotes From Our Favorite Philanthropists

December 1, 2016 Lynette Garet Nonprofit News 0 Comment

Charitable giving is about more than money; true philanthropy comes from a heart that recognizes its good fortune and responds to its sense of obligation to give back. Our list comes from Forbes Magazine’s 2013 special report, “America’s Top 50 Givers,” based on the magazine’s figures of lifetime giving as a percentage of net worth, not total dollar amount. Our number one pick explains why.


1) Jon Sr. & Karen Huntsman Lifetime giving 122% of net worth, $63 million

“Wealth isn’t always measured in dollar signs. We each have time, talent and creativity, all of which can be powerful forces for positive change. Share your blessings in whatever form they come and to whatever level you have been blessed.”

Jon M. Huntsman Sr.Winners Never Cheat: Everyday Values We Learned as Children But May Have Forgotten

2) Ted Turner Lifetime giving 59% of net worth, $1.3 billion

“I don’t measure success in numbers, but I consider my contributions of more than $1.3 billion to various causes over the years to be one of my proudest accomplishments and the best investment I’ve ever made. Those dollars have improved lives, saved species, fought disease, educated children, inspired change, challenged ideas and opened minds; at the time of my death, virtually all of my wealth will have gone to charity.” -Ted Turner, Alliance Magazine

3) Eli & Edythe Broad Lifetime giving 54% of net worth, $3.9 billion

“Charity is just writing checks and not being engaged. Philanthropy, to me, is being engaged, not only with your resources but getting people and yourself really involved and doing things that haven’t been done before.”- Eli Broad

4) George Soros Lifetime giving 45% of net worth, $10.7 billion

“I’m not doing my philanthropic work, out of any kind of guilt, or any need to create good public relations. I’m doing it because I can afford to do it, and I believe in it.”  -George Soros

5) Bill & Melinda Gates Lifetime giving 37% of net worth, $30.2 billion

“If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.”               -Melinda Gates, Valedictory Speech, Ursuline Academy

6) Gordon & Billy Moore Lifetime giving 37% of net worth, $2.6 billion

“I really appreciate what they’re doing. They found the wealth and they’re giving something back, too.” -Gordon Moore

7) Julian Robertson Jr. Lifetime giving 36% of net worth, $1.2 billion

“One very fortunate thing is that I did not get nearly as enthusiastic about philanthropy early on as I am now; if I had there would be very little to give away.” -Julian Robertson Jr., The Giving Pledge, Pledger Profile

 8) Bernard & Billi Marcus Lifetime giving 31% of net worth, $925 million

“Now, my lesson to philanthropy is…you have to put your resources, which is not only money, but you have to put your mind into it. If it’s something that’s desperately needed, then you have to continue your philanthropy.” -Bernard Marcus, How Bernie Marcus Adapted His Philanthropy Strategy to Build Awareness for Autism, by Diann Daniel, The Bridgespan Group

9) Warren Buffett Lifetime giving 30% of net worth, $19.9 billion

“If you’re in the luckiest 1 percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.”  -Warren Buffett

10) Irwin & Joan Jacobs Lifetime giving 29% of net worth, $530 million

“So there are a variety of things that are not bricks and mortar that are very important. But bricks and mortar sometimes are important, too.” -Irwin Jacobs, The San Diego Union-Tribune


We leave you with this bonus quote from Mother Teresa, whose lifetime giving was immeasurable, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

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