To give or not to give: Here are the stingiest tech gazillionaires

To give or not to give: Here are the stingiest tech gazillionaires

Summary: Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, and Steve Ballmer are among the least generous (or are secret philanthropists) says Inside Philanthropy magazine.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Inside Philanthropy has a fascinating list of the top philanthropists in the tech industry. (You’ll be surprised at who is at the top: Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner, the original founders of Cisco Systems).

It also includes the six least generous (a generous way to say, “the tightest and least charitable”) tech billionaires.

Jeff Bezos should learn from his parents:

A libertarian known for his belief in self-reliance—engaged in virtually no philanthropy for years… For a long time, his parents did more giving with their Amazon shares than Bezos did with his billions. Now things are starting to change, with a few high profile gifts going out the door for brain science and cancer research…

Larry Page has short arms:

If this Google co-founder, who's worth $32 billion, has a secret philanthropic life, we'd love to know about it. Because right now it looks like he's a big cheerleader for Google's philanthropic and social endeavors, while kicking the can down the road in terms of engaging in his own serious philanthropy.

Steve Ballmer lost his check book:

We've predicted that he and his wife Connie, a nonprofit veteran, will soon turn on the giving spigot in a big way, drawing on a $19 billion fortune. Otherwise, Ballmer has largely been a no-show in terms of his own philanthropy beyond the occasional big gift here and there.

Larry Ellison has given about half-a-billion dollars to medical research over his lifetime but not much in recent years.

Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo! has made just one gift, $75m to his alma mater — a comparative drop from his green ocean.

Bebo co-founders Michael Birch and wife Xochti made out very well when they sold to AOL. Their $595m has been spent on: 

$29 million for a mansion in Pacific Heights and then $13.6 million for a vineyard estate in Sonoma. More recently, Birch has spent millions on his latest cause, which is a private club where the Bay Area elite can hobnob.

Read: Meet the 12 Most Generous Tech Leaders. . . And 6 of the Least 

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Could learn a bit from this man

    Andrew Carnegie
    Alan Smithie
    • To give or not to give:

      I've always wondered about whose business it is for one to dive into someone's personal life and see how much or how little people give to charity. It's plain and simple dear writer, it's none of your business.

      Personally, if I had the money that some on the list do, my name would not appear on any register of being charitable to any international organization or University's favorite cause. Surely I'd make your list to as a stingy creature. I'd rather put my charitable funds to work by directly placing it in the hands of those who need it or fund that need myself and oversee the progress with my own eyes.

      I don't think that the author of this article or ZDNet lose sleep over this "give or not to give" issue.
  • Libertarian is just another word for oligarch

    Jeff Bezos is a blast from the past and I don't mean that kindly. He is the reincarnation of George Pullman (see who believes that his employees are mere chattel. There have been many articles published on the treatment of Amazon's workers (see for just a taste). Bezos outsourced his customer support to India, imports mainly Chinese-made goods, and recently introduced a cloud service with most employees outside the U.S., yet the majority of his customers reside in the U.S. Not to mention his insane proposal to use drones to deliver packages.

    As for Larry Page (and Eric Schmidt -- who was just given $100 million worth of Google stock -- and Sergey Brin), his company's business model is based on spying on and tracking their users. And let's not forget Glass, truly the nuttiest invention this side of the NSA.

    I'm sure Bezos, Page, Schmidt, Brin, and the other corporate hyenas are proud of themselves.

    Mass killers, Jeff Bezos' bitchy Amazon, and stupid drone tricks
  • Personally I like to see the very wealthy people invest their

    money into things like Blue Origin, Space X, Tesla, and other like minded ventures. While technically not charity, they do a lot of investments and research in areas that could have a lot of potential to help advance civilization.

    Also, any time I donate to charity I try to keep it as anonymous as possible, how would that factored into this research?
    Sam Wagner