On May 8, the editors of Town & Country magazine shared the names of 50 men and women who are committed to changing the world through their philanthropy. Most of them are not household names, although a few are. Here are some of the people—with a combined giving power of $321 billion—who are making their mark through their generosity.
The director of the 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side in Manhattan was the creator of Giving Tuesday. This day, falling after Black Friday and Cyber Monday during the holiday shopping season, reminds people that part of the reason for the season is generosity to those in need. In 2016, Giving Tuesday raised $177 million online in 24 hours.
Porath’s goal is to create a community for people affected by disease, disability, and mental illness. To do so, he launched The Mighty in 2014. Now boasting 100 million views per month, The Mighty has become an indispensable part of the web for people dealing with these issues, and the people who love and support them.
The co-founder of Burt’s Bees works hard to preserve wildlife, particularly in her home state of Maine. In August of 2016, Quimby donated 87,000 acres of the Quimby Family Foundation’s 120,000 acres of wilderness to the federal government. The result was the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Quimby also funds youth art programs.
Robert F. Smith
Private equity billionaire Smith’s philanthropic goal is to support education, the arts, African-American causes, and combat children’s abuse. Last year, he made the second-largest donation to the National Museum of African American History & Culture, and is now the first African-American chairman of Carnegie Hall.
Bill and Melinda Gates
The Microsoft billionaire and his wife founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help them achieve their goal of wiping out malaria, malnutrition, and poverty, and supporting quality education. Last year they launched the Gates Open Research Initiative to fund a free-access publishing site for their researchers.
The Las Vegas business mogul is using her money for quality education and keeping the arts vibrant. Last year she pledged $50 million for a building project at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Alvin Ailey is in the process of building the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation Education Wing. Wynn has also donated millions of dollars to educational charities and to the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas.