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Bill, Melinda Gates Lead the Way for 'Superphilanthropy'

WASHINGTON (AFP eWire - Jan. 6, 2004) - Today's top philanthropists bring a 'businesslike rigor' to philanthropy and a hands-on 'carpe diem giving,' according to a BusinessWeek article announcing the magazine's second annual Top Philanthropists list.

Bill and Melinda Gates are ranked No. 1, giving away $22.9 billion in the past five years or 54 percent of their current net worth, leading the way in a group of 'superphilanthropists,' according to the article in the Dec. 1 issue.

'The new philanthropists' demand for measurable results, efficiency and transparency - for bringing a businesslike rigor to philanthropy - is already trickling down to the lowest levels of the nonprofit world,' the article states. 'The members of our elite roster are not just out front in terms of sheer amounts given; they're also leading the way to a new conception of responsible philanthropy. Today's top givers are inventing a new kind of 'carpe diem giving.' Instead of making promises to be fulfilled by bequest on their deaths, they're handing over the bulk of their fortunes during their lifetimes, when they can bring vast stores of money and talent to bear on the worst problems plaguing society.'

To make the list, the philanthropists had to give or pledge at least $95 million in the past five years, $30 million more than was required to make last year's first annual list.

The magazine's special section also includes an article on 'secret givers,' major philanthropists who have given away millions but avoid the spotlight. BusinessWeek also ranked the most philanthropic corporations in the United States for the first time, declaring Wal-Mart Stores No. 1 in terms of money. Wal-Mart gave away $156 million in fiscal year 2002, according to BusinessWeek.

Another national magazine, U.S. News and World Report, published a special charity section in December. The Dec. 8 issue of the magazine includes a section on 'Charities: A Guide to Year-End Giving.'

The main article in the section highlights giving trends, features donors and nonprofits and provides tips to donors on selecting the right charities for them.

To read the Dec. 1 issue of BusinessWeek online visit the BusinessWeek website.

To order copies of U.S. News and World Report's charity articles from the Dec. 8 issue visit the U.S. News and World Report website and browse under the Money & Business heading.

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