Biggest Gifts of the Year Topped by New $1-Billion Foundation

From the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

The ultra-rich continued to give big to American nonprofits in the past year, with the sum of the 10 largest single donations of the year nearly equaling the combined top 10 of 2013.

The top donation of 2014 was a $1-billion bequest from Ralph Wilson, Jr., a Detroit businessman who owned the Buffalo Bills football team. He died in March at age 95, and now his heirs are deciding how best to adhere to his wishes as his charitable foundation expands.

No. 2 was a $650-million pledge from the 83-year-old businessman Ted Stanley, who made one of the biggest commitments ever to mental-health research with a donation to the Broad Institute.

Still, even though the 10 biggest gifts of the year totaled about the same as last year, the top donations have yet to recover to the sums America’s super-wealthy gave before the downturn. In 2007, the 10 biggest gifts totaled $4.1-billion, compared with 2014’s $3.3-billion and 2013’s $3.4-billion. Even so, the past two years have been much stronger than the years after the financial crisis, when the totals struggled toexceed $2.5-billion.

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