According to Forbes, no other country rivals the US when it comes to charity but billionaires outside the US in recent years have started to make some impact.
Since 2012, 28 non-American members of the Forbes billionaires list have signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give at least half of their wealth away (in their lifetimes or after they die).
Forbes’ has listed the biggest billionaire philanthropists from outside the US, measured by total dollar amount donated through mid-March 2019:
The number on the list is Indian IT billionaire, Azim Premji who is estimated to worth $5 billion. He has given a total of $21 billion to charity in lifetime giving. He is credited to prioritising and improving the public school system in some of the most underserved parts of India.
Christopher Hohn is the next billionaire outside the US to make list. The Brit worth $3.1 billion has donated lifetime giving of $4.5 billion to charity. He is the fund manager of Hedge and co-founded the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) in 2002 with his then-wife Jamie.
Carlos Slim Helu
Although Mexico’s telecom tycoon, Carlos Slim Helu was initially against the Giving Pledge, he believes in some forms of philanthropy. The telecom Mongol is estimated have donated $4.2 billion to his Carlos Slim Foundation since 2006.
With an enviable Lifetime giving of $3.2 billion, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-Shing since 1980 has engaged in charity through his foundation. His foundation has donated billions to education, medical services and research initiatives in 27 countries. He is estimated to have a net worth of $32.5 billion.
Wyss founded medical device manufacturer Synthes and sold it to Johnson & Johnson in 2012 for $20.2 billion in cash and stock. The Swiss is dedicated to protecting the environment not only in his home continent, Europe, but also in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
He has already put at least $1.9 billion into his foundation since 2001. The foundation has doled out $450 million to preserve land around the planet, and Wyss has additionally given $40 million to the same cause.
Another Swiss, Stephan Schmidheiny completes the list. He is credited to have donated $1.5 billion to charity.
Schmidheiny became the president of Swiss Eternit Group, his father’s construction materials company, in 1976 when he was just 29.
Since 2003, he has donated about $1.5 billion to charity, mostly in shares of his Latin American industrial assets that he placed in his charitable VIVA Trust.
Credit: Forbes Africa