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Philanthropy's Tech Echo

The technology and dotcom boom of the late 1990's is bringing an echo 5 years later of booming philanthropy giving by the successful entrepreneurs. Based on figures in this week's Economist for giving in the 5 years to 2005, the list is topped by Gordon Moore, founder of chip maker Intel at US$7.05bn followed by Bill Gates of Microsoft at US$5.46bn. Other notable tech-heads are Jeff Skoll and Pierre Omidyar of Ebay at US$0.92bn in total and Michael Dell of Dell Computers at US$0.93bn.

We have added a list of the top 10 Foundations in Resources. Top one is Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at US$28.8bn followed by the UK's Wellcome Trust at US$18.82bn. The Wellcome Trust was established in 1936 on the death of its benefactor Sir Henry Wellcome, who was born in the USA and went to the UK when he was 27 to establish a pharmaceutical manufacture and marketing business. He married Syrie, the daughter of Dr Bernardo (founder of Children's Homes) but they later divorced (she was briefly married to Somerset Maughan). Without confidence in his son to continue the business, he signed the will in 1932 which established the Wellcome Trust with a value on his death of 11 million pounds. Compound growth rate to today's value of US$18.82 billion is 10%pa.

Posted Saturday, 4 March 2006

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