|GoPro Tech Donors Among Silicon Valley Philanthropy Changers|
America’s 50 most generous donors increased their giving by 27.5 percent last year—powered in large part by a $1.5-billion gift from Bill and Melinda Gates and a stunning rise in the number of tech entrepreneurs under 40, three of whom gave more than $500-million each.
The increase is striking compared with 2012, when giving by the Philanthropy 50 rose just 4 percent.
Two of the technology wunderkinder who are transforming the profile of big philanthropy have not previously disclosed the extent of their giving. They are Jan Koum, the 38-year-old founder of the messaging company WhatsApp, who donated $556-million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, putting him at No. 4 on The Chronicle’s Philanthropy 50, and Sean Parker, the 35-year-old former Facebook president and founder of Napster, who ranked No. 5 by contributing $550-million, split between his family foundation and a donor-advised fund.
They are followed by Nicholas Woodman, 39, and his wife, Jill, 38, founders of the high-tech camera company GoPro, who donated slightly more than $500-million, also to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
The giving by tech donors is outsize compared with that of people in other industries: It represents 47 percent of the $9.8-billion in donations made by the Philanthropy 50, a list based on total charitable contributions a person made in 2014.