A person’s priorities tell you a lot about them, and these five corporate executives seem to have theirs in good working order. Each has bestowed uncommon generosity on foundations, charities, and social organizations serving the hometowns that have given them so much. Whose brand of philanthropy resonates with you the most?
1.Gordon and Betty Moore, San Francisco
Yes, he’s the Moore’s Law guy — and he also happens to be extremely generous. The nonagenarian Intel founder, whose net worth reportedly exceeds $5 billion, gives extensively to national and international conservation organizations. But he also supports causes closer to home; highlights include a $600 million gift to Cal Tech and a $100 million gift to the University of California nursing school.
2.Todd Leebow, Cleveland
Majestic Steel CEO Todd Leebow is perhaps best known for setting the steel industry standard for workplace culture and advocating for free-but-fair trade policy that protects the interests of American producers and workers. He also happens to be a huge booster for his Ohio hometown: He and his team have donated thousands of volunteer hours to the northeast Ohio chapters of Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity, among other local social services organizations.
3.Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos, Seattle
For years, Amazon founder and chairman Jeff Bezos battled perceptions of stinginess; Amazon might be a major employment engine and talent attractor for Seattle, city leaders griped, but where’s our slice?
Those perceptions are outdated, to say the least. Just as Amazon dominates downtown Seattle’s office market, Bezos and soon-to-be-ex-wife Mackenzie dominate its charity circuit. In early 2019, Mackenzie made waves for pledging to donate much of her divorce settlement — billions and billions of dollars — to charity.
5.Edward Bass, New Haven
Edward Bass is a Texas-sized oil tycoon who, at first glance, looks like he’d rather be anywhere but the stuffy halls of academia. It’s true that Bass made his money in the Lone Star State, but he hasn’t forgotten where his roots lie — Yale University, his beloved alma mater. Bass has been a major Yale benefactor since the late 1960s; the capstone of this run came when he donated nearly 10% of his net worth to turn the university’s Peabody Museum of Natural History into a modern, world-class ode to the natural world.
6.Dietmar Hopp, Heidelberg (Germany)
The cofounder of SAP, one of the world’s largest software companies, plows much of his vast wealth back into the tidy little university town of Heidelberg, Germany. For the past 20 years, his Dietmar Hopp Stiftung foundation has issued grant after grant to local educational, research, and social support institutions. His most ambitious project is the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine (HI-STEM), which is precisely as groundbreaking as it sounds.
Are You Giving Back?
You might not have the extensive resources of a tech billionaire. But, if you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll probably admit that you can make do with less than you currently have. As the saying goes: To whom much — or even a modest allowance — is given, much is expected in return. How will you choose to give back?