City A.M.'s World Charity Index 2015 - who's made the list of top givers and biggest charitable donors this year?

The World Charity Index 2015

Prof. dr. Theo Schuyt
VU University Amsterdam & University of Maastricht Chair of the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP)
An introduction by the man behind City A.M’s unique ranking of charitable giving from the private sector
For the fourth year in a row, City A.M. presents its ranking of charitable foundations in order of those that contribute the most. As always, it’s a work in progress; not all information is available or accessible. Nevertheless, the City A.M. Charity List grows in stature and reputation every year. For researchers at the Center for Philanthropic Studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, such as myself, it is an honor and a challenge to conduct this research. In doing so, we make philanthropic efforts more visible around the world.

World charity index 2015
World’s top 20 donors 2015
(Please click on the below organisations to find out more about each one)
2014 (% Change*)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
£2,059m (-0.03%)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

With over £20bn given away since its foundation in 2000, the spending power of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on development aid is bigger than that of most countries. The organisation formed by Microsoft co-founder and former chief exec Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, who also worked for Microsoft in various departments as project and general manager, is by far the biggest charity giver.

When the foundation made its first big grant for malaria research, it nearly doubled the amount of money spent on the disease worldwide. And since billionaire investor Warren Buffett pledged in 2006 to give the foundation most of his fortune, its firepower has almost doubled.

The foundation, which focuses on poverty and disease globally and on education in the US, aims for what Gates calls “catalytic philanthropy” – that is, investing for big returns. It’s taken on huge global missions such as eradicating polio and malaria and has thrown its money towards causes that have so far been underfunded.

Read more on our Gates Foundation page

A global group of private investors, which includes Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Virgin’s Richard Branson and Alibaba founder Jack Ma, will “invest early, invest broadly, invest boldly, invest wisely and invest together”.
Wellcome Trust
£556m (-2%)
Novamedia / Postcode Lotteries
£469m (5%)
La Caixa Foundation
£350m (19%)
Ford Foundation
£314m (-5%)
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
£303m (7%)
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
£287m (30%)
National Philanthropic Trust
£285m (69%)
Atlantic Philanthropies
£264m (104%)
Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation
£252m (-7%)
The Walton Family Foundation
£227m (15%)
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
£219m (0.2%)
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
£218m (60%)
Church Commissioners
£216m (4%)
Lilly Endowment
£211m (31%)
Foundation for the Carolinas
£198m (95%)
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
£179m (14%)
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
£159m (12%)
David and Lucile Packard Foundation
£155m (-11%)
Volkswagen Foundation
£150m (19%)
* % change shows increase or decrease in grants funded compared to 2013, in original currency
Education is essential in breaking the cycle of poverty but, globally, over 57m children do not attend primary school and the majority of that number live in Africa.
World charity index 2015
World’s top 20 by country of origin

World charity index 2015
One of the most important – and most recognisable – charities in the City is the Lord Mayor’s appeal, which raises money for charities that are close to the heart of the current mayor.