It was a healthy year for big gifts to charitable causes in 2021, a year that saw one of the largest multibillion-dollar contributions in more than a decade, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy tally.
The power philanthropists Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates announced in May that they were divorcing and then gave a jaw-dropping $15 billion to their foundation in July. The money will bolster its endowment and support the grant maker’s work in global health, development, policy and advocacy, and U.S. education well into the future.
The gift increased the grant maker’s endowment to about $65 billion and is the Gateses’ biggest infusion of money into the foundation since 2000, when they transferred Microsoft stock then valued at $20 million.
When they announced this year’s gift, the two philanthropists indicated they planned to continue running the foundation together for…