The 2003 Slate 60: Top Donations

Analysis of the year's biggest philanthropists.
Feb. 16 2004 10:26 AM

The 2003 Slate 60: Top Donations

The 60 largest American charitable contributions of the year.

Donors Who Gave $25 Million or More

Joan B. Kroc
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Joan B. Kroc—a bequest of $1.91 billion to 10 organizations. Kroc, who died on Oct. 12, 2003, at age 75, was the widow of Ray A. Kroc, the founder of the McDonald's Corp. Her gifts were: $1.5 billion to the Salvation Army, in Alexandria, Va., to construct and endow up to 50 recreational and educational facilities across the United States; $200 million to National Public Radio to support the network's operating reserves and endowment; $60 million to Ronald McDonald House Charities to be distributed to its programs worldwide; $50 million to the University of Notre Dame to support the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; $50 million to the University of San Diego to establish the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice; $20 million to San Diego Hospice and Palliative Care to support its programs and services; $10 million to the San Diego Opera to support artistic programming; $5 million to KPBS radio and television, in San Diego, to establish an endowment and operating reserve and create a capital-equipment fund; $5 million to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Diego to build a high school; and $500,000 to Mama's Kitchen, a meal-delivery service in San Diego for people with AIDS. Before her death, Kroc gave $5 million to the University of San Diego to endow a lecture series at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.

Michael S. Dell

Michael S. and Susan Dell$673.7 million to the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. Michael Dell, 38, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell, in Round Rock, Texas, and his wife, Susan, chief executive officer of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, in Austin, and president of Susan Dell, a clothing company, gave $673.7 million in Dell stock to the foundation, which supports childhood-development programs. In 2003, the organization gave 36 grants of $30,000 each during the Thanksgiving holiday to nonprofit organizations. The Dell foundation joined with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in giving $55 million in grants to support public education in Texas. Since it was established in 1999, the Dells have donated $1.2 billion in Dell stock to their organization. The foundation awarded $20 million in grants in 2003 and had $1.1 billion in assets at the end of the year.

Eli and Edythe L. Broad

Eli and Edythe L. Broad$409 million to the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation, the Broad Foundation, and the Broad Art Foundation. Eli Broad, 70, chairman of AIG Retirement Services, formerly SunAmerica, and his wife, Edythe, 67, gave $266 million to Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation, in Los Angeles, which supports medical research and other causes, primarily in California. The Broads also contributed $76 million to the Broad Foundation, in Los Angeles, which supports efforts to improve public elementary and secondary schools, and $67 million to the Broad Art Foundation, in Santa Monica, Calif., which seeks to foster public appreciation of contemporary art by lending its collection of artworks to museums.

John A. (Jack) Jackson$247 million to the University of Texas at Austin. Jackson, a retired gas and oil executive who died in 2003 at age 89, pledged his estate, in 2002, to the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin following his death. Jackson estimated his estate's value at between $150 million and $200 million, but as it was being settled the university determined it was worth at least $247 million. Jackson's gift could actually be worth much more than $247 million, according to university officials, because one-third of the estate includes current and potential royalties in gas and oil reserves. Jackson graduated from the university in 1940 with a bachelor's degree in geology.

Frank Sr. and Jane Batten$141.2 million to eight organizations. Frank Batten, 77, retired chairman and CEO of Landmark Communications, in Norfolk, Va., which owns the Weather Channel and several other media properties, and his wife Jane, 66, gave $32 million to Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, for research and to endow faculty chairs. The couple also gave $32 million to the Harvard Business School, from which Frank Batten graduated in 1952, for capital improvements. In addition, the couple gave $11.2 million in stock to Virginia Wesleyan College, in Norfolk, to support academic scholarships and professorships and $2.2 million to Hollins University, in Roanoke, Va., to support an endowed chair. Jane Batten graduated from the university in 1958, and Frank Batten served on the Hollins board of trustees from 1969 to 1991. The couple also gave $20.5 million to the Norfolk Foundation to establish the Batten Educational Achievement Fund to support educational, recreational, developmental, and enrichment programs in the region over the next 15 years. Additionally, the couple gave $11.3 million to the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Va., to endow the school of business, and $11.2 million to the Tidewater Scholarship Foundation, in Norfolk, to support and expand a program that provides college-advising services and scholarships to local high-school students. Frank Batten co-founded the Tidewater Scholarship Foundation and was a member of the College of William and Mary's board of visitors. In 2003, the Battens also gave $20.8 million to the Culver Academies, in Indiana, to support academic programs, the faculty, and technology procurement, and to provide scholarships. Frank Batten graduated from the boarding school in 1945.

Robert Edward (Ted) Turner

Robert Edward (Ted) Turner$128 million to the U.N. Foundation, Better World Fund, Nuclear Threat Initiative, Brown University, the Citadel, and McCallie School. Turner, 65, founder of CNN and Turner Broadcasting System and chairman of Turner Enterprises, fulfilled a part of his pledge to the U.N. Foundation, in Washington. The gift, $60 million in stock, goes toward fulfilling the $1 billion pledge he made to the organization in 1997. He also gave $20 million to the Better World Fund, in Washington, which he created to educate people about the work of the United Nations, and $45 million in stock and cash to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, in Washington, which works to reduce the global threat posed by nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Turner co-founded the organization in 2001. He also gave stock valued at $1 million to the Citadel, a military college in Charleston, S.C. This unrestricted gift will likely be used for scholarships and capital improvements. Turner also gave stock valued at $1 million to the McCallie School, a college-preparatory school in Chattanooga, Tenn. According to a school spokesman, the gift will be used for capital improvements. Turner is a 1956 graduate of the school. Turner also gave stock valued at $1 million to Brown University. He attended the university but did not graduate.

Jane Bancroft Cook$127 million to Jane's Trust. Bancroft Cook, an heir to the family that founded Dow Jones and Co. and a former board member of the company, who died in 2002 at age 90, gave $127 million to establish Jane's Trust, in Boston, a charitable trust. The trust will support the arts, education, the environment, health, and welfare projects in Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Paul G. Allen

Paul G. Allen$100 million to the Allen Institute for Brain Science. Allen, 51, co-founder of Microsoft and founder and chairman of the investment firm Vulcan Inc., both in the Seattle metropolitan area, donated $100 million to create the Allen Institute for Brain Science, in Seattle. The institute's first project, the Allen Brain Atlas, will attempt to map the genes that operate the mammalian brain.

Jeffrey S. Skoll$81.3 million to the Skoll Foundation. Skoll, 39, former president of eBay, an online auction site, gave five gifts of eBay stock totaling $81.3 million to the Skoll Foundation, formerly the Skoll Community Fund, in San Jose, Calif. Skoll's foundation, of which he is chairman, supports social entrepreneurship. Skoll also supports a separate entity, also called the Skoll Foundation, which shares the same mission.