Large (and often named) gifts to local, regional, and national health centers, universities and arts organizations landed 41 givers on this list and bring considerable benefit to society. And several innovative gifts on this year's list will accelerate scientific research and support efforts for a more sustainable planet. But we see far too few large gifts on this list to standout organizations—local or global—fighting inequity and poverty here and around the globe. Where are CARE, YWCA, Save the Children, Boys & Girls Club, United Negro College Fund, ONE.org or—even more notable in their absence—the standout regional human services or advocacy organizations that serve a donor's community and would be able to reach new heights with a major gift? This year's Slate 60 has precious few examples of gifts sharply focused on reducing inequity. The Terwilliger gift to Habitat for Humanity and Michael Bloomberg's investments to improve road safety in the developing world stand out in the crowd. Virginia Bernthal Toulmin's $20 million pledge to the Dayton Foundation will no doubt serve the social service sector in her hometown. It would be great to see future Slate 60s contain a higher number of big gifts targeted at reducing inequity.
To be sure, the best Great Givers don't just give big, give now, and give for great social impact—they measure success as well as failure and they learn from their giving and continue to improve their investing year after year—whether they make the Slate 60 or, like Tom White or Chuck Feeney, fall off the major wealth lists because their giving was so great.
"It's not what you were given, it's what you do with it that matters. " Mom was right.
For the ninth time in the 14 years of the Slate 60, the list has been compiled by the staff of the Chronicle of Philanthropy. We'd like to thank them for their tremendous work, especially Maria Di Mento, who prepares the list, and Sue LaLumia for photo research and collection. Thanks also go to Heather Joslyn, Caroline Preston, Joan Waynick, Ian Wilhelm, and Grant Williams.