Education and medical research are the leading beneficiaries of the big time philanthropists, who not surprisingly are also among the world’s richest people. Take a look at Business Insiders’ Profile of The Very Rich who “Use Their Money To Help The World”.
Then ponder this. Mark Zuckerberg donated $100 million of his $17.5 billion. (That’s what it was a few days ago when the article posted. It’s probably up by a $billion or two since then.) A little more than a half of one percent of his net worth went into the collection plate. Wow! This guy’s a real saint.
For a family with a net worth of $100K, half of one percent would be $500. Based on the chart below (Granted, the survey is from 2000. Things might be different now), folks with net worths of $100K or even less, could be averaging as much or more than $500 for annual giving.
Bottom line — It’s nice that Zuck gave $100 million to charity, but let’s not get carried away.