(CBS SF) — Out of the top 10 most generous American philanthropists in 2014, four hail from Bay Area tech companies, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual Philanthropy 50 list.
America’s 50 biggest donors gave a total of $9.8 billion to nonprofits in 2014. Only 12 came from tech companies, but they made up a whopping 47 percent of total donations.READ MORE: UPDATE: Atmospheric River: I-880 Shutdown, Flooded Roadways, Damaged Homes, Massive Rockslides In Storm's Wake
The number of tech philanthropists have doubled from 2013, when Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, became the first donors under 30 to top the list with their $1 billion donation to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
At the top of 2014’s list is Jan Koum, the 38-year-old founder of the messaging company WhatsApp, who donated $556 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation putting him at No. 4 on the list. He’s followed by 35-year-old Sean Parker, Facebook’s former president and founder of Napster, who ranked No. 5 by contributing over $500 million. They’re followed by Nicholas Woodman, 39, and his wife Jill, founders of the camera company GoPro who donated slightly more than $500 million.
Other tech leaders in the top 15:
- No. 9: Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, $382.8 million.
- No. 12: Pierre Omidyar, eBay founder, and wife Pam Omidyar, $180 million.
- No. 13: Larry Page, Google co-founder, $177.3 million.
- No. 14: Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com chairman CEO and co-founder, and wife Lynne Benioff, $154 million
Bill and Melinda Gates topped the list by donating over $1.5 billion in Microsoft stock to their family foundation.READ MORE: Atmospheric River: High Winds Topple Trees, Scaffolding in San Francisco
Foundation CEO Emmett Carson told CBS SF we’re witnessing a “renaissance in American philanthropy” with more young entrepreneurs who are willing to bet big earlier as opposed to the traditional philanthropy model where a person starts with smaller donations first to test the waters.
“It goes back to the ‘fail fast’ motto,” Carson said. “(Tech entrepreneurs) are successful at being disruptive, by doing things differently. Philanthropy requires the same character and doing something big and bold to bring significant change.”
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation helped big-name tech execs like Marc Benioff in founding the Salesforce Foundation.MORE NEWS: Atmospheric River: Parts of San Mateo County Pummeled with Heavy Rain, Flooding
In 2009, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett launched The Giving Pledge as a challenge to their peers to commit to giving at least half of their net worth to charity. Execs from Facebook, Google, Yahoo, eBay, and others have signed the pledge.