Feb 21, 2023 - News

Austin tech leaders top 2022 gift-giving list

Photo illustration of Elon Musk against an abstract background.

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Three locals made The Philanthropy 50, an analysis of the biggest donors in 2022 by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

How it works: The annual report is based on gifts and pledges of cash, stock, land and real estate to nonprofit organizations.

  • The Chronicle spoke with nonprofits, philanthropists and their representatives to learn about large donations that were made public.

Yes, but: Not all philanthropists publicly disclose details of their donations, and the Chronicle only counts gifts made to organizations with charity or foundation status.

By the numbers: Austin newcomer Elon Musk, one of the richest people in America, came in at No. 2 for seven donations of Tesla stock valued at nearly $2 billion to an unidentified charity or charities, the Chronicle found.

  • Austin-based Anthony Wood, founder and CEO of television streaming platform Roku, gave more than $71 million in 2022, including a $14.4 million grant for a research program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to develop new drugs to treat heart and brain diseases, and two grants totaling $7 million to his alma mater, Texas A&M University.
  • Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia gave several large donations last year, including one to the Eames Institute to honor the work of acclaimed mid-century furniture designers Ray and Charles Eames, $3.3 million to aid Ukrainians with a donation through the company's nonprofit arm Airbnb.org, and $2 million to the International Refugees Assistance Project.

Of note: Musk's 2022 donations were a late addition to the list after his gifts were made public via a mandatory securities filing on Feb. 14, according to the Chronicle.

  • Musk has said his primary residence is in Boca Chica Beach, near SpaceX's launch facility in South Texas, but various reports found that he had spent much time in Austin, where Tesla is based.

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