Forbes Profiles the World's Biggest Givers

The ranks of the world's most generous philanthropists now include nineteen people who have given at least $1 billion to their foundations or charitable causes, up from fourteen in 2009, Forbes reports.

In its second listing of the world's most generous (in dollar terms) donors,Forbes found that more than two-thirds are from the United States and all but one is a self-made entrepreneur. In creating the list, Forbes did not adjust for inflation, focused on individuals and not extended families, and only counted gifts — not pledges — paid out during a person's lifetime. As a a result, some big givers — including Blackstone co-founder Peter Peterson, who has pledged to give $1 billion but has only donated $450 million to date, and SAP co-founder Hans Plattner, whose $900 million in giving in 1998 would easily exceed $1 billion if adjusted for inflation — narrowly missed making the list.

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