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The Greatest Philanthropic Contributions of 2014

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Image: via Shutterstock

2014 was a great year in the world of philanthropy. Organizations and individual philanthropists gave generously over the last 12 months, and it was inspiring to see such bigheartedness. Here, we highlight some of the greatest philanthropic contributions of 2014 in the areas of education, health, the arts, and other charitable foundations.

Health – One of the biggest charitable donations within the health sector in 2014 came from Henry R. Kravis and his wife Marie-Josée, whose contribution of $100 million to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center allowed for the formation of a new, cutting edge molecular oncology center. Another significant philanthropic contribution came from Gert Boyle, who donated $100 million to the Oregon Health and Science University, a nationally prominent research university.

Education – In 2014, Hong Kong real estate developer Ronnie Chan donated $175 million to Harvard University in what became one of the largest philanthropic donations from a single donor of the year. Additionally, Chan’s brother Gerald matched Ronnie’s donation, generously offering another $175 million to the Ivy League institution. San Diego-based philanthropist Conrad Prebys gave not once but twice to San Diego State University in 2014, in another showing of generosity towards higher education.

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett gave the largest donation of 2014.   Image: Flickr CC via Fortune Live Media

The Arts – In early 2014 news broke that the Denver Art Museum would receive 22 impressionist landscapes from collector and philanthropist Frederic C. Hamilton. The generous donation is estimated by art experts to be worth as much as $100 million, and was one of the largest philanthropic contributions to the arts this year. Another major donation to the arts in 2014 came from Jerry Perenchio, who pledged an astounding $500,000,000 worth of artworks to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Charitable Foundations – According to Market Watch, the single largest charitable donation from one person in 2014 came from none other than Warren Buffett. Buffett reportedly donated $2.1 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which supports initiatives in education, world health, and community giving in the Pacific Northwest.

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Memorial Sloan Kettering Earns Top Cancer Hospital Prize with the Help of Vital Philanthropy

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center IMG: via Stanford.

News recently broke that for the first time in seven years, MD Anderson Cancer Center was bumped to the runner-up spot in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best hospitals. According to The Clinical Cancer Letter, “MD Anderson Cancer Center’s uninterrupted seven-year stretch as the top cancer hospital in the U.S. News & World Report rankings has come to an end. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has broken the spell of being the perpetual runner-up and moved to the lead.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering’s new title as best cancer center in the United States is somewhat unsurprising, given the recent oncological developments and innovations that have been made there. The cancer center has been regarded as one of the world’s premier medical institutions, and has garnered significant amounts of funding from donors who believe in its work and tireless mission to fight and treat cancer. Many major developments to the hospital’s facilities could not have been made without the generous donations of philanthropists.

Earlier this year, the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation donated an astounding gift of $100 million to the cancer center, which allowed for the formation of a division that utilizes advanced, cutting-edge technology. The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology (CMO) has allowed for groundbreaking advancements in cancer research and patient care. According to Inside Philanthropy, the $100 million gift is the largest donation the Kravis Foundation has made.

Earning the title of best cancer hospital is a true achievement for Memorial Sloan Kettering, and validates the important, tireless work it does. According to Memorial Sloan Kettering, the “CMO brings together researches with many different areas of expertise – including cancer biology, pathology, bioinformatics, and systems biology – to undertake a vast, translational research program,” of the broadened reach the Cancer Center has because of the new endeavors of the CMO.

Learn more about how Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center earned the title of best hospital by visiting the U.S. News and World Report Hospital Rankings.