tom leydiker how the most charitable americans gave back in 2016-

There is nothing more rewarding than donating money to organizations in need. Every individual has a relationship with some type of organization that is dear to their hearts. Whether that is funding children’s homes so that children in dire circumstances, both economical or physical, can have safe spaces available to them or giving to organizations that are dedicated to helping end homelessness among veterans. Many of these passionate connections stem from a personal history.

Last year, there were fifty individuals in the United States who, in total, contributed around $5.6 billion to charity. While 2016 may have been one of the lowest years for charitable giving, that doesn’t mean that a lack of philanthropic spirit was to blame. The election and the stock market were two areas that could have lended themselves to less financial flexibility than in previous years. Here are the most charitable Americans of 2016:

Phil And Penny Knight

You may not recognize the name, but you will recognize the brand. One of Nike’s co-founders, Phil Knight, and his wife both gave $900 million, which was spread out among various organizations. The University of Oregon, which happens to be Phil Knight’s alma mater, received the highest amount of money.

Michael Bloomberg

More currently known as the founder of Bloomberg LP and previously known as the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg also had a generous year. He donated close to $600 million to a diverse range of organizations, including ones that are focused on the environment, public-health, and education.

Paul Allen

As the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen has money to spare. It is always nice to see a billionaire use their funds for the greater good. Last year, he gave away $295 million to organizations that are linked to brain science, global warming, and conserving natural habitats.

Bill And Melinda Gates

It is no surprise that the Gateses are two of the most charitable American citizens. Every year, they donate funds into their own charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which helps support areas such as education and world health. Last year, they put a total $141.4 million into their foundation.

You don’t have to be one of the wealthiest people in the world to make a significant impact. Find a cause that is important to you and donate whatever you are comfortable with. If you don’t have the financial flexibility to give your money, you can donate your time instead.