Houston, TX

Who are the biggest donors in Houston?

Ash Jurberg

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Last month I wrote about the five richest people in Houston.

After it was published, I received comments from people saying that while it was great to read about successful people in Houston, they also would like to find out more about the people who helped the community and not just themselves.

I thought that was a good idea, and so today, we shall look at the couple who donated more money than any others in Houston in 2021.

The biggest donors in Houston

Each the Philanthropy 50 is published. This list has the top fifty philanthropists in the United States.

And on this years list, coming in at 15th most generous in the United States and number in Houston are Laura and John Arnold. In 2021 they donated a whopping $270 million.

John Arnold has a net worth of $3.3 billion built on the back of his hedge fund, Centaurus Advisors, as well as investing in solar farms and deepwater oil developments in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Arnolds are well-known philanthropists who donate large sums to their family foundation, which they established in 2010. They believe "philanthropy should be transformational and should seek through innovation to solve persistent problems in society."

The Arnolds were the first billionaires to sign on to the advocacy organization Global Citizen's “Give While You Live” campaign. This campaign asks the world’s billionaires to give at least 5% of their wealth every year to a cause. They have also signed the Giving Pledge, a commitment developed by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to get the world’s richest to give away most of their wealth during their lifetimes.

So far, they have donated over $1.2 billion.

Among some of the bigger grants they made last year were:

  • $30 million to America Achieves to support tutoring programs that address pandemic-related learning losses among students
  • $3.3 million grant to Arizona State University and the University of Central Florida to back a research program to study the safety of survivors of domestic violence
  • $500,000 grant to the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Readers, were you aware of the philanthropic efforts of the Arnolds? Are you glad to see people give back to charitable organizations? Where else would you like to see donations made?

Please leave your comments in the section below.

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