For the first time, Forbes 400 members are ranked not just on their total wealth and on how self-made they are, but also on their generosity. Members of this elite club have been scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most philanthropic. List members about whom we could find no charitable giving information received an N.A. (not available).

To come up with the scores, we first estimated each list member’s total lifetime giving. A team of 32 Forbes journalists delved into public filings, from tax forms for private foundations to press releases, and reached out to 400 members and nonprofits as well. Next we looked at what percent of their fortune they had given away. We weighted these two factors equally and scored people accordingly.

Some individuals were then bumped up or down based on several other factors, including whether they had signed the Giving Pledge, whether they had pledged significant donations, how personally involved they were in their charitable giving and how quickly and effectively their private foundations distributed dollars. In a few instances, we also used some lifetime-giving information from Boca Raton-based firm SHOOK Research. We did not make a qualitative evaluation of the 400 members’ charitable gifts. We didn’t count pledges or announced gifts that have yet to be paid out. That’s why the world’s richest person Jeff Bezos is ranked a 2 out of 5 and not higher. Had the Amazon founder immediately distributed the $2 billion he pledged in September to help homeless families and start preschools, his score would have been a 4.  

Ted Turner’s FORBES 400 Profile Page:

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