Social Philanthropists

Social Philanthropists
Couple taking pieces out of globe puzzle

In this study of how philanthropists use social media, the first of its kind, we rank the top 50 philanthropists with the highest social media reach.
Bill and Melinda Gates top our list of the 50 philanthropists with the highest social media reach, with particularly large followings on Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Weibo. Richard Branson and George Soros are in second and third place. Facebook tops the list of platforms that our top 50 philanthropists choose to use, with Twitter in second and LinkedIn in third place.
We measure the size of the audience that each philanthropist has, across the top five social media platforms that they choose to use, and we rank them based on total follower numbers across all these platforms. From this, we can learn a lot about potential (each tweet or post can reach hundreds of thousands or millions) and also success (since people will tend to follow accounts of interest).
We assess both the personal platforms of these philanthropists, and the platforms of foundations and other organisations where they have a decision-making role. This is because we define philanthropy as being about ownership of how money is spent as well as how much is given away. Where philanthropists operate as couples or families, with shared investments and shared goals, we have counted them as one unit for the purpose of this exercise. Where philanthropists choose not to talk about their giving we still include them – since we’re still interested in potential reach should they choose to use it.
We hope you enjoy exploring the data and we’re keen to keep the conversation going. Please do get in touch.

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