The 18 largest gifts to hospitals in the last 10 years

By Jackie Kimmell, Senior Analyst

Editor's note: This story was updated December 5th to include three gifts that had been initially omitted.

Philanthropy often contributes over 20% of hospital net profits—and hospitals are getting increasingly better at raising this money. According to the Advisory Board Philanthropy Leadership Council's Benchmarking Survey, the median organization raised $11 million in FY 2017, over double the $4.3 median in FY 2005.

Still, while hospitals may be getting better at fundraising, it will be hard to beat the record of some of the major gifts given in the last 10 years. Read on to see our roundup of these gifts, who gave them and for what purpose. 

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The top 15 hospital donations in the past 10 years

The Daily Briefing searched through data from the Chronicle of Philanthropy to find the 18 largest donations hospitals have received over the past 10 years.

1. Herbert and Florence Irving to NewYork Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center (New York)
  • Gift size: $600 million
  • Year: 2017
  • Purpose: For cancer research and patient care.
  • Donor's source of wealth: Food and beverage (Irving co-founded the Sysco Corporation, a marketer and distributor of food-service products).  

2. Phillip H. and Penelope Knight to Oregon Health and Science University (Portland, Oregon)

  • Pledge size: $500 million
  • Year: 2013
  • Purpose: For cancer research (the University had to raise an additional $500 million to receive the gift, which they completed in 2015).
  • Donor's source of wealth: Manufacturing (Knight co-founded the sportswear brand Nike).

3. David H. Koch to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York)

  • Pledge size: $150 million
  • Year: 2015
  • Purpose: To create a new outpatient cancer-care building.
  • Donor source of wealth: Oil (Koch is executive VP at Koch Industries, a multinational group of chemical, energy, and investment companies).

4. T. Denny Sanford to Sanford Health (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

  • Pledge size: $125 million
  • Year: 2014
  • Purpose: To create Sanford Imagenetics, a platform to enable primary care doctors to use genetic testing to treat and counsel patients (to date, Sanford had donated over $735 million to Sanford Health).
  • Donor source of wealth: Finance (Sanford started a credit card company based in South Dakota).

5. Phillip H. and Penelope Knight to Oregon Health and Science University (Portland, Oregon)

  • Pledge size: $125 million
  • Year: 2012
  • Purpose: To establish an institute for cardiovascular care and research.
  • Donor source of wealth: Manufacturing (Knight co-founded the sportswear brand Nike).

6. Ernest Rady to Rady Children's Hospital Foundation (San Diego, California)

  • Pledge size: $120 million
  • Year: 2014
  • Purpose: To establish the Rady Pediatric Genomic and Systems Medicine Institute. (This donation followed the $60 million Rady donated in 2006 to support the expansion of the hospital's facilities).
  • Donor source of wealth: Real estate (Rady is the founder and chair of American Assets, a real-estate development company in San Diego).

7. Roberta Elliot to Montage Health Foundation (Monterey, California)

  • Gift size: $105.8 million
  • Year: 2017
  • Purpose: To create a new facility for child and adolescent behavioral health issues, as well as an inpatient-care house and more robust outpatient care, early intervention, and partnerships with community organizations.
  • Donor source of wealth: Family (Elliot is a sister of Warren Buffet and an early investor in Buffet's company Berkshire Hathaway).

8. Joseph (Rusty) Walter III and Paula Walter to Houston Methodist Hospital (Houston, Texas)

  • Gift size: $101 million
  • Year: 2017
  • Purpose: For neuroscience research (Walter was treated at the hospital following a stroke in 2013).
  • Donor source of wealth: Oil (Walter is the co-owner of the Walter Oil & Gas Corporation, a company his father created based out of Houston).

*9. William P. Clements Jr. to Southwestern Medical Foundation (Dallas, Texas)

  • Pledge size: $100 million
  • Year: 2009
  • Purpose: For the University of Texas Medical Center in Dallas.
  • Donor source of wealth: Oil (Clements founded the international oil and gas drilling contractor Sedco).

*9. Richard Jacobson to Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota)

  • Gift size: $100 million
  • Year: 2011
  • Purpose: To establish a proton-beam therapy program to treat cancer (Jacobson has been a patient since he was a child and previously donated $2 million to create a professorship in molecular medicine).
  • Donor source of wealth: Industry (Jacobson is the founder and chair of Jacobson Companies, a freight-services and warehouse corporation in Des Moines, Iowa).

*9. David H. Koch to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (New York)

  • Gift size: $100 million
  • Year: 2013
  • Purpose: To construct a new ambulatory care facility on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
  • Donor source of wealth: Oil (Koch is executive VP at Koch Industries, a multinational group of chemical, energy, and investment companies).

*9. Marc R. and Lynne Benioff to the University of California at San Francisco's Benioff Children's Hospital (California)

  • Pledge size: $100 million
  • Year: 2014
  • Purpose: To support basic and clinical research and patient care at UCSF Children's as well as its affiliate, Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland.
  • Donor source of wealth: Technology (Benioff is the founder and CEO of Salesforce, the consumer relationship management platform).

*9. Henry R. and Marie-Josée Kravis to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York)

  • Gift size: $100 million
  • Year: 2014
  • Purpose: To establish a Center for Molecular Oncology, to analyze the DNA of patients and their tumors and match them with the best medicines.
  • Donor source of wealth: Finance (Kravis is a founding partner of Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Company, a private equity firm in New York).

*9. Dennis and Carol Troesh to Loma Linda University Health (California)

  • Pledge size: $100 million
  • Year: 2014
  • Purpose: To build a new adult medical center, a tower for the children's hospital, and an interdisciplinary research hub.
  • Donor source of wealth: Industry (Troesh is the founder of Robertson's Ready Mix, a company providing ready-mix concrete that's based in California).

*9. Conrad and Janet Duchossois to the University of Chicago Medicine (Illinois)

  • Pledge size: $100 million
  • Year: 2017
  • Purpose: To create the Duchossois Family Institute, a center for research focused on how genetics, the immune system, and microbiomes interact to prevent disease and maintain health. (The family had previously given $37 million to the system).
  • Donor source of wealth: Defense (Duchossois is the chair of the Duchossois Group, a holding company that maintains investments in racehorse tracks, rail-car manufacturing and defense contracts).

**15. The Hall Family Foundation to Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics (Kansas City, Missouri)

  • Pledge size: $75 million
  • Year: 2013
  • Purpose: To build an Institute for Translational Medicine at the system.
  • Donor source of wealth: Retail (Joyce Hall founded Hallmark Cards in 1910).

**15. The Hall Family Foundation and Sunderland Foundation to Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics (Kansas City, Missouri)

  • Pledge size: $75 million each
  • Year: 2018
  • Purpose: To build a Children's Research Institute and advance pediatric research.
  • Donor source of wealth: Retail (Joyce Hall founded Hallmark Cards in 1910) and industry (Sunderland was vice chairman of the Ash Grove Cement Company).

**15. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to San Francisco General Hospital Foundation (California)

  • Gift size: $75 million
  • Year: 2015
  • Purpose: To pay for technology and equipment at the hospital's new acute care and trauma center.
  • Donor source of wealth: Technology (Zuckerberg is co-founder and CEO of Facebook).

*As these gifts are the same size, they are all tied for 9th largest on our list

**These gifts are tied for 15th largest

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