Charity is down, and so are the fortunes and perceptions of the rich.

But Forbes has come up with yet another list to give us hope for the wealthy. The ‘Billion-Dollar Donors’ ranks people who have given away (not just pledged) at least $1 billion in total. The great virtue of the list is that the gifts don’t have to be recent.

Interestingly, of the world’s 793 billionaires, by Forbes’ count, only 14 make the list.

‘I’m surprised there aren’t more,’ said Herbert Sandler, the billionaire banker who sold his mortgage company before the global financial crisis. ‘It’s a shame there aren’t a lot more.’

Here are the people Forbes calls ‘the most generous people on the planet’ (assuming a correlation between dollars and generosity).

1 Bill Gates, $28 billion donated.
2 George Soros, $7.2 billion
3 Gordon Moore, $6.8 billion.
4 Warren Buffett, $6.7 billion.
5 Eli Broad, $2 billion.
6 James Stowers, $1.9 billion.
7 Herbert and Marion Sandler, $1.5 billion.
8 Michael Bloomberg, $1.5 billion
9 Li Ka-shing, $1.37 billion
10 Dietmar Hopp, $1.25 billion
11 Michael Dell $1.2 billion
12 Klaus Tschira, $1.1 billion
13 Stephen Schmidheiny $1 billion
14 Ted Turner, $1 billion

Who do you think is the most ‘generous’ person on the planet?

Robert Frank