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2012's Top Ten Charitable Gifts, Pacific Northwest Has Its Share

Three of the country’s 10 biggest charitable gifts in 2012 came from donors in the Northwest.

The top ten list from the Chronicle of Philanthropy includes large donations from two people who are household names in the Northwest.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen gave the Allen Institute for Brain Science $300 million. And Phil Knight and his wife Penny gave $125 million to Oregon Health & Science University.

Chronicle editor Stacy Palmer is most intrigued by the surprising $150 million donation that the late Fred Fields left the Oregon Community Foundation.

“They didn’t know that he was going to be giving them all of this money. So I think we’re going to see more of those kinds of gifts, as people with great wealth are starting to figure out what to do with it, and leaving it behind.”

Palmer says Oregon is middle-of-the-pack in terms of its overall charitable giving.

The nation’s three biggest gifts in 2012 came from investor Warren Buffett.

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