Nike Co-founder Phil Knight and Wife Penny Among Top U.S. Philanthropists in 2023

Nike founder Phil Knight and his wife Penny were among the top U.S. philanthropic donors in 2023, according to a new ranking from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

With a total of more than $1.24 billion in charitable donations tracked throughout last year, the couple nabbed the number two spot on the list, which ranks the top 50 Americans who donated the most to nonprofit organizations in a year. The number one spot went to media mogul Michael Bloomberg, whose donations clocked in at $3 billion last year.

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The Knights were last featured on the list in 2021 in the ninth spot and have been included a total of 10 times since 2006.

The Knights’ notable donations in 2023 included a $400 million investment in April to the 1803 Fund, which is meant to help revive a once-thriving Black neighborhood in Portland, Ore. The first project of the 1803 Fund is Rebuild Albina, which is focused on transforming current and future generations of the Black community in Portland through investments in education, place and culture and belonging in the Albina area, according to a statement.

That donation earned the couple a spot on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of the biggest charitable donations of 2023, which ranked the 10 biggest publicly announced gifts excluding contributions of artwork or gifts from anonymous donors.

The Knights, who The Chronicle of Philanthropy stated have a net worth of $43 billion, were tied for third on the list of the biggest gifts announced by individuals or their foundations in 2023. Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffet was No. 1 on the publication’s list after giving 1.5 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway Class “B” stock, valued at $541.5 million, to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.

Throughout 2023, the Knights also continued their financial support the Knight Campus for Accelerating Impact at the University of Oregon, which backs cancer, neuroscience, and cardiology research, among other projects. Grants to the campus in 2023 amounted to $237.5 million through the foundation, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Phil Knight, who studied business at the Eugene, Ore., campus, ran track there before co-founding Nike.

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