Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and one of the most famous people in 2022, donated 11.5 million shares of his stake in Tesla to an unidentified charity last year. The shares were worth approximately $1.9 billion at the time they were donated.
According to a Chronicle of Philanthropy ranking that was compiled prior to Musk’s filing, the donation would make him the second largest charitable donor in 2022. Bill Gates is ranked No. 1 in the Chronicle’s ranking. 1 with donations totaling $5.1 billion, followed by $1.7 billion from Michael Bloomberg.
According to Forbes’ real-time billionaire tracker, Musk had a net worth of $137 billion at the end of 2022. The $1.9 billion he had at that time represented approximately 1.4% of his total wealth.
Musk’s estimated donations for 2022 are lower than those for 2021, when he said he had given 5 million shares of Tesla (TSLA) worth an estimated $5.7 billion at the end of that year. On a split-adjusted basis, the number of shares he donated in 2021 was also 30% greater than his donations in 2022 due to a three-for-one stock split in Tesla (TSLA) shares in August of last year.
In 2021, Musk also gave to an unidentified charity. They came at a time when the UN food program director David Beasley had asked him to give $6 billion to fight global hunger.
More than 40 million people in 43 countries that are “on the brink of famine” could be fed with that amount of money, according to Beasley. At the time, Musk stated on Twitter that he would sell Tesla stock immediately if the World Food Program could “exactly describe on this Twitter thread how $6 billion will solve world hunger.”
Soon after that exchange, Musk gave Tesla shares in 2021, but there was never any confirmation of where the shares went. Considered in conjunction with the vested options Musk holds to purchase additional shares, the most recent donation of shares represented 1.6% of Musk’s stake in the company at the end of last year.
He had another 25.3 million options that would expire at the end of the year if the company met certain financial goals, which the company had already said would likely result in a grant. As a result, Musk gave the money knowing that he would soon have options to buy twice as many shares at a low price.
In the past 18 months, Musk has sold much more of his Tesla stake than he has donated. First, in 2021, he sold $16.4 billion worth of Tesla stock, the majority of which was used to pay a significant income tax bill for exercising options before they expired in 2021. After that, in order to raise funds for his purchase of Twitter in 2022, he sold shares of Tesla worth $22.9 billion.
In 2022, Tesla shares experienced their worst year ever, losing 65% of their value. He lost his title as the richest person in the world as a result of the share price drop. However, after a bad start to the year, they’ve done well in 2023, increasing 70% year-to-date. The 11.5 million shares that Musk donated last year are worth $2.4 billion at the closing price on Tuesday.
According to an estimate provided by Forbes’ real-time billionaire tracker, Musk is now the second richest person on the planet, trailing only Bernard Arnault, chairman of the French luxury goods giant LVMH, with a net worth of approximately $196.5 billion.
The most recent estimate from the Federal Reserve states that the typical household in the United States has a net worth of approximately $121,700. When compared to Musk’s current net worth, Musk’s donations from the previous year, which totaled $2.4 billion, are the equivalent of a typical family giving $1,500, or less than $30 per week.