NET WORTH: $48.7 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Cofounder of Google
FUNDING AREAS: Global Poverty, Parkinson's Disease, Education & Youth, Jewish Causes, Bay Area Community, Social Entrepreneurship, Research and Technology
OVERVIEW: Sergey Brin and his ex-wife, Anne Wojcicki, serve as co-directors of the Brin Wojcicki Foundation, which held more than $840 million in assets in a recent year. The foundation doesn't have a website. Brin and Wojcicki have appeared on the Chronicle of Philanthropy's list of the 50 most generous philanthropists. Their status as top philanthropists is due largely, but not solely, to their donations to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. After Sergey and Anne separated, they both established their own foundations. Brin's recently minted Sergey Brin Family Foundation gave away around $25 million recently.
BACKGROUND: Born in Russia, Sergey Brin left with his family to the United States to escape Jewish persecution in 1979. Brin received his degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Maryland at College Park, and later enrolled at Stanford University, where he met Larry Page. The duo went on to co-found Google in 1998.
PARKINSON'S RESEARCH: In recent years, the Brin Wojcicki Foundation has donated at least $160 million to Parkinson's research, much of which has gone to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Brin has written about his personal dealings with Parkinson's—a disease that afflicted both his mother and great aunt. This experience seems to drive much of his philanthropic passion, especially the research done by 23andme, the genetics company co-founded by his ex-wife.
Via the Sergey Brin Family Foundation, Brin has supported the Milken Institute (also toward Parkinson's research), and Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center.
RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY: In the fall of 2013, Brin and Anne, along with Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan, Art Levinson, and Yuri Milner, announced the creation of the Breakthrough Prize, a $3 million prize awarded to one physics project and six life sciences projects annually, for a total of $21 million a year. For more information, see the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and the Fundamental Physics Prize.
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Brin is a strong supporter of Ashoka, a group that brings together entrepreneurs to produce innovative solutions to problems relating to a wide variety of social issues, including women's issues, education and the environment.
JEWISH CAUSES: When Brin came with his family to the United States to escape anti-semitism, he received help from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). He later returned the favor with a $1 million donation to the organization. Brin has served on the HIAS board and also set up a blog on the site called My Story to encourage immigrants to share their experiences.
BAY AREA COMMUNITY: The Brin Wojcicki Foundation has provided significant support to the Tipping Point Community, which is trying to eliminate poverty in the Bay Area, as well as smaller donations to other groups working to conquer poverty and hunger. Among these groups are Meals on Wheels San Francisco, the Boy's and Girl's Clubs of the peninsula, and a number of homeless shelters and soup kitchens in the area.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Brin has given to Citizen Schools, an organization that works to expand the school day for middle school students living in poverty, as well as BUILD, a four-year program that uses entrepreneurship to motivate low-income students through high school and college. Brin has also supported the Wikimedia foundation, the nonprofit group in charge of operating Wikipedia.
Via the Sergey Brin Family Foundation, Brin has directed millions toward a donor-advised fund. Some of this support has gone to Youth Villages, which provides "help for children and young people across the United States who face a wide range of emotional, mental and behavioral problems," as well as Wendy's Wonderful Kids, which deals with adoption.
ARTS & CULTURE: The Sergey Brin Family Foundation's grantmaking has supported Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation and the Burning Man Project
LOOKING FORWARD: Brin is still very much engaged in business, but is likely to increase giving down the line. While the former couple have given in tandem through the Brin Wojcicki Foundation, Sergey and Anne also appear to be deepening and personalizing their own giving. Expect Brin's own Sergey Brin Family Foundation to ramp up giving in the coming years.
Brin Wojcicki Foundation
1660 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Sergey Brin Family Foundation
c/o Pacific Foundation Services
1660 Bush Street, No. 300
San Francisco, CA 94109