» more from American Greed

America's Top Philanthropists

Despite more than 50 billionaires announcing last year they would devote at least half of their wealth to charity, few made big gifts in 2010, according to a new ranking of the 50 most-generous donors in America by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The three biggest names in philanthropy—Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett—don’t appear in the rankings because the money they gave in 2010 ($46.4 million and $1.9 billion, respectively) was to pay off pledges announced in previous years. The list includes only new pledges and gifts.

While many of the donors on the list are prominent philanthropists, few of them are the richest people in America. Of the 400 wealthiest Americans ranked by Forbes magazine, only 17 appeared on this year’s list of the most-generous donors.

Click ahead to see 2010's top 10 U.S. philanthropists, as ranked by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

By Constance Parten, Senior Producer
Posted 14 Feb. 2011

Watch American Greed's A Most Generous Criminal, premiering Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 10p | 1a ET.

Photo: David Gould | Photographer's Choice RF | Getty Images