Warren Buffett heads list of top 2006 donors.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Investor Warren Buffett may hold the title as America’s top donor, but his well-heeled competitors helped make 2006 a record year for charitable giving, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported on Friday.

A record 21 Americans each gave at least $100 million to charitable causes last year, in what amounted to a banner year for universities, medical centers, arts groups and other organizations that depend on charitable giving, the publication reported.

Buffett’s $36.1 billion check to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation dwarfed other donations as the Berkshire Hathaway CEO began to give away his sizable fortune. The second-richest man in the world — after Gates — gave away a total of $43.5 billion last year.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $165 million in contributions put him at No. 9 on the list. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson tied for 18th with $100 million for environmental and other causes.

Other wealthy Americans stepped up to the plate with $7 billion in commitments, according to the publication, up from $4.3 billion in 2005.


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