Kathryn Albertson of Boise, the widow of grocery store magnate Joe Albertson, is second on Fortune magazine’s list of the nation’s top philanthropists in 1997.
Cable TV pioneer Ted Turner’s $1 billion gift to the United Nations put him at the top of the list.
Before Turner pledged his unprecedented gift of one-third of his wealth in September, he chided the world’s wealthiest private citizen, Bill Gates, for not giving more, saying, “What good is wealth sitting in the bank?” The Microsoft Corp. chairman made No. 4 on the list with donations of $210 million.
Turner also has criticized billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who did not make the list.
Last June, Albertson gave $660 million to the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, which focuses on education.
The donation made it the 33rd-largest charitable foundation in the nation, enabling it to provide up to $35 million a year in grants to Idaho schools.
Albertson made the donation by transferring her shares in the supermarket chain to the family foundation.
The foundation was started in 1966. It lay dormant until Joe Albertson died in 1993. The next year, Kathryn Albertson donated $30 million.
Because Joe Albertson long had been a supporter of education, his family decided to give grants to help the state’s elementary and secondary schools. Individual teachers and schools apply for money to pay for special projects, training and equipment.
The 40 donors listed by Fortune gave a total of $3.5 billion last year, with the smallest donations tallying $12 million.
The gifts all were given by living donors to organizations the Internal Revenue Service designates as not-for-profit, but the tally does not include bequests from estates and corporate grants.
Universities garnered 60 percent of the donations, making them the biggest beneficiaries.