Elon Musk Gives $6 Billion to Charity in Historic Philanthropic Donation

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Hannibal Hanschke/AP/Shutterstock (11088658g)SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award, in Berlin, GermanyMusk, Berlin, Germany - 01 Dec 2020.
Hannibal Hanschke/AP/Shutterstock / Hannibal Hanschke/AP/Shutterstock

Elon Musk, the richest man on the planet with a $227 billion net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, gave more than five million Tesla shares to charity in November, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. This represents almost $6 billion worth of Tesla stock, in one of the largest philanthropic donations in history, Bloomberg said.

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The SEC filing doesn’t mention the name of the recipient, but many are speculating as to who it might be. 

Indeed, the donations — from Nov. 19, 2021, to Nov. 29, 2021– came on the heels of Musk’s Twitter spar with David Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).

In October, Musk said he would sell $6 billion worth of Tesla stock to solve world hunger —  if the WFP can explain how it would spend it, as GOBankingRates previously reported.

David Beasley, executive director of the WFP, said in an interview with CNN at the time  that billionaires need to “step up now, on a one-time basis.” Beasley specifically cited the world’s two richest people, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, saying, “$6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them. It’s not complicated.”

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On Oct. 30, Dr. Eli David, co-founder of Deep Instinct and DeepCube, retweeted a CNN headline meme referencing Beasley’s comments. Musk replied:

“If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it. But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”

Replying in the same thread, Beasley tweeted, “We’ve never said $6B would solve world hunger. This is a one-time donation to save 42 million lives during this unprecedented hunger crisis.”

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Find: Jeff Bezos’ Enormous Fortune Balloons by $20 Billion as Zuckerberg and Musk Stumble — What’s Behind the Surge?

Another reason for Musk’s donation is that it could help cut down his multi-billion tax bill.

For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year,” the Tesla CEO tweeted Sunday, Dec. 19.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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