New Canaan Couple Among 50 Most Generous Donors of 2013

Feb 10, 2014

Theodore and Vada Stanley of New Canaan. Mrs Stanley passed away in July 2013
Credit The Chronicle of Philanthropy / Johns Hopkins University

A New Canaan couple is among a list of the 50 most generous donors in 2013. Theodore and Vada Stanley were number 18 on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual list. They gave $143 million to medical research and to a family foundation. 

Maria DiMento, a staff writer for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, said the Stanleys have made the annual top donors' list six times. "They are a little bit under the radar," she said, "although very well-known among other wealthy philanthropists. They are one of the rare philanthropists who put a lot of money into mental health research, and care of patients who suffer from mental health problems. That's something they have been supporting for many, many years. They have a foundation they support that cause through, and they give to other organizations that support that as well."

The Chronicle of Philanthropy found that the wealthy contributed $7.7 billion last year, a four percent increase from 2012. DiMento said the amount should make charities happier.  "Big giving has made a comeback from the recession," she said. "I think for non-profits, it's very good news that wealthy donors are giving at much higher levels again."

Colleges and hospitals were the most frequent recipients of gifts, totaling more than $1 million. That includes Yale University, which received $250 million last year from a donor in California. Charles Johnson’s bequest placed him sixth in the annual ranking.