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.