By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – During the pandemic, the world’s ultra-wealthy have given billions of dollars to charities helping causes that range from homelessness to racial inequality.

“In many ways, donors were called to action in March and many responded without hesitation,” said Nick Tedesco of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. “And what we witnessed from the response is something absolutely incredible. It’s a shedding of old habits, these patterns of well-worn behavior that have historically not served the world.”

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Amazon C.E.O., Jeff Bezos, who announced he was stepping down last week, was the biggest donor to charities in 2020. Included in his $10 billion philanthropic efforts of the year was $100 million donated to Feeding America, which helps supply food banks.

Bezo’s ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, came in second place in 2020, giving away $5.7 billion to racial-justice charities, among others.

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“We saw an urgency that was instilled in donors that’s often missing,” added Tedesco. “Historically donors have not felt the pinch of time to put their dollars to work. But in 2020 there was an acknowledgment that time was absolutely of the essence.”

The information, gathered by the San Francisco Chronicle, shows the third biggest donor in 2020 was former presidential candidate and business mogul, Michael Bloomberg at $1.6 billion, followed by Phil and Penelope Knight of Nike, and then Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)