It’s easy to beat up on finance folks. Maybe it’s that whole facilitating the collapse of the global economy thing. Or maybe it’s just the khakis. Whatever it is, they’ve gotten a pretty bad rap of late. And sure, much of it is deserved—but some of it isn’t. When you get past the cheap jokes and talking points, you can see that some of them are doing far more good than we might like to admit, and maybe even more good than some of the folks we hold up as role models.
Take a look at the top charitable donors from last year. One thing that stands out is the number of people who work in financial services. A hedge fund guy here, a private equity dude there—the list is littered with them, and they’re doing some serious donating. Here are a few random entries, with their corresponding ranks, professions, donation amounts, and causes: