He has a fortune estimated at $785 million dollars: $120 million based on his holdings of Apple Stock, and an added $665 million based on his restricted stock. This gives us an idea of the sum that the Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook will donate to charity, once, he insists, that he has paid for his 10-year old nephew's college education.

This revelation came out in Fortune Magazine, who made a lengthy profile about the 54 year old millionaire. Cook has thus joined the roster of famous millionaires and billionaires who donate their money for different causes.

How do we explain such a gesture?

Public philanthropy gestures from the wealthiest people on the planet are on the rise – Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Microsofts's Bill Gates and New York's Michael Bloomberg being prominent figures of such actions. The very wealthy are even encouraged by billionaire and financier Warren Buffett to donate parts of their fortune. To do so, he has created a website named "Giving Pledge" that records and lists the people who give their money to charity.

The man himself

Tim Cook is an extremely discreet man who does not currently appear on such lists.

In recent years however, he has raised on his voice on issues of concern to him. He already has a few donations to his name, namely a $50 million donation to Stanford Hospitals in 2012, and a $25 million contribution to build a hospital for newborns.

Following his public revelation regarding his homosexuality last October, he has taken a stand against discrimination of bisexual, gay, lesbian and transsexual communities.

It is possible that his donation will be used to support organizations that defend their rights, although the causes still remain unspecified. Cook also highlighted the fact that he would like to adopt a more "systematic approach" to donation, contrarily to simply writing checks.

A worldwide index of donations

According to BNP Paribas' Philanthropy Index 2015, the region that donates the most is the USA, followed by Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The most supported causes are Health (65%), the Environment (52%) and Education (44%). As for the reasons of such donations, 52% of respondents invoke a sense of duty, 49% a way to give back to society, and 46% altruistic desire.

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