Former Vice President Joe Biden announced he was running for president in April 2019 and has raised a total of $702 million so far, according to OpenSecrets. This amount includes donations to his official campaign committee and outside groups like single-candidate super PACs and hybrid PACs or Carey Committees.
Where Does the Big Money Go?
Very large donations in U.S. presidential elections are directed toward super PACs (Political Action Committees), or hybrid PACs because of the $5,600 limit on how much an individual can give to a candidate's official campaign committee per election cycle.
Priorities USA Action, a liberal, hybrid PAC in its fifth election cycle, has received the most money of any pro-Biden, single-candidate organization. Millions of dollars have come into the PAC from the affiliated Priorities USA nonprofit, but since it doesn't disclose donors, it's known as a "dark money" group and we can't be certain who contributed to it. Biden supporters may also give to joint fundraising committees set up for the presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee like the Biden Victory Fund and Biden Action Fund.
The biggest industries represented among Biden donors this cycle overall are Securities & Investment, Lawyers/Law Firms and Education. Around 7,300 individuals have given over $5,600.
The following are the top donors to the Biden 2020 campaign (2020 election cycle) according to processed Federal Election Commission data.***
1. Donald Sussman, Paloma Partners - $9 Million
The founder and chief investment officer of hedge fund Paloma Partners, Sussman has been a longtime major donor to Democrat candidates. He gave to the Priorities USA Action and Pacronym political action committees.
2. James Simons, Euclidean Capital - $7 Million
Jim Simons co-founded legendary hedge fund Renaissance Technologies and is known as the "Quant King." He gave to the Priorities USA Action and Unite the Country political action committees.
3. Deborah Simon, Retired - $4.6 Million
Her father was the late Melvin Simon, the co-founder of America's largest mall operator, Simon Property Group. The philanthropist gave to the American Bridge 21st Century and Unite the Country political action committees. Her sister Cynthia also donated $1.75 million separately.
4. George Marcus, Marcus & Millichap Co. - $4 Million
The billionaire real estate magnate is the founder of Marcus & Millichap Company and chairman of Essex Property Trust. Last year he co-hosted a fundraising event for Biden, and he has contributed money to the Priorities USA Action, Unite the Country and American Bridge 21st Century political action committees.
5. Seth Klarman, The Baupost Group - $3 Million
Billionaire investor Seth Klarman is a longtime independent and has given to the Republican Party in the past. "I’ve seen meaningful numbers of people put aside what would appear to be their short-term economic interest because they value being citizens in a democracy," he told The New York Times in August about the election cycle. He gave to the Pacronym, Priorities USA Action and Unite the Country political action committees.
6. Michael Moritz, Sequoia Capital - $2.5 Million
The Welsh native is a partner at venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. He's also an author and former tech journalist. He gave to the Pacronym and American Bridge 21st Century political action committees.
7. Phillip Ragon, Intersystems Corporation - $2.5 Million
Also known as "Terry," Ragon is the founder and CEO of private healthcare software company Intersystems. He and his wife, Susan, have signed The Giving Pledge. He gave to the American Bridge 21st Century political action committee.
8. Stewart Bainum Jr., Choice Hotels - $2 Million
He is the chairman of Choice Hotels International, a franchisor with over 7,000 hotels around the world, which his father ran before him. He served for eight years in the Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland Senate in the past. He gave to the Unite the Country political action committee.
9. Kenneth Duda, Arista Networks - $2 Million
Duda is the co-founder, chief technology officer and senior vice president (software engineering) at cloud networking solutions provider Arista. He gave to the Pacronym and American Bridge 21st Century political action committees.
10. Jeffrey Skoll, Goodlands Management - $2 Million
The first president of eBay, Skoll is a tech billionaire and founder and chairman of Participant, which has produced more than 100 feature and documentary films that have earned 74 Academy Award nominations and 19 wins. He gave to the Priorities USA Action political action committee.
Renaissance Technologies director Henry Laufer and his wife, Marsha, together contributed $4 million to back Biden. Masimo Corporation founder and CEO Joe Kiani gave $1.6 million. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, hedge fund manager Stephen Mandel and D.E.Shaw & Co founder David Elliot Shaw all gave $1.5 million each.
Big donors from the media industry include director Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate Capshaw, who together gave $2.5 million. Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane donated $700,000 and media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg gave $200,000. Kathryn Murdoch and James Murdoch, son of News Corporation executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, together contributed $1.1 million.
***Note: We will continue to update this ranking as more FEC data is processed.***