Elon Musk Says It’s ‘Very Hard to Give Away Money Effectively’

by Taylor Cunningham

Being the richest man in the world doesn’t come without its challenges. And for Elon Musk, one of the hardest is choosing how he gives away his money.

At a Glance

  • Elon Musk says he doesn’t seek praise for giving away money. Instead, he’s only concerned that his donations do good.
  • However, that mindset makes his efforts difficult.
  • He also believes his Tesla and SpaceX companies help humanity.
  • Musk is worth an estimated $260 Billion.

Elon Musk Gives Away Money to Do Good

Tesla tycoon Elon Musk is no stranger to the philanthropical world. Last year alone, he donated $5.7 billion to undisclosed foundations. And in February, he quickly accepted Ukraine Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov’s request to activate the Starlink satellite service over his war-torn county. When he did, he also donated thousands of terminals to the country.

But according to an interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner, deciding how to allocate his money is a tricky and personal matter. And he has roughly $260 billion to work with.

“When it comes to donations, I’d say it is very difficult to give away money effectively,” he admitted to Döpfner.

To Musk, sharing his billions isn’t about gaining praise or respect. He actually wants the money to go towards a worthwhile cause. Some of his favorites are environmentalism, education, pediatric healthcare, and world hunger.

But he also noted that “hunger these days is more of a political and logistics problem than it is not having enough food.” So helping hunger efforts can be even more challenging.

“There is a lot of food,” he added. “In the US and many countries, the issue is more obesity than it is hunger.”

Elon Musk Doesn’t Care About the ‘Perception of Doing Good’

But while there are plenty of like-minded charities in the world, it’s still not always easy to figure out ways to distribute his funds in the best way.

“If you care about the reality of doing good and not the perception of doing good, then it is very hard to give away money effectively,” he said. “I care about reality. Perception be damned.”

Elon Musk also noted that his two major companies are helping to make the world a better place as well. So he’s constantly striving to do good in every facet of his life.

“I do want to emphasize that SpaceX and Tesla fundamentally intend to improve the quality of the future,” he said. “Especially in terms of usefulness to humanity. Tesla by accelerating sustainable energy. And SpaceX by making multi-planetary intercourse possible. This is more than I can do myself.”