Warren Buffett's gift of $37 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is an astounding four times greater than the Lilly Endowment's size.
Remember, the endowment is no small fry. It's the nation's fifth-largest charitable organization, with $8.4 billion in assets. It wasn't long ago the endowment soared to the nation's largest, thanks to the appreciation of Eli Lilly and Co. stock, which makes up the vast majority of its assets.
That won't happen again, though, and not because Lilly shares won't appreciate. Put Buffett's mega-donation with the Gates Foundation, and you have a charity with more than $50 billion in assets."