Silicon Valley big wigs loosened up the purse strings in a big way in 2012.

The top names in tech gave $1.4 billion to charity in 2012, according to a Wall Street Journal study by Equilar. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and Google co-founder Sergey Brin topped the Wall Street Journal’s list of Silicon Valley leaders who gave the most stock to charity in the past year.

What's more, eight of the top 10 Silicon Valley-related donors — including the aforementioned -- increased their stock giving from 2011 to 2012.

The increase in giving is fueled in part by numerous public stock offerings over the past year, perhaps most notably that of Facebook's in May, the Wall Street Journal points out.

Meanwhile, some tech giants have made giving part of their company’s DNA.

In December, Google gave $23 million in grants as part of Global Impact Awards. In September 2011, Apple started a program where the company will match its employees contributions to nonprofit organizations up to $10,000 annually, according to Forbes.com.

Individuals such as Bill Gates have dedicated his retirement to philanthropy. Last year the 57-year-old former Microsoft CEO gave away 48 percent or $28 billion of his net worth to humanitarian causes and improving the U.S. educational system, Business Insider reports.

This type of giving may represent what Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, founder of a social venture fund SV2, called a Silicon Valley philanthropy "reboot." She told the New York Times tech titans should be known for giving as well as earning.

“The word ‘philanthropy’ brings up an image of somebody who’s had an illustrious career, has retired and is giving to highly established institutions that may or may not have ivy growing up their walls,” she said. “I personally have felt the need to give philanthropy a reboot.”

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  • No. 10

    <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink"><em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy</em></a> reports that Citigroup donated a total of $121,910,534 in cash in 2011 -- $4.1 million of which comprised grants to Junior Achievement, which spreads financial and entrepreneurial knowledge to youth in over 50 countries.

  • No. 9

    According to <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink"><em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy,</em></a> General Electric Company gave $144,100,000 in cash and $1,900,000 in products in 2011 -- notably including $17.5 million in grants to support 72 health clinics in areas that lack sufficient medical services.

  • No. 8

    According to <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink"><em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy,</em></a> Target Corporation donated $12 million to improve school libraries nationwide, and $1.5 million in grants to promote reading at libraries that it has supported in the past. Its 2011 donations totaled <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink">$146,119,380 in cash</a>, and $63,155,311 in products.

  • No. 7

    <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink"><em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy</em></a> reports that JPMorgan Chase & Company donated $202,961,667 in cash and $70,473,269 in material gifts in 2011. $10 million was directed toward <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink">fixing the problem of poverty</a> in New York via the Robin Hood Foundation, and $50 million in grants supported nonprofits that promote education for the poor.

  • No. 6

    According to <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink"><em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy</em></a>, Bank of America gave $208,425,075 in cash donations -- $100 million of which it committed to lowering carbon emissions as part of their 10-year, $50 billion, plan to support the environment. Additionally, it raised $3.5 million when <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink">they matched customer donations</a> to local food banks and pantries.

  • No. 5

    Chevron Corporation spread its efforts across the board, as <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink"><em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy</em></a> reports $1.75 million in donations to Project Lead the Way, which spreads engineering programs to middle and high schools nationwide, and $8 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Its generosity totalled <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink">$209,280,000</a> in cash donations. <strong><em>CORRECTION</em></strong>: Chevron's donation to Project Lead The Way was originally reported to be $17.5 million, instead of $1.75 million.

  • No. 4

    Totaling $213,481,849 in cash donations, <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink"><em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy</em></a> reports that Wells Fargo & Company committed itself to providing access to housing in low-income communities. In 2011, it gave $3.4 million to Opportunity Finance Network, which works to <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink">make banking services accessible</a> to these communities.

  • No. 3

    According to <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink"><em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy,</em></a> ExxonMobil Corporation's charitable cash donations in 2011 totalled $232,658,037, with an additional $2,007,943 in products. Notably, it directed $27 million of these efforts toward supporting the National Science and Math Initiative, which is <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink">dedicated to helping</a> AP Training and Incentive and UTeach programs.

  • No. 2

    <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink"><em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy</em></a> reports that Goldman Sachs Group donated $337,077,886 in cash -- just about $19 million of which can be attributed to individual employees, as the group promises to match up to $20,000 for each employee's donations annually.

  • No. 1

    Donating a total of $342,350,438 in cash and $616,591,031 in products in 2011, <a href="http://philanthropy.com/article/10-Companies-That-Gave-the/132991/" target="_hplink"><em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy</em></a> reports that Wal-Mart demonstrated a big time commitment to supporting antihunger groups, to which it donated $60 million in money and 338 million pounds of food, and jobs and education for veterans, to which it committed $20 million over the next five years.