Bill Gates Donation: $20 Billion!
Bill Gates is donating $20 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this month as the philanthropic behemoth plans to speed up its pace of giving.
Bill Gates is donating $20 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this month as the philanthropic behemoth plans to speed up its pace of giving. “I hope by giving more, we can mitigate some of the suffering people are facing right now and help fulfill the foundation's vision to give every person the chance to live a healthy and productive life,” Gates, the world's fourth-richest person, said in a statement Wednesday.
The foundation's new goal of distributing $9 billion annually, which it aims to accomplish by 2026, is a 50% increase from its current rate. Gates's latest infusion of cash brings the foundation's total endowment to about $70 billion, according to the statement.
Following their tumultuous divorce last year, the foundation's namesake billionaires jointly committed $15 billion to the Seattle-based organization, which Gates's most recent contribution would fully cover.
“Since then, both co-chairs have made significant contributions toward the pledge,” Kate Davidson, a Gates Foundation spokesperson, said in an email, without specifying a dollar amount.
As part of last year's announcement, the pair also said that Melinda French Gates might step down from her roles as co-chair and trustee if the two are unable to work together. If she departs, French Gates, 57, will receive money from Gates for her charitable work that's separate from the foundation's endowment. Gates, 66, has already transferred billions of dollars of stock in companies to French Gates, who's built her own philanthropic investment firm Pivotal Ventures.
Davidson said there are no plans yet for French Gates to step aside.
“Bill and Melinda are fully committed to continuing to work constructively together at the foundation to advance its program and policy objectives,” she said.
Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., has a fortune of $113.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, while French Gates is worth $10.3 billion.
Following through on another post-divorce promise, the foundation this year expanded its board of trustees by four members, adding the organization's chief executive officer, a Zimbabwean billionaire, a nonprofit consultant and a baroness.
The board previously comprised a tiny circle of friends and family, including Gates's father, who died in 2020, and Warren Buffett, who has donated more than $35 billion to the charity, including $3.1 billion in June. Buffett, 91, stepped down soon after Gates and French Gates split.
The Gates Foundation has long been a powerhouse in the nonprofit world, employing almost 1,800 people and spending nearly $80 billion since 2000. In 2019, it was overtaken by Fidelity Charitable, a donor-advised fund provider, as the country's largest grantmaker. At that point, both made less than $5 billion in gifts annually.
Even if it hits its $9 billion annual goal, the Gates Foundation may still trail Fidelity, which has benefitted from a recent rise in the use of donor-advised funds, or DAFs. In 2021, Fidelity dispersed more than $10 billion in gifts.