Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF or the Gates Foundation) is the largest private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world. The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. The foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, is controlled by its three trustees: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Other principal officers include Co-Chair William H. Gates, Sr. and Chief Executive Officer Susan Desmond-Hellmann.
It had an endowment of US$42.3 billion as of 24 November 2014. The scale of the foundation and the way it seeks to apply business techniques to giving makes it one of the leaders in venture philanthropy, though the foundation itself notes that the philanthropic role has limitations. In 2007, its founders were ranked as the second most generous philanthropists in America, and Warren Buffett the first. As of May 16, 2013, Bill Gates had donated US$28 billion to the foundation.
Each program has three key functions: grantmaking, grant management and advocacy. Clear grantmaking priorities are set based on each program’s areas of focus. In their priority giving areas, the foundation partners with grantees working on long-term solutions for people with the most urgent needs.
The Foundation awards the majority of its grants to U.S. 501(c)(3) and other tax-exempt organizations. Grantees and partners then work with beneficiaries in the field.
I) GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM – explores the best opportunities to help the world’s poorest people lift themselves out of hunger and poverty.
Agricultural Development. Three-quarters of the 1.1 billion people in extreme poverty live in rural areas, and most of them rely on agriculture for their food and income. The Foundation works to help small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia boost their productivity and increase their incomes.
Financial Services for the Poor. They work to make safe, affordable financial services—particularly savings accounts—more widely available to people in developing countries. Such services enable people to live healthier, more productive lives, better manage risks, and build household financial security.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. The Foundation is working with partners to help millions of people gain access to safe and sustainable sanitation and improve the quality of their water and hygiene.
Global Libraries. They’re working with partners to provide free access to computers and the Internet in thousands of public libraries in emerging economies which are powerful tools needed for education, business, and other opportunities
Special Initiatives. There are other ways to help people in the developing world lift themselves out of poverty and hunger. They make focused, innovative, and results-driven investments in partnerships they believe can have an impact on people’s lives. We help international relief agencies respond to disasters with basic emergency needs, such as food, water, and shelter. They fund efforts to combat urban poverty and continue to explore other initiatives that we believe can make a difference.
II) GLOBAL HEALTH PROGRAM - aims to harness advances in science and technology to save lives in developing countries. Areas of focus are:
Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases
Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health
Neglected and Other Infectious Diseases
III) UNITED STATES PROGRAM - focuses on providing greater opportunity by improving U.S. high school and postsecondary education, access to information, and stable housing.
Education. They are working with partners to advance reforms that will benefit all students, particularly those in underserved communities. They also fund college and graduate school scholarships for outstanding low-income students across the country and support high-quality early learning programs in Washington state.
U.S. Libraries. The Foundation supports efforts to provide and sustain free access to computers and the Internet in public libraries across the country.
Pacific Northwest. They assist struggling families by supporting innovative community organizations in the Pacific Northwest, where the foundation makes its home. In particular, they focus on efforts that help break the cycle of family homelessness in the region.
Current number of foundation employees: 1,376
Foundation Trust Endowment: $42.9 billion
Total grant payments since inception: $33.5 billion
Total 2014 Direct Grantee Support: $3.9 billion
Total 2013 Direct Grantee Support: $3.6 billion
The foundation supports grantees in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Internationally, they support work in more than 100 countries. In addition to their Seattle headquarters, they have offices in Washington, D.C.; London; New Delhi, India; Beijing, China; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Abuja, Nigeria.
Where is Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF)