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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Manager: Cheryl Mirer
Priority: Open


Established in 1994 in WA as the William H. Gates Foundation.

The William H. Gates Foundation, focused on global health, was created in 1994 by Microsoft co-founder William H. "Bill" Gates, III and his wife, Melinda French Gates. Three years later, he and Melinda created the Gates Library Foundation, which worked to bring public access computers with Internet connections to libraries in the United States. Its name changed to the Gates Learning Foundation in 1999 to reflect its focus on ensuring that low-income minority students are prepared for college and have the means to attend. In 2000, to increase efficiency and communication, the two organizations merged into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2006, Warren Buffett, founder of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., pledged 10 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway B stock (valued at approximately $31 billion) to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Each year, 5 percent of the remaining pledged shares will be transferred to the asset trust, and starting in 2008, the total value of the previous year's gift must be spent. In 2007, the foundation restructured and created a separate organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, to oversee the foundation's assets. The trust will include the annual installments of Warren Buffett's gift to the foundation and in turn, will fund the program foundation. Bill and Melinda Gates will be the sole trustees of the asset trust. The original entity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, conducts the foundation's programmatic and grantmaking activities. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation also has offices in Washington, D.C.; Beijing, China; Delhi, India; and London, United Kingdom. The foundation plans to close 50 years after the deaths of its three current trustees - Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett. Separately from the foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett have made a commitment to The Giving Pledge, an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes during their lifetime or after their death.


agriculture, economic development, education, health care, immunology, economic development, libraries, research


No support for projects addressing health problems in developed countries, nor for projects that exclusively serve religious purposes.

No direct donations or grants to individuals, and no funding for building or capital campaigns, or for political campaigns and legislative lobbying efforts.


Year ended 2013-12-31

Assets: $41,310,207,525 (market value)

Gifts received: $4,115,412,226

Expenditures: $4,136,540,821

Total giving: $3,320,725,374

Qualifying distributions: $4,135,713,108

Giving activities include:

$3,320,725,374 for grants

$340,691,253 for 4 foundation-administered programs

$45,731,170 for 13 loans/program-related investments


The following grants are a representative sample of this grantmaker's funding activity:

  • $350,000,000 to Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, Evanston, IL, in 2013. For global polio eradication activities through PolioPlus program
  • $222,600,000 to Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, Geneva, Switzerland, in 2014. To support achievement of the polio eradication milestones and strategies set by GPEI under Objective 2 of the Polio Eradication Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 (Endgame) including support for IPV introduction. Recognizing the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's (GPEI) responsibility for eradicating polio, the goal of GAVI's work on polio eradication is to improve immunisation services in accordance with GAVI's mission and goals while supporting eradication by harnessing the complementary strengths of GAVI and GPEI in support of countries
  • $194,000,000 to World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, in 2013. To complete the eradication and containment of all wild, vaccine-related and Sabin polioviruses, such that no child ever again suffers paralytic poliomyelitis
  • $81,118,126 to Japan International Cooperation Agency, Tokyo, Japan, in 2014. To procure Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) for the eradication of polio in Nigeria
  • $39,817,533 to International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC, in 2013. To improve nutrition and public health by breeding and disseminating staple food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals
  • $32,770,000 to International Rice Research Institute, Manila, Philippines, in 2014. To reduce poverty and hunger and increase food and income security for farm families and rice consumers in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa through the development and dissemination of high-yielding rice varieties tolerant of abiotic stresses