Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
was founded in 2000 by Bill and Melinda
Gates and is the largest openly operated
charitable foundation in the world. Its
purpose is to increase information and
educational resources to the public in
the United States. Around the world the
Gates Foundation works to reduce extreme
poverty and promote better health and
Gates, the founder and longtime Chief
Executive Officer of Microsoft, one of
the world's largest software companies,
began establishing specific endowments
with his wife Melinda in 1994. Although
they had been committed philanthropists
throughout their marriage, they were determined
to create a source of funds through which
they could fund programs and projects
directly in line with their development
beliefs. As advocates of education and
information technology, Bill and Melinda
Gates set on establishing their own Foundations
with the help of stocks.
a total of $94 million in stock in 1994,
Gates enlisted his father, William H.
Gates Sr., as manager of the accounts.
The original endowments created the William
H. Gates Foundation and were geared towards
improving global health and community
needs in areas around Seattle, Washington.
As of July, 2007, the Foundation has an
endowment of $37.6 billion.
years later in 1997, Bill Gates and his
wife Melinda created the Gates Library
Foundation to provide computer resources
to underprivileged communities via public
libraries. Patty Stonesifer, a former
executive with Microsoft, was named to
manage the foundation. The Gates Library
Foundation remained a separate entity
from the William H. Gates Foundation with
separate resources and goals.
1999, the Gates Library Foundation grew
into the Gates Learning Foundation in
order to cover a broader range of educational
needs throughout communities nationwide.
With a $16 billion contribution from Bill
and Melinda Gates, the William H. Gates
Foundation is renamed the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation. One year later, in 2000,
the two foundations merge to become the
current Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The merger was designed to combine global
and local initiatives and goals. The focus
became that of enhancing global health,
libraries and education and to promote
education and community development in
the Pacific North West and Seattle.
Foundation continued to grow and in June
of 2006, Warren
Buffett, billionaire and founder of
Berkshire Hathaway, contributed an estimated
10 million shares from his stockholdings
which had an estimated worth of $30.7
billion at the time of donation. The shares
are designated as holdings and will be
dispersed to match the Foundation funds
donated to projects. Read more about the
Buffett donation to the Gates Foundation.
Foundation is organized into three specific
programs: Global Health, Global Development,
and United States. Each program and division
has its own manager and employees. The
three trustees of the Foundation still
remain as Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and
now Warren Buffet with the CEO as Patty
Stonesifer and Co-chair William H. Gates
Global Health Program has funds comparable
to those of UN World Health Organization
and gives approximately $800 million every
year to the development of global health
needs and vaccinations. The Foundation
also gives to universities and research
programs to fight HIV/AIDS.
Global Development Program helps create
opportunities for sustainable growth through
library and education projects as well
as financial services and agricultural
United States Program focuses mostly on
improving educational resources around
the country and donating to organizations
that provide better access to information.
Gates will formally leave his position
at Microsoft in 2008 to dedicate all of
his time to the Bill and Melinda Gates
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