Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Logo of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Purpose: Global development, health, poverty reduction and education
Chair: Bill Gates , Melinda Gates , Warren Buffett , William H. Gates II
Managing directors: Mark Suzman
Consist: since 1999
Founder: Bill Gates , Melinda Gates
Foundation capital: $ 46.8 billion (2018)
Number of employees: 1,489 (2020)
Seat: Seattle , United States

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (German Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ) is a charitable foundation founded by Microsoft co- founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates . With deposits of almost 46.8 billion US dollars, it is the largest private foundation in the world, ahead of the British Wellcome Trust and the Open Society Foundations of George Soros . Its goals are in particular the worldwide improvement of health care and the fight against extreme poverty, as well as enabling access to education and information technology . Her main focus is the fight against malaria and poliomyelitis (polio).

Bill Gates first set up a foundation called the William H. Gates Foundation in 1994 , which was initially run by his father. In 1999 it was renamed to its current name. As part of The Giving Pledge , Bill Gates donated a third of his fortune (nearly $ 28 billion) and Warren Buffett donated $ 31 billion (in the form of 10 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares) to the foundation. In the meantime (as of 2018) Gates has donated more than 36 billion US dollars and announced that he will give 95 percent of his wealth to her by the end of his life.

The foundation is based in Seattle and has approximately 1,489 employees. Since its inception through 2017, a total of $ 36.7 billion in donations and grants has been paid out. They flowed to all 50 states in the USA and to more than 100 countries worldwide.

Goals and projects

Bill and Melinda Gates (2009)
West wing of the headquarters
East wing of the headquarters
Façade of the visitor center

The foundation is organized into three areas: Global Development, Global Health, and the United States Program.

In addition to the European branch in London, which has existed since 2010, the foundation has had an office in Berlin since 2018. Tobias Kahler is the managing director of the Gates Foundation in Germany .

Global development

Among other things, the foundation is involved in agricultural development aid . By June 2011, more than 1.8 billion US dollars had been made available for this. Contributions are made in the areas of research and development , agricultural policy and market access . By far the largest funded project is the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa , which was launched in 2006 with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation . Other large sums went into the Harvest Plus program for the development of nutrient-enriched plants as well as projects for the development of drought-tolerant maize and rust-resistant wheat varieties. In addition, there is support for nationally representative longitudinal studies , support for African women in agricultural sciences and support for reform initiatives in several African countries. Further double-digit million amounts have flowed into the support of coffee and milk producers and the market access of small farmers in Africa. The foundation is a member and "Funding Member" of the Better Than Cash Alliance , which promotes the introduction of cashless payment systems. This should improve living conditions, especially in poorer countries.

Global health

The foundation supports the treatment and control of diseases all over the world. This includes projects to care for AIDS sufferers in Botswana and the provision of money for vaccination programs for children in India and Africa . She is also involved in research into vaccines against AIDS , tuberculosis and malaria as well as the provision of vaccines against polio , diphtheria , whooping cough , measles and yellow fever . Gates donated an additional $ 258.3 million to the fight against malaria in 2005 and an additional $ 255 million in 2009 to Rotary's program to eradicate polio worldwide. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) is funded 17% (1.5 billion US dollars) by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which, unlike the UN organizations ( WHO ), also has a permanent one Has a seat on the supervisory board. On January 29, 2010, Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they would donate a total of $ 10 billion towards vaccines over the next 10 years. In the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic , the foundation provided USD 225 million to advance the research and production of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

United States program

In the United States, the foundation is primarily involved in education. There are scholarships awarded to young people from low-income families in order to enable them to attend secondary schools. It also supports initiatives aimed at free use of computers and the Internet in public libraries.

Endowment from Warren Buffett

On June 25, 2006, Warren Buffett announced a donation of Berkshire Hathaway B shares, which at that time were worth $ 32.5 billion. In an interview with the US business magazine Fortune , the temporarily richest man in the world announced that he would be giving away 85 percent of his shares to various foundations. About five-sixths of this should go to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the shares will be transferred over several years. Buffett's total fortune at the time was estimated at around $ 45 billion (Forbes the World's Richest People 2006). The first payment was made in June 2006, valued at $ 1.6 billion, the second was valued at $ 1.76 billion in July 2007, and the third was valued at $ 1.8 billion in July 2008, the fourth valued at $ 1.25 billion in July 2009, and another valued at $ 2.86 billion in July 2016.


In March 2015, the British newspaper The Guardian and the climate protection initiative launched the Keep it in the ground campaign . In the central demand of the first phase of the campaign, the Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were called upon to sell their shares in fossil energy production companies in the sense of divestment . In the course of 2015, the foundation then sold its stake in ExxonMobil for $ 824 million, followed by its stake in BP of $ 187 million in fall 2015 . While the divestment movement celebrated the sale of the shares as a success, critical voices warned that the possession and purchase of company shares only had to be reported for a sum of more than 100 million US dollars. Thus, based on the sale of the shares in BP and ExxonMobil, no paradigm shift in the foundation could be proven.


In January 2007, journalists for the Los Angeles Times published a report in which they accused the foundation of failing to adequately check whether the companies it sponsors are polluting or sell expensive AIDS drugs ("blind-eye investing").

Another criticism relates to the close association of the foundation with the agrochemical company Monsanto , which in turn is criticized for threatening traditional agriculture in Africa and above all for the patenting of certain plant, vegetable and grain seeds ( seeds ) in an economic way To keep dependency.

In 2014, the doctor David McCoy criticized, among other things, the focus on a few selected technologies and diseases, the lack of commitment to social justice and sustainable development and the fact that the foundation has no ethical and sustainability standards for its investments.

The foundation is accused of specifically promoting and supporting measures by companies whose shares it holds. For example, the budget of the World Health Organization is now fed by donations from this foundation, so that it can influence WHO policy. In 2018, WHO was only financed by one fifth through contributions from member countries, the other funds come from donations. With almost 210 million euros, the Gates Foundation is the largest WHO donor. She determines the programs for which her donations are to be used.

See also

Web links

Commons : Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Theodore Schleifer: The Gates Foundation has enormous impact. Its CEO leaving could have an enormous impact, too. ( en ) December 5, 2019. Accessed March 12, 2020.
  2. ^ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: history. Retrieved April 14, 2020 (English).
  3. a b Foundation Fact Sheet ( en ) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  4. ^ A b Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Foundation Fact Sheet. Retrieved on April 14, 2020 (English): "Current number of foundation employees: 1,489"
  5. The Wealthiest Charitable Foundations In the World ( en ) Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  6. ^ William H Gates Sr ( en ) Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  7. Billionaire Bill Gates to miss out on top spot in Forbes rich list after giving away $ 28bn . Daily Mail, March 8, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  8. Carol J. Loomis: Warren Buffett gives away his fortune . In: Fortune , Time Warner via, March 5, 2008. Archived from the original on November 28, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2007. 
  9. Berkshire Hathaway 'B' Shares Soar After Split . January 21, 2010.
  10. Foundation FAQ ( en ): "From 1994 through 2018, Bill and Melinda gave the foundation more than $ 36.0 billion."
  11. ^ Bill Gates ( en ): "To date, Gates has donated $ 35.8 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the Gates Foundation."
  12. Dagmar von Taube, Philipp Hedemann: What luxury means: Billionaire Melinda Gates also pays attention to prices . Die Welt, April 7, 2012
  13. Bill Gates donates $ 4.6 billion to Microsoft stocks. Retrieved August 16, 2017 .
  14. As of September 30, 2012; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Foundation Fact Sheet ( Memento dated May 31, 2012 in the Internet Archive ).
  15. "We need political stability for our work". Retrieved May 5, 2020 .
  16. ^ Agricultural Development Strategy Overview. Global Development Program, Gates Foundation. August 2011.
  17. ^ Better Than Cash Alliance; ; accessed on October 8, 2020
  18. Bill Gates announces new US $ 255 million grant for ending polio ( Memento from September 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  19. ^ Arnold R. Grahl, Dan Nixon : Bill Gates announces new US $ 255 million grant for ending polio . (PDF; 76 kB) (No longer available online.) In: Rotary International News . January 21, 2009, archived from the original on March 14, 2014 ; accessed on September 29, 2019 (English, original website no longer available).
  20. For children in developing countries: Bill Gates donates $ 10 billion for vaccines . , January 29, 2010
  21. Coronavirus: Donate so much, Gates, Dorsey and Co - manager magazin. Retrieved August 6, 2020 .
  22. Bill Gates and his fight against Corona. May 4, 2020, accessed August 6, 2020 .
  23. a b James Randerson: A story of hope: the Guardian launches phase II of its climate change campaign. In: October 5, 2015, accessed May 26, 2016 .
  24. ^ Damian Carrington: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation divests entire holding in BP. In: May 12, 2016, accessed May 26, 2016 .
  25. Kathrin Hartmann / Dieter Kassel: Bill Gates and his image: "The foundation helps with blood money". Deutschlandradio Kultur, October 28, 2015, accessed on May 18, 2016 .
  26. ^ Sandra Kirchner: Gates Foundation sells shares in BP. , May 17, 2016, accessed on May 18, 2016 .
  27. Christoph Sackmann: This is how Bill Gates sends a billions in value against oil companies. Finances100, May 17, 2016, accessed May 18, 2016 .
  28. ^ Charles Piller, Edmund Sanders and Robyn Dixon: Dark cloud over good works of the Gates Foundation . Los Angeles Times, Jan. 7, 2007.
  29. John Vidal: Why is the Gates foundation investing in GM giant Monsanto? . The Guardian, September 29, 2010.
  30. Interview with medical expert McCoy: "The Gates Foundation is a means of exercising power". Spiegel Online / enormous , July 27, 2014, accessed on July 27, 2014 .
  31. Sonja Zekri: Infected children, but vaccinated against measles. Süddeutsche Zeitung , May 17, 2010.
  32. WHO | Financial and Programmatic reports. Retrieved April 18, 2020 .
  33. Thomas Kruchem: Independence of the World Health Organization endangers Deutschlandfunk Kultur July 7, 2018, accessed on April 8, 2020
  34. Bernd Hontschik : Noble World Regents Frankfurter Rundschau January 26, 2019, accessed on April 8, 2020
  35. ↑ For non-governmental actors WHO see Annex 2, accessed on April 8, 2020
  36. Gates and Corona: philanthropist or business man? Retrieved May 5, 2020 .