You most likely know who Bill Gates is. He’s the founder of Microsoft and one of the richest men in the world. What you may not know, is that Bill and his wife Melinda are also some of the world’s leading philanthropists. The spend a majority of their time and resources in global health and development, education, and other humanitarian causes. Bill also teamed up with Warren Buffet started the Giving Pledge. They called upon the wealthiest people in the world and asked them to pledge half of their wealth to philanthropic causes. The movement has over 100 pledgers and counting.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates started their foundation in 2000 and quickly became the largest transparently operated private foundation in the entire world. The foundation stands on four pillars in which they address some of the biggest issues we face worldwide and at home. The foundation’s program areas include the Global Development Division, Global Health Division, United States Division, and Global Policy & Advocacy Division.

Global Development Division – This area spent their time focusing on assisting the poorest people of the world pull themselves out of poverty and hunger.

Global Health Division – Here the Gate’s focus their time and resources to advance science and technology to save the lives of people in developing countries.

United States Division – The focus of this division is centralized right here at home. They focus their energy on education – both at the high school and postsecondary education.

Global Policy & Advocacy Division – This is the Marketing branch of the company. They work with global powers at be to promote policies and relationships to better the world.

The Future

Looking ahead, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has some big goals in mind. They want to eradicate polio by 2018. They also want to do the same with malaria. This focus also plays into their goal of reducing the number of the world’s children who die from preventable diseases.

Perhaps the most interesting decision about the future of the foundation is based on what happens after Bill and Melinda pass on. They have stated that the company will only continue work for 20 years after they are gone. It’s an interesting decision, but likely was made to preserve the work and legacy of the foundation. It sets an end date that keeps the foundation from morphing into something the Gates Family would not have wanted.