Bill and Melinda Gates plan to run their foundation for 25 more years

In 25 years, Bill Gates will be 91, and his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates, will be 83.
Ayesha Gulzar
Bill and Melinda Gates.
Bill and Melinda Gates.

Wikimedia Commons 

Bill Gates and his ex-wife Melinda French Gates plan to run The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation together for another quarter of the century, at which point Bill Gates will be 91, and Melinda French Gates will be 83. Gates announced his plans at the 2022 Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit.

"The goal for the foundation is to run for another 25 years," said Gates in the keynote conversation at this year's Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy. "That's probably the period of time where Melinda and I will be around to help make sure it stays on track."

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was established in 2000 with the aim of fighting poverty, disease, climate change, and access to healthcare and education worldwide. Since then, the foundation has spent nearly $80 billion to combat diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and the coronavirus.

In 25 years, Gates will be 91, while Melinda will be 91, which means that the future generation of philanthropic billionaires will need to continue what they started.

"We think spending all the money in that timeframe makes sense," Gates continued to Forbes. "So we'll be shifting money over more and more, we committed to raise the spend level up."

World's largest charitable organization

Just two months before this announcement, Gates donated $20 billion to his foundation to increase its annual spending. The donation, combined with Warren Buffett's $3.1 billion gift in June 2022, brings The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's endowment to approximately $70 billion, making it one of the largest, if not the largest charitable organization in the world.

In the next 25 years, they will "try and bring infectious disease, or all of the diseases that make the world inequitable, to bring those largely to an end, either through eradication or getting them down to very low levels," Gates said.

Since its launch, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has undeniably impacted the world for the better. It played a crucial role in creating Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance — a global health program founded in 2000 that provides immunization to developing countries. From 2000 to 2020, the program has helped vaccinate more than 888 million children in 77 countries through routine immunization and supported more than 1.19 billion vaccinations through campaigns. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contributed more than $4 billion to the program, including $750 million in seed funding, while helping convince governments and global health organizations to chip in billions more.

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In 2010, Warren Buffet, alongside Gates, created the Giving Pledge, which asks billionaires to publically pledge to give at least half of their wealth away to philanthropic efforts either during their lifetimes or in their wills.

In July, Gates wrote on Twitter that he has plans to give away nearly all of his fortune. "As I look to the future, I plan to give virtually all of my wealth to the foundation. I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world's richest people," said Gate on Twitter.

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