Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world. As one of the founders of Microsoft, he helped usher in the age of the personal computer. For this, he has a net worth of $125 billion. He’s a dedicated philanthropist who uses his money to make the world a better place through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He’s also a member (and founder alongside his wife and Warren Buffett) of the Giving Pledge and has vowed to give away most of his vast fortune before he dies. That’s not as easy as it sounds when you’re worth in excess of $100 billion since the money tends to grow faster than he can give it away.
Bill and Melinda Gates have donated more than $50 billion through their foundation. The primary goal of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is to combat global poverty. Bill and Melinda Gates are just accumulating money faster than they give it away. In 2010, when the Giving Pledge was founded, Gates was worth $54 billion. Today, he’s worth $125 billion. That is an astounding rate of growth for his fortune.
For those of us not sitting on vast fortunes, it might be hard to figure out why even the most generous of billionaires can’t give away money fast enough. When stock market gains are increasing the fortunes of billionaires as quickly as it has over the last decade it makes it hard for billionaire philanthropists to keep up with the gains.
Bill and Melinda Gates have donated about $50 billion to charitable causes since 1994. In 2019 alone they donated $589 million. That was good enough to make them the seventh most charitable people of 2019. In 2020, just since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Bill and Melinda Gates have pledged billions towards the effort to fight the virus and develop a viable vaccine. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a $200 million commitment to a multi-year project to improve schools. The foundation has $2 billion committed to fighting malaria.
As one of the older and more established billionaire foundations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a leg up – it’s got an organizational structure that can scale up the rate of giving as time goes on and help Gates stick to his goal of giving away most of his fortune in his lifetime.