Philanthropy Action

News & Commentary



Dec 09, 2011

Living with the Gates Foundation

Describing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the world’s largest foundation is accurate but a substantial understatement. Its annual giving is more than six times larger than its closest “peer.” There are fewer than 100 US foundations that give more than $50 million annually. The Gates Foundation gives $50 million per week.

But it’s not just the amount of giving that distinguishes the foundation. As Ed Skloot puts it, the foundation “differs from the institutional norm in almost every way: in size, ambition, high-level connections, proactivity, long-term commitment, operational engagement, and public leadership.” The Gates Foundation is treading new ground, changing expectations and the policy environment of philanthropy by its very existence.

If you find these questions vital and interesting, I’d invite you to join a webinar on Living with the Gates Foundation, hosted by Stanford Social Innovation Review next week.