Bill Gates is unloading a significant chunk of his net worth in a charitable donation, which will bump him off the list of the world’s wealthiest people.
Sharing a post to his blog Gates Notes, the Microsoft founder revealed he’s donating $20 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. Bill started the foundation in 2000 with his then-wife Melinda Gates, though they divorced in 2021.
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The blog begins with Bill detailing some of the most impactful issues in the last few years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war on Ukraine, and the consequences of climate change.
In light of these ongoing problems (and others), Bill explained that he felt compelled to respond, and divvying up his net worth seemed appropriate. “I believe I have an obligation to return my resources to society in ways that have the greatest impact for improving lives,” he explained in the post.
He noted the billion-dollar donation will no longer make him one of the richest people in the world – and he’s more than okay with that.
“I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people,” he wrote. “My giving this money is not a sacrifice at all. I feel privileged to be involved in tackling these great challenges.”
Bill also implied this won’t be his only significant donation; he plans to spend a considerable amount of his net worth on charitable initiatives.
“My plan is to give all my wealth to the foundation other than what I spend on myself and my family,” he continued. “I do some giving and investing in U.S. health care issues, including Alzheimer’s, outside the foundation. Through Breakthrough Energy, I will continue to invest and give money to address climate change.”
Bill added, “Overall, I expect that the work in these areas will make money, which will also go to the foundation.”
A post shared by Bill Gates (@thisisbillgates)
According to Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index, Bill is currently the fourth richest person in the world, with a $113 billion personal fortune. Ahead of him is Elon Musk ($218 billion), Jeff Bezos ($134 billion), and Bernard Arnault ($127 billion).
Thanks to Bill’s donation, he says the foundation will be able to spend $9 billion annually by 2026 (it currently spends an average of $6 billion per year).
Bill also shared the news on Twitter, where he gave a shout-out to fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, who he credits for supporting his and Melinda’s charity.
“Although the foundation bears our names, basically half our resources have come from Warren Buffett. His incredible generosity is a huge reason why the foundation has been able to be so ambitious,” he tweeted. “I can never adequately express how much I appreciate his friendship and guidance.”
Sources: Gates Notes, Bloomberg,
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