Bill Gates

Bill Gates donates unprecedented $20 billion to help ‘significant suffering’

 Billionaire Bill Gates plans to get off the world’s rich list while he’s still alive. This declaration came with the Microsoft co-founder’s pledge to donate $20 billion to his philanthropic organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is currently the fourth richest man in the world, and he said he has an “obligation” to give back to society. This announcement isn’t the first of its kind. Gates had first vowed to give his wealth to charity back in 2010 but his net worth has doubled over the years, currently at $118 billion. But after he donates the $20 billion, his net worth should fall considerably.

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Bill Gates Plans to Give His Wealth to Charity

Gates had topped Forbes’ list of the richest person in the world from 1995 to 2010, and then again from 2013 to 2017. But he seems ready to step farther from that title. “As I look to the future, I plan to give virtually all of my wealth to the foundation,” he said in a Twitter thread. “I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people. I have an obligation to return my resources to society in ways that have the greatest impact for reducing suffering and improving lives. And I hope others in positions of great wealth and privilege will step up in this moment too.”

The Gates Foundation is a charitable fund Gates set up with his now-ex-wife in 2000. The foundation works to improve education and eradicate diseases in countries around the world. It’s also backed by many other wealthy contributors, including billionaire Warren Buffett. The foundation is also the largest private donor to the World Health Organization. [1]

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“My direction of travel is clear.”

The $20 billion donation totals Bill Gates’ lifetime donations to $55 billion, making them the leading philanthropist, surpassing Warren Buffet who has donated $48 billion. “I’ll get myself out of the highly visible part of the list with just, say, two more gifts of this magnitude. I would get myself off the top part of the list,” said Gates. “Getting all the way off the list, that’s going to take me a while, but my direction of travel is clear.”

The large pledge to the Gates Foundation allows the organization to spend more on aiding change. “This is going to supercharge or accelerate, charge, turbocharge basically all the work that we do,” said Gates. His aim is to deploy as much help as possible as opposed to other administrators who pace their funding. “It’s as though they’re trying to maximize how long their foundation can exist,” says Gates, “as opposed to, are there some high-impact things they can do now?

With the new donation, Gates plans for the Gates Foundation to spend $9 billion a year, boosting their annual spending by 50%. By 2026, he’ll evaluate how the foundation handled the increased spending and potentially contribute more. “I’m not setting the $9 billion as a ceiling. I’ll know a lot more about the assets and how they’re performing between now and then.” [2]

How Has Gates Spent His Wealth?

Over the years, Bill Gates has indulged in lavish purchases, but these are only a fraction of his fortune. Overall, Gates is known to be careful with his money and seems to prefer giving it to charity.

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When Gates become a billionaire at age 31 (the youngest billionaire at the time), he didn’t go on a shopping spree. Instead, he made lavish purchases over time, like on a private plane, reportedly a Bombardier BD-700 Global Express, which costs $40 million and can seat 19 people. He also invested in his estate, Xanadu 2.0, located in Medina, Washington. After buying the lot for $2 million in 1988, he spent $63 million to build the 66,000-square-foot home. He also has a 4.5-acre vacation ranch in Wellington, Florida, the 228-acre Rancho Paseana in California, plus a 43 million-dollar oceanfront home in California, among other estates.

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As far as philanthropy goes, Gates had invested in Amyris, a synthetic-bioligy company when it was producing precursors to malaria drugs and hydrocarbon-based biofuel. In 2017, he gave $50 million into research on Alzheimer’s. Later, he invested $30 million into the Diagnostics Accelerators, fund to help diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier and more efficiently. This is in addition to the donation to the Gates Foundation, which prioritizes global education, health, and development. 

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But Bill Gates doesn’t plan on giving all his wealth to charity; he is leaving $10 million to each of his children. However, he still has billions left to donate before he can drop off the list of the richest persons in the world. [3]

Keep Reading: Billionaire wants to build equitable utopia in the American desert

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Sources

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  1. “Bill Gates vows to drop off world’s rich list.” BBC. July 16
  2. “Bill Gates Reveals How He And Ex-Wife Melinda Came Together For Blockbuster $20 Billion Gift That Makes Them World’s Biggest Givers.” Forbes. July 13, 2022
  3. “Bill Gates says he’ll eventually give all his wealth to his charity foundation. Here’s how the Microsoft cofounder spends his $114 billion fortune, from a luxury-car collection to incredible real estate.Business Insider. Hillary Hoffower and Avery Hartmans. July 14, 2022

This article originally appeared on The Premier Daily and has been republished here with permission.

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