The Gates Foundation was established and funded by Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, and receives annual donations by Warren Buffett. It is the largest and perhaps least productive charitable, grant-giving foundation in the world; it has assets in excess of $39 billion and a promise to receive another $60 billion over several decades, with almost no accomplishments to show for its grants. The foundation uses a "outcomes investing" approach to making grants. Like many Silicon Valley businesses, the Gates Foundation is data-driven to set goals and to watch metrics to assess the progress in achieving those goals. The vast majority of the donations from the Gates Foundation goes towards non-faith-based programs.
In 2012, the toxic ideology of population control—an obsession of wealthy atheists similar to Bill Gates—took hold at the Gates Foundation, as Melinda Gates agreed to defy the Vatican on this issue.
Even the federal government gives a higher percentage of discretionary grants to faith-based programs than the Gates Foundation does. For example, 11% of United States federal community grants by the Bush Administration goes towards faith-based programs. Zero percent of the nearly $100 million in grants by the Gates Foundation in 2007 (as of June 2007) has gone towards faith-based programs, even though the Gates Foundation is not constrained by the Establishment Clause.
As of January 2007, the Gates Foundation was making grants at a rate of $1.75 billion per year. It announced its plan to increase that to $3.5 billion per year by 2009, and to give all the money away within 50 years of the death of Bill or Melinda Gates, whichever occurs latest.
Many of the grants by the Gates Foundation goes towards politically correct programs, having questionable value. Examples include:
- donating $25 million to Cornell University as a matching challenge to fund a $60 million computer science building.
- on Jan 3, 2008, the Gates Foundation gave $150,000 over 3 years to "Powerful Voices," a program that supposedly supports young girls' development.
- on Mar 19, 2008, the Gates Foundation gave $400,000 over 2 years to "Hate Free Zone Washington," to support an immigrant integration project in the State of Washington.
- on Mar 18, 2008, the Gates Foundation gave $250,000 to "Population Resource Center," in order "to enlist the support of local foundations and organizations in reducing the undercount of children, young adults, and minorities in the 2010 Census"
The Gates Foundation focuses its gifts in the areas of global health, global development, education and technology in public libraries. Its website describes its mission, "Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life."
The foundation employs 1,420 people, and has an endowment of $39.6 billion, as of December 31, 2015. The foudation supports grantees in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Internationally, it supports work in more than 100 countries.
The Foundation is controlled by the Gates family, and for about five years until 2006 Melinda Gates exercised considerable control. However, in 2006 the Foundation restructured as follows:
- Patty Stonesifer, CEO
- Dr. Tadataka "Tachi" Yamada as president, Global Health
- Sylvia Mathews, president, Global Development
- Allan Golston, president U.S. Programs.
Co-chairs of the foundation remain Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, and his father, William H. Gates Sr. They retain authority over large grants.
Funding of Abortion
In response to criticism from the public and perhaps due to Melinda Gates' daily involvement, the Gates Foundation apparently refrained from directly funding abortion. However, with its reorganization in late 2006, funding of abortion groups appears to have begun again. For example, in January 2007 the Gates Foundation gave $25,000 to fund general operating support of the International Women's Health Coalition, which lists as a priority "access to safe abortion." Also in January 2007, the Gates Foundation gave $200,000 to the Planned Parenthood of Western Washington, an abortion provider, for "a youth development program."
- How We Work. Retrieved on December 26, 2016.
- Foundation Fact Sheet. Retrieved on December 26, 2016.
- Marilyn Chase, "Gates's new role in foundation promises questions," The Wall Street Journal (June 26, 2006).
- From an open letter posted on the website of the Planned Parenthood of Western Washington: "If you need to make an appointment, contact us at 1-800-yyy-yyyy. If you are in the process of undergoing an abortion or are scheduled for a follow-up visit, it is very important that you attend your next appointment."