said he is giving another $20 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation endowment this month, and the foundation said it plans to dole out funds faster in the coming years.
The two announcements on Wednesday follow a recent Wall Street Journal article saying that the Gates Foundation was adjusting to possible changes in billionaire Warren Buffett’s plans for his charitable giving and that a little-known Buffett family foundation was preparing to receive an influx of money.
“As I look to the future, my plan is to give all my wealth to the foundation other than what I spend on myself and my family,” Mr. Gates, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder, wrote in a blog post Wednesday. He also detailed the billions that his friend Mr. Buffett has given to the Gates Foundation, noting that about half of the foundation’s resources so far have come from Mr. Buffett, the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Mr. Gates’s latest gift would bolster the Gates Foundation’s endowment, which is roughly $50 billion. The Gates Foundation said Wednesday it would increase its payout by 50% over prepandemic levels, to about $9 billion annually by 2026 compared with about $6 billion pre-Covid 19.
Mr. Buffett, who has pledged to give away most of his wealth, has made annual gifts to the Gates Foundation since 2006, including a roughly $3 billion donation of Berkshire shares in June. He resigned as a Gates Foundation trustee in 2021.
The Journal reported in June that while Mr. Buffett hasn’t revealed publicly how his estate will be divided, officials at the Gates Foundation and the Susan T. Buffett Foundation have discussed in internal meetings that the amount left to the Buffett family foundation could be as high as $70 billion to $100 billion. An endowment of that size would make the Buffett foundation, which is a major supporter of abortion rights, one of the largest private philanthropies in the world, based on publicly available data.
Mr. Buffett didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
“Warren’s advice and thinking influenced the foundation in a profound way even before he made any gifts,” Mr. Gates wrote in his post Wednesday. “Warren, I can never adequately express how much I appreciate your friendship and guidance as well as your generosity.”
The foundation brought in more independent oversight after Mr. Gates and
Melinda French Gates
filed for divorce. Ms. French Gates subsequently indicated she will shift more of her wealth among other philanthropies. Under terms of the divorce, she agreed to resign from the foundation in 2023 if either she or her ex-husband decides they can no longer work together.
Mr. Gates wrote that he and Ms. French Gates approved an additional $2 billion in spending to help with Covid-19 response and $1.5 billion was spent by the end of 2021. Mr. Gates wrote that they expected the extra spending to stop once the worst of the pandemic ended but it has become clear in all areas there is more work needed.
Gates Foundation CEO
wrote in a Wednesday announcement that, with support of its board, the foundation’s focus areas—health, gender equality, agriculture, financial inclusion and education—wouldn’t be changing.
Ms. French Gates said the foundation has spent more than two decades building relationships with a range of partners and this additional spending will help with those partners’ work.
Mr. Gates wrote that his personal focus is on pandemic prevention, global health, education, food costs and climate efforts, the latter funded through a Gates-backed venture Breakthrough Energy. He cited Ms. French Gates’s efforts on gender equality.
Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8