Case Study Chapter 1
Due: Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 11:00 a.m. via Blackboard
THE WORLD’S LARGEST CHARITY
Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest people in the world. According to Forbes magazine, his net
worth is $56 billion. But at age 50, Bill Gates earned respect in a new way. Along with his wife Melinda, the chair of Microsoft became the greatest philanthropist in history. Melinda, a former Microsoft colleague, has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics and a master’s in business from Duke University. (Bill dropped out of Harvard at the end of his sophomore year to run Microsoft.)
In its short existence, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has already helped save at least
700,000 lives in poor countries through its investments in vaccinations. In the United States, its library project has brought computers and Internet access to 11,000 libraries. The fund sponsored the biggest privately funded scholarship program in history, sending over 9,000 high-achieving minority students to college. It is the largest foundation in the world, with an endowment of about $35 billion. Each year the Gates Foundation spends almost the same amount as the World Health Organization (WHO).
In 1993, advisers gave Bill Gates a copy of the 1993 World Bank Development report. The document explained how many millions of people in poor countries die from diseases that already have cures. Then it listed the most cost-effective methods of preventing those deaths, from immunization to AIDS prevention to nutrition. The document reads like a blueprint for the Gates foundation.
In June 2006, Bill Gates announced that he was stepping down from full-time duties at Microsoft, giving up his role as chief software architect, to devote more attention to the Gates Foundation.
The Gates run the Seattle-based foundation like a business. They are fluent in the science of
public health, and both use the language of business to describe their philanthropic...