Bill Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, released a 20 page letter today pledging that though his foundation’s endowment fell by 20% in 2008, they will increase their spending to $3.8 billion in 2009 – up $0.5 billion from last year – holding true to the speech he gave in Washington last month. (See our December 4th post) In the letter, Gates assesses the successes and challenges of their recent work, and discusses the role for foundations in the current economic climate. Read the full letter here, or an article on its significance in today’s Wall Street Journal.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a valued partner of our Global Philanthropy Forum, and we applaud their commitment to the foundation’s mission in the midst of these troubled times.
Update: In a column this week, NY Times journalist Nic Kirstof posted a video of his interview with Bill Gates about aid to developing countries in the current economic climate. Kristof comes away saying, “… if Mr. Gates manages to accomplish as much in the world of vaccines, health and food production as he thinks he can, then the consequences will be staggering. Squared.”