Charitable work with the private sector

The foundation’s goal is to ensure that all people, no matter where they live, have the chance to live a healthy, productive life. We focus on using our resources to help solve complex, entrenched problems that affect billions of people, including the AIDS and malaria epidemics, extreme poverty, and lagging high school graduation rates for Black, Latino, and low-income students in the United States.

With each of the challenges we work on, our primary strategy is to promote innovative solutions and ensure that those solutions reach the people who need them. To do that, we form partnerships and provide funding to organizations that we think can achieve lasting results.

We work with a diverse array of organizations, including governments, nonprofits, for-profits, faith-based groups, civil society organizations, and academic institutions, as well as with many individual experts. We believe that everyone benefits when the best ideas are developed and applied, no matter where they originate.

Engaging private sector companies

In the case of private sector organizations, we work with companies that have experience creating and delivering innovative products and services that can help improve people’s lives. These companies bring expertise and resources to the table. They don’t always have an incentive to focus on inequities, however, or to make sure their innovations reach everyone who needs them. When opportunities arise to involve private sector organizations that would not otherwise participate in making progress toward our charitable objectives, we seek to create incentives for them to do so—and to take action that does the most good for the most people.

The Strategic Investment Fund

Our Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) conducts a significant amount of the foundation’s work with private sector partners and all for a charitable purpose. The SIF team works to stimulate private sector–driven innovation, encourage market-driven efficiencies, and attract external capital to key global health and development initiatives that improve the health and well-being of underserved people around the world. These investments can take the form of equity investments, loans, and volume guarantees to both for-profit and not-for-profit partners. Since 2009, the SIF team has made more than 90 investments that carry out its mandate to apply the foundation’s technical and investment expertise to making markets work better for poor people. We make these strategic investments to further the goals of our philanthropic programs, not to generate income and all financial returns are reinvested in our programs.

All of our charitable funding to organizations—including private sector organizations—comes with global access requirements to ensure that the knowledge gained through the funding is promptly and broadly disseminated and that products funded by us are made available and accessible at an affordable price.