Foundation FAQ

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is proud of what our grantees do to improve the lives of people who have the most urgent needs and the fewest champions. We encourage people who want to advance these causes to give directly to our grantees. 

You can learn more about the essential work of our grantees by:

We prefer that people give directly to our grantees, but from time to time, individuals generously offer to contribute money to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In response, we created Gates Philanthropy Partners, a 501(c)(3) public charity closely affiliated with the foundation. Gates Philanthropy Partners disburses donor contributions in alignment within the foundation’s programmatic objectives.

Many individuals enjoy tax benefits as a result of making charitable contributions. The amount of tax savings received depends on both the size of the charitable contributions and the person's annual income.

Bill and Melinda have been exceptionally generous in making contributions to the foundation, donating sums much larger than their annual incomes. As a result, the tax savings they receive from these contributions represent a very small percentage of the contributions.

From 1994 through 2018, Bill and Melinda gave the foundation more than $36.0 billion. Those donations resulted in a tax savings of approximately 11% of the contributions they made over that time.

No. More information about scam emails is available here.

To learn more about employment opportunities with the foundation and how to apply, visit our Careers section.

Many interested volunteers contact us with offers to help. However, the foundation is a funding organization and we believe it is the organizations to which we give grants (and many others like them) that have the greatest need for volunteers.

Throughout the year, we often receive questions about why a specific investment was made. Because we want to maintain a focus on the programmatic work, we do not comment on individual investment holdings. We do publish a listing of our investments  once a year with the filing of our tax return.

The foundation believes that climate change is a major issue facing all of us, particularly poor people in developing countries, and we applaud the work that others are doing to help find solutions in this area. While we do not fund efforts specifically aimed at reducing carbon emissions, many of our global health and development grants directly address problems that climate change creates or exacerbates. For example, our Agricultural Development initiative works to help small farmers who live on less than $1 per day adapt to increased drought and flooding through the development of drought and flood resistant crops, improved irrigation efficiency, and other means.