The 12 biggest Bill Gates donations

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank

Although Bill Gates is no longer the wealthiest person in the world, he is the richest in the hearts of millions who are now leading a life filled with hope, thanks to his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Responding to the expectations of the public and living up to them, Bill Gates – along with his wife Melinda – founded America’s largest transparent philanthropic trust, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in 2000. Since then, the trust has made donations totalling $28 billion.

Inspiring so many individuals over the years, both celebrities and non celebrities alike, Bill Gates’ foundation today is extending its helping hand to organisations that are committed towards eradicating poverty, establishing good education, developing vaccines and even fighting AIDS across the globe.

In the list that follows, we countdown the twelve largest Bill Gates donations to date, which have made a significant impact on the charities receiving them. The highest donation – according to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website– ever made by the Microsoft founder has been a total of $1,525,380,950 to the United Negro College Fund. The second highest meanwhile is $957,000,000 towards the GAVI Alliance, which aims to increase access to immunisation in the world’s poorest countries.

Read on to find out more about Bill Gates twelve biggest donations…

United Negro College Fund, Inc – $1,525,380,950

The highest donation by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation so far is $1,525,380,950. Covering a term of 244 months, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation formed the Gates Millennium Scholar Programme in 1999, administered by the United Negro College Fund, Inc.

This huge grant aims to provide financial assistance to minority students who face severe financial problems in affording quality education.

Following the announcement of the programme in 1999, William H Gray, III, president of the United Negro College Fund, said: “This is a historic effort to improve the diversity of higher education.

“All of society benefits when the doors of education are opened to a group of kids who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance. It’s our vision to raise a new generation of leaders and we are grateful that Bill and Melinda Gates share this vision – and are acting on it.” Since the programme was implemented in 2000, it has provided financial assistance to at least 1,000 students each year.

GAVI Alliance – $957,000,000

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gives due consideration in granting funds to organisations engaged in developing vaccines.

The foundation, as a part of its global development programme, granted a hefty sum of $957,000,000 to GAVI Alliance based in Geneva.

Covering a term of 74 months starting in 2011, GAVI continues to work towards providing general support for meeting its goals in vaccine delivery.

This huge amount is the second biggest grant in our list of Bill Gates’ 12 biggest donations.

The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International – $755,210,000

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted $755,210,000 to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in 2007.

Covering a term of 147 months, the donation aims to support global polio eradication activities under The Rotary Foundation’s Polio Plus Programme.

Briefing the media about the programme, co-founder of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, said: “The extraordinary dedication of Rotary members has played a critical role in bringing polio to the brink of eradication.

“Eradicating polio will be one of the most significant public health accomplishments in history, and we are committed to helping reach that goal.”

The GAVI Campaign – $750,000,000
GAVI Alliance logo_

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted $750,000,000 to The GAVI Campaign in 1999 under its global development programme.

Covering a period of six months, The GAVI Campaign used the amount released by the foundation to support the immunisation of children in as many as 74 countries.

The GAVI Campaign aims to develop vaccines, deliver and administer them to children in underdeveloped countries.

The donation, which is third in the list of Bill Gates’ 12 biggest donations, has contributed to the GAVI Campaign’s mission to help children fight deadly viruses and other waterborne diseases.

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – $750,000,000

A Somali child receives a polio vaccination at the Tunisian hospital in Mogadishu. The hospital treat local Somalis' diseases, malnutrition, and other injuries.
A Somali child receives a polio vaccination at the Tunisian hospital in Mogadishu. The hospital treat local Somalis’ diseases, malnutrition, and other injuries.

Under its advocacy programme, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted $750,000,000 to the Global Fund to fight Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria in 2011.

Covering 229 months, the donation to the Global Fund aims to help work towards providing financial support to all countries in diagnosing, treating and educating the society at large about the three deadly diseases.

The basic aim behind the release of this fund is to see a HIV free world.

World Health Organization (WHO) – $682,305,429
WHO Geneva_

World Health Organization Geneva

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged an amount of $682,305,429 to the World Health Organization (WHO) for its Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

Granted in 2008, the grant sanctioned was focused in intensifying the eradication initiative, particularly in the regions of Africa and Asia.

The donation by Bill Gates has become part of an $8.2 billion international investment that WHO has put in place for this specific programme.

The goal of GPEI is to see a polio-free world. WHO has already immunised 2.5 billion children worldwide.

The GAVI Campaign – $375,000,000

Under its global development programme, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $375,000,000 to The GAVI Campaign, located in Washington DC.

After The GAVI Campaign applied to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for funding for general operating support for vaccine delivery, Bill Gates sanctioned the amount in 2005.

Covering a period of 120 months, the grant was donated under the foundation’s global development programme.

UNICEF Headquarters – $299,763,679

UNICEF flag_
UNICEF flag

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted $299,763,679 to UNICEF Headquarters, located in New York, in July 2008, making it one of the 12 biggest Bill Gates’ donations.

The programme covered a period of 78 months and focused on serving the regions of Africa and Asia.

UNICEF utilised this fund to support polio eradication with an emphasis on enhanced communication. In addition, it aimed to supply vaccine and provide operational support.

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – $500,000,000

Before pledging a huge amount of $750,000,000 to the same organization in 2011, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted a sum of $500,000,000 to Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2006.

Covering a period of 43 months, the donation was sanctioned under the advocacy and global programme. Its main purpose was to address the concern of fast-spreading AIDS and Malaria.

The programme also covered vaccine delivery in these countries for immunisation.

GAVI Alliance – $375,000,000

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted a sum of $375,000,000 to GAVI Alliance in December 2009.

GAVI Alliance is utilising this fund for general operating for their strategic goal vaccine delivery. The programme covers a period of 61 months, starting from 10 December 2009 to 01 January 2015.

The grantee’s main purpose for starting GAVI Alliance was to increase the immunisation of children in poor countries.

The current amount granted to GAVI Alliance will be the seventh highest in Bill Gates’ 12 biggest donations.

Cambridge University Development Office in the United States Inc (CUDOUS) – $210,000,000

Cambridge University_

It is evident from previous funds how committed the Bill Gates & Melinda Foundation is in funding educations to bright students.

As a part of the same initiative, the foundation sanctioned $210,000,000 to CUDOUS after the latter promised to start a global scholarship programme.

CUDOUS granted scholarships, as per the agreement covering a period of 12 months, to post-graduate level students (from outside the UK), who wished to study at Cambridge University.

The award included tuition fees, maintenance allowance and even a return economy airfare to the selected 90 candidates from a pool of 4,000 plus applicants. The scholarship celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2010.

Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation – $207,660,483

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted $207,660,483 to Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation in January 2012.

The funds, covering a period of 60 months, were sanctioned under Gates’ Global Health programme.

Aeras, an NGO committed towards eradicating TB, will use the granted money for boosting the development of TB vaccines in countries that are more prone to this deadly disease.

The said amount becomes the twelfth mega grant in the list of Bill Gates’ 12 biggest donations.