Not only is Microsoft Founder and former CEO Bill Gates the richest man in the United States, he is also one of the most philanthropic people in the world. With his net worth at the end of 2012 set at $67 billion, he could easily kick off his shoes and relax worry free for the rest of his life on some tropical island in the middle of the ocean, but instead, he is focused on solving many of the world’s hardest issues.
Since 2008, Bill Gates has stepped away from the well-oiled machine called Microsoft and devoted his time, energy, and resources to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he founded with his wife in 1997. The foundation has the mission to “unlock the possibility inside every individual.” They aim to do this by spending billions of dollars into projects such as improving healthcare, restricting the effects of preventable diseases in third world countries, and trying to rid the world of poverty.
Through the foundation, Bill Gates attempts to tackle the very difficult problems in the world and in the United States. Some of the ways that the foundation works is by funding grants for innovative projects, such as removing the barriers in education production, improving crop production in historically poorer countries, and making health care more efficient and cost effective.
Bill Gates not only advocates for philanthropic spending from his peers; he also actually lives what he preaches. The foundation, with the help of Bill Gates’ contribution along with many others, has been successful in building over $37 billion in assets in total for the year 2012.
What makes this foundation unique is the lack of fear when it comes to failure. The organization recognizes that in some projects, they will fail. But they believe that the “essential role of philanthropy is to make bets on promising solutions that governments and businesses can’t afford to make.” The organization is willing to take chances on organizations that share the same mission, even if it may not be able to deliver, which is an investment many other organizations are not able to make.
In 2012, the organization gave over $3 billion in grants throughout the world. This money went to many different organizations, governments, and societies that have the same initiatives as the Gateses; to tackle extreme poverty, rid the world of preventable diseases, and improve education domestically and internationally.
Bill Gates is a dynamic example one man’s capable influence towards the world’s improvement. His gleaming example gives hope to the once hopeless. The world needs more individuals like Bill Gates.
– Travis Whinery