Microsoft founder Bill Gates has pledged to fall off the list of the world’s richest people by donating his entire fortune to his personal foundation, which he runs with his ex-wife Melinda French Gates.
“As I look to the future, my plan is to give all my wealth to the foundation other than what I spend on myself and my family,” Gates said in a post on his blog GatesNotes on Wednesday. “I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people.”
In a post, Microsoft founder Bill Gates announced that he was transferring $20 billion to the endowment fund of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
According to Bloomberg, this represents one fifth of his fortune. This donation brings Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates’ lifetime giving to $55 billion, making them the “world’s biggest philanthropists of all time,”.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that, thanks to the gift, it will be able to increase its annual spending on global health, poverty and equality by 50% until 2026.
The foundation, which is one of the largest in the world, said that the goal in increasing spending is to address “compounding global crises.”
In his blog post, the Microsoft founder added: “My giving this money is not a sacrifice at all. I feel privileged to be involved in tackling these great challenges, I enjoy the work, and I believe I have an obligation to return my resources to society in ways that have the greatest impact for improving lives.”
In July 2021, Melinda French Gates donated $15 billion to the foundation. In July of this year, Buffett gifted another $3.1 billion.
With these donations, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation’s endowment is now at $70 billion. According to the organization, it has spent $79.2 billion since its inception in 2000.
Bill and Melinda Gates divorced in 2021, but both continue to co-chair the foundation. Earlier this year it was revealed that, after the separation, Melinda French Gates had planned to spread her fortune among various philanthropic ventures, instead of leaving it all to her personal foundation.
“Several huge global setbacks over the past few years have left many people discouraged and wondering whether the world is destined to keep getting worse,” said Gates in his blog post. “The great crises of our time require all of us to do more.”