Quoted: on Bill Gates’ slowing donations

“It’s very easy to give away money, but hard to give away money to have real and lasting impact.”

Paul Brest, a Stanford law professor, on the slowing of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ donations to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates gave $24.6 billion to the foundation from 1998 to 2002, and $3.7 billion from 2002 to 2012. (Another big donor to the Gates Foundation is famed investor Warren Buffett, who has given $13 billion since 2006.) The foundation — which tackles poverty, disease, education and more — now holds $40.2 billion, and rules require it to spend 5 percent of its assets each year to hang on to its tax-exempt status, according to the New York Times. “Finding organizations that have the capacity to productively use large grants can be challenging,” Melissa A. Berman, president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, told the Times. But some question Gates’ giving slowdown now that the world’s richest person has secured his place among the most generous philanthropists — and since the company reached an antitrust settlement with the U.S. government in 2001. (The mandated government oversight of the company ended in 2011.)


Photo: Bill Gates in 2008. (Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press)


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