I know many readers of this site are deeply disturbed about what you see occurring since President Trump won the election and took office. Some of you are less disturbed and are encouraged by what you see as some relief for controls on business, potential tax changes, possible changes in trade agreements, the current increases in the stock market, and the possibility that Pres. Trump will in fact make positive changes in the country.
This post is not about Pres. Trump or our politics. It’s meant to highlight something that transcends the day to day political battles in our country. This letter written from Bill and Melinda Gates to Warren Buffett highlights good that is being done in the world as a result of strategic philanthropy and thoughtful analyses of the global crises we confront.
It won’t take more than 15 minutes of your time to read.
In June of 2006, the world’s second richest man, Warren Buffett, the Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., gave the bulk of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, run by the world’s richest man (and his wife). Buffett pledged $31 billion dollars to the Gates Foundation broadly to fight disease and to reduce inequity. (At the same time, Buffett also divided $6 billion among four charities started by his family members.)
Buffet’s total gifting was $37 billion. At that time, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had an endowment of $29.2 billion. Thus, Buffett’s gift to that foundation doubled the money they had to spend.
Recently, Buffett wrote to the Bill and Melinda Gates the following letter:
Yesterday, Feb. 14th, in their annual letter about their work, Bill and Melinda released their answer to Warren’s questions, saying:
What follows is our answer to him.
It’s a story about the stunning gains the poorest people in the world have made over the last 25 years. This incredible progress has been made possible not only by the generosity of Warren and other philanthropists, the charitable giving of individuals across the world, and the efforts of the poor on their own behalf—but also by the huge contributions made by donor nations, which account for the vast majority of global health and development funding.
Our letter is being released amid dramatic political transitions in these countries, including new leadership in the United States and the United Kingdom. We hope this story will remind everyone why foreign aid should remain a priority—because by lifting up the poorest, we express the highest values of our nations.
One of the greatest of those values is the belief that the best investment any of us can ever make is in the lives of others. As we explain to Warren in our letter, the returns are tremendous.
I hope you will find the 15 minutes to read their answer in this link: