Posts filed under ‘Big Donors’

Gates Pushing Investment in African Farms

Politico reports that Bill Gates was in Washington yesterday lobbying for increased aid to help poor farmers in Africa increase productivity. The billionaire philanthropist is framing the funding not as charity, but as an investment:

“This … has nothing to do with the old aid model of donors and recipients,” Gates said. “This is about catalyzing a business opportunity with enlightened investments.”

Gates promoted the Global Agricultural and Food Security Program, an initiative his foundation is funding — to the tune of $1.7 billion — to essentially turn small African farms into mini-businesses.


May 25, 2011 at 6:01 PM Leave a comment

Pot of Gold

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is so flush with cash, they’re funding toilet research as part of the sixth round of its grand challenges project. The Washington Examiner has the poop on this and other unusual new initiatives:

The foundation on Thursday announced 88 new $100,000, five-year grants for unusual research, including a number in a new category for the program: sanitation. It’s a topic that doesn’t get a lot of attention — financially or otherwise — from charitable foundations, said one of the recipients of the grants just announced.

Hopefully this isn’t just money being thrown down the drain.

April 28, 2011 at 7:18 PM Leave a comment

More Billionaire Giving Pledgers

Steven Bertoni at Forbes‘s Money Talks blog passes on a press release announcing ten new signatories to Bill Gates’s and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge. The group includes John Paul DeJoria, the Paul Mitchell co-founder and Patron tequila magnate, as well as Harold Hamm, who started pumping gas and now owns a huge oil trucking concern.

April 28, 2011 at 7:08 PM Leave a comment

Start Thinking with Portals, 20 Million Dollars

The Seattle Times reports that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is going to invest $20 million in “game-based learning, social-networking and other approaches to capture the imagination of bored or unmotivated students.”

We at Giving Click hate to date ourselves, but when we were students we managed to squander the educational opportunity school afforded for a lot less money.

April 27, 2011 at 7:11 PM Leave a comment

Eli Broad on 60 Minutes

Morley Safer and CBS’s 60 Minutes are profiling Eli Broad and discussing his philanthropy, particularly in the Los Angeles area. They report that critics accuse him of micromanaging, but Broad suggests it’s a feature, not a bug:

“I believe in two things: One, Andrew Carnegie said, ‘He who dies with wealth dies in shame.’ And someone once said, ‘He who gives while he lives also knows where it goes,'” Broad told “60 Minutes” correspondent Morley Safer.

Broad’s foundation has also teamed with the Gates Foundation on education reform initiatives; we have highlighted different criticism of those programs before.

April 26, 2011 at 7:26 PM Leave a comment

Greed Trumps Giving?

Donald Trump, recently making noises about running for president in 2012, may be “the least charitable billionaire in the United States” according The Smoking Gun website, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Over the past two decades, Mr. Trump’s foundation has paid out only $6.7 million in donations, according to The Smoking Gun’s calculations. By way of contrast, the foundation of another New York billionaire – Mayor Michael Bloomberg – made $235 million in charitable contributions in 2008 alone.

The Donald isn’t even the largest contributor to his own foundation. That honor goes to an even more ridiculous American institution, World Wrestling Entertainment.

April 13, 2011 at 7:23 PM Leave a comment

The Giving Pledge Abroad

While recognizing the generosity of their own donations and the influence they have wielded with their Giving Pledge, Vanity Fair suggests the Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have erred in their evangelizing overseas:

If there is a flaw in the pair’s otherwise admirable undertaking, it’s exporting their vision for philanthropy to China and India. Last week, news broke that Buffett and Gates delivered the message of the Giving Pledge at a meeting in New Delhi…the New Delhi summit is seen by many as an extension of the philanthropic mission established in the U.S.; it also followed a similar meeting held with Chinese billionaires in September of last year.

Even with the best intentions at heart and sensitivity to respecting cultural differences, the conference carries a slightly condescending message. It implies somehow that Indian billionaires require the guidance of American billionaires to act responsibly, and in the best interest of their own society.

Our own feelings are that the newly rich in fast-developing economies like India’s will find their path of philanthropic development. However, if encouragement from abroad can hasten the development, Gates’s and Buffett’s initiative is worthwhile.

March 30, 2011 at 6:49 PM Leave a comment

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