Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visit

It was so inspiring to visit the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle last week - one of the largest grant givers in the world. The Foundation works in over 130 countries and their grant stats are quite phenomenal:

  • 17,000+ grants given
  • $4 billon in annual grant payments
  • $36.7 billion in grants since 2000.

Both Bill & Melinda Gates committed themselves to philanthropy early on in their married life. It’s quite remarkable seeing a family that clearly has extraordinary wealth now focus so much of their time and energy on helping others around the world.

Their overall strategy is to work with partners around the world, using the following process:

  1. Identify a problem
  2. Develop a strategy
  3. Make grants & work with partners
  4. Measure progress
  5. Adjust strategy.

Personally, I found it encouraging to see that the Foundation continually reviews what it’s doing to evaluate what’s working and what’s not; an important process for grant makers and grant recipients alike.

The visitor’s centre, co-located with the Foundation headquarters, has a focus on raising awareness and encouraging engagement in philanthropy both large and small. Ultimately, the aim is to inspire everyone who visits to contribute something to a cause they’re passionate about. It was a great mix between showcasing their work, and giving everyone practical ideas about how they can make even the smallest difference.

You can sign up to our newsletter below to hear more stories from my trip to the USA and Canada. I'll be checking out co-working spaces to take learnings back home to Australia, visiting some of the app companies we integrate with at The Grants Hub, meeting up with developers and learning more about grant practices internationally.

Jessie Ballantyne
Founder & Managing Direcor

Philanthropy is really about equity. It’s really about innovation, so that we treat lives as having equal value.
— Bill Gates
Today, ‘community’ isn’t just your city. It’s the world.
— Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Melinda & I are partners, talking through strategy...sharing dreams about how quickly we can change things.
— Bill Gates

Jessie Ballantyne

Founder & Managing Director