Melinda Gates No Longer Pledges Her Wealth To The Gates Foundation

( Melinda French Gates, the now ex-wife of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, will no longer pledge the bulk of her wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Instead, she has plans to spread her massive wealth among various philanthropic endeavors.

At the end of 2021, Melinda Gates made this official. After her divorce with Bill Gates was finalized, Melinda published the first individual Giving Pledge Letter.

For her, that replaces the 2010 Giving Pledge letter the couple signed back in 2010 that said they would give most of their then-joint fortune to the Gates Foundation they found together.

In the new letter she published recently, Melinda said:

“I recognize the absurdity of so much wealth being concentrated in the hands of one person, and I believe the only responsible thing to do with a fortune this size is give it away — as thoughtfully and impactfully as possible.”

The Gates Foundation is one of the largest philanthropies in the entire world, as it has an endowment of more than $50 billion. Both Bill and Melinda Gates said last July that they would both still commit another $15 billion to that endowment.

People who are familiar with Melinda’s plans say that it’s possible she will still give to that foundation, even after publicly stating that some of her fortune will be given to other philanthropic efforts.

A spokeswoman for the foundation wouldn’t comment further on the situation. She only referred them to press releases the foundation sent before, as well as those Giving Pledge letters.

In 2010, the Giving Pledge was started by Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates and Warren Buffet, a billionaire investor. The campaign seeks to encourage some of the richest individuals in the world to give at least half of their wealth to charitable or philanthropic causes, either through their wills or while they’re still alive.

People who participate in the Giving Pledge typically publish their intentions via a letter posted online.

Late last year, both Bill and Melinda Gates posted the new letters, which stated their individual purposes following their divorce.

Melinda pledged in her letter that she would be recommitting to giving most of her wealth away. At the time, though, she didn’t specify that it would only go specifically to the Gates Foundation.

In that letter, she wrote:

“I think philanthropy is most effective when it prioritizes flexibility over ideology — and why in my work at the foundation and Pivotal Ventures I’ll continue to seek out new partners, ideas and perspectives.”

In 2015, Melinda launched that Pivotal Ventures project, which focuses specifically on issues that affect both families and women in the United States. Some of these items include encouraging more women to get into politics and study technology, as well as policies around paid leave.

In 2019, Melinda Gates said she’d commit $1 billion over a full 10-year period through that group to promote gender equality.