Microsoft tycoon knows how to open charitable floodgates

Later this year, Bill Gates will step down from his duties as chairman and cofounder of Microsoft Corp. to devote more attention to the world's largest charitable foundation. To date, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, launched by the software entrepreneur and his wife in 1997, has distributed more than $16 billion in grants, mostly for global healthcare and development as well as for public education in the US. Recently, the foundation announced it was donating $10 million to the city of Chicago to turn three underperforming schools into teacher training centers – this after previously contributing $28 million to improve high schools there. The largest US grantmaking foundations, as ranked by the World Bank on the basis of asset size (in billions):

1. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation $38.7*
2. The Ford Foundation $11.6
3. J. Paul Getty Trust $9.6
4. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation $9.4

5. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation $8.5

6. Lilly Endowment Inc. $8.4
7. W.K. Kellogg Foundation $7.8
8. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation $6.4
9. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation $5.6
10. John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation $5.5

* according to the Associated Press

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