With $20 Billion Donation, Bill Gates Says He'll End Up Off 'Richest' List

Ashley Hunte
Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates in Oslo in 2009.
Wikimedia | Kjetil Ree

The richest people in the world have that title because they're, well, the richest people in the world. They have hundreds of billions of dollars, more money than any one person can spend in multiple lifetimes, let alone just one.

Bill Gates, though, is looking to get himself off of that list through donating billions of dollars to the foundation he shares with his ex-wife.

On Wednesday, Gates announced his plans to increase funding to his foundation.

Bill Gates, multi-billionaire and Microsoft co-founder, is currently the 4th richest man in the world. But that's set to change very soon; as he and ex-wife Melinda French Gates continue their efforts in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his fortunes will dwindle to the point where he won't be anywhere near that position on the list.

He cites the pandemic and climate change, among many other issues, as significant crises faced by the world today.

The foundation was established by Bill and Melinda in 2000, and funds research for various global efforts, such as the eradication of childhood illness, and the development of zero-emission products.

Currently, the foundation spends $6 billion per year.

But the plan is to increase that spending to $9 billion per year, with Gates transferring $20 billion in funds later this month.

Throughout the pandemic, Bill and Melinda had added an extra $2 billion in spending on top of their yearly budget to help with COVID-19 research.

Because of this, they decided that increasing spending would be better than returning to their original budget.

"Our focus will remain the same—but at this moment of great need and opportunity, this spending will allow us to accelerate progress by investing more deeply in the areas where we are already working," Gates wrote in a blog post.

Gates also writes about the contributions of friend and fellow billionaire, Warren Buffet.

For much of the foundation's history, Buffett has been responsible for nearly half of the funding generated for the foundation's continued efforts across the globe.

"His incredible generosity is a huge reason why the foundation has been able to be so ambitious."

Bill Gates at the US Department of Energy in 2013.
Wikimedia | ENERGY.GOV

Buffett's donations to the foundation have totaled $37.5 billion, which includes a $3.1 billion donation that Buffett gifted just last month in June.

As he ends his blog post and Twitter thread, Gates states that he plans to eventually donate all of his wealth.

"I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people," he writes in his post.

Gates feels that using his wealth for the betterment of the globe is his "obligation."

"My giving this money is not a sacrifice at all," his blog continues. "I feel privileged to be involved in tackling these great challenges, I enjoy the work, and I believe I have an obligation to return my resources to society in ways that have the greatest impact for improving lives."

He also implores other billionaires to use their wealth in a similar manner.

Bill Gates with the European Commission in 2021.
Wikimedia | Lukasz Kobus/European Commission

His final sentence in his blog post reads, "I hope others in positions of great wealth and privilege will step up in this moment too."

Previously, Gates announced that his wealth would not be passed down to his children.

Bill Gates delivering a TED talk in 2011.
Wikimedia | Gisela Giardino

Over the years, Gates has mentioned that his children may never be billionaires because he will donate most of his fortune before he dies. However, his children are involved in the foundation.

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