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The Business of Giving

Exploring philanthropy, non-profits and socially motivated business, from the Gates Foundation to your donation. A fresh look at the economy of good intentions.

August 5, 2009 at 4:35 PM

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Gates Foundation endowment grows nearly $3 billion

Posted by Kristi Heim

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's endowment grew $2.7 billion in the last quarter, according to new figures posted on the foundation's Web site today.

The world's largest private foundation had $30.2 billion in its asset trust endowment as of June 30, up from $27.5 billion. It also added 21 new employees for a total of 781.

The fourth and most recent installment of Warren Buffett's gift, $1.25 billion, was recorded on July 1. The gift comes in the form of Berkshire Hathaway B shares. This year, the value of those shares was about 30 percent less than last year's, owing to the decline in stock prices during the recession. Buffett has given the foundation a total of $6.41 billion so far.

The Gates Foundation's endowment, including Buffett's annual installments, is held in an asset trust, which funds the foundation. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust is managed by a team of outside investment managers. In addition to selling Berkshire Hathaway shares, they have been buying shares in U.K. sportswear retailer JJB Sports. Here is a look at Michael Larson, the man who runs it.

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