The top story on Techmeme this morning is Warren Buffet’s decision to give his fortune away, much of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.Â Buffet’s reasoning for supporting the Gates Foundation?Â The organization was at scale, with great leadership.Â In otherwords, in keeping with his own management philosophies, Buffet chose not to create another bureaucracy, but rather to leverage the organization already built by someone else.
Buffet plans to give 5% of his fortune away annually, and approximately 5/6th of that will go to the Gates Foundation so long as either Bill or Melinda are living.Â HisÂ annual donation must be fully dispersed withinÂ two years.Â HeÂ will also join the Board of Trustees of the Gates Foundation.
Buffet’s gift will more than double the annual disbursement of the Gates Foundation.Â The foundation gives a little less than $1.5 billion annually. Buffet’s money will increase that by about $1.5 billion.Â To put that in perspective, the annual budget of the UN is about the same.Â The World Health Organizaton spends about a billion annually.Â Â The International Red Cross, about $750 million.
The Gates Foundation is a private institution with the ability, and the legal requirement,Â to spend at the level of the largest international institutions.Â And, as Don Dodge notes, it can spend at those levels without the bureacracy of the UN.
It’s mind boggling.