September 2022

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Friends in Philanthropy: September 2022 Issue

“That’s probably the period of time where Melinda and I will be around to help make sure it stays on track.”

– Bill Gates on the informal plan to spend down the Gates Foundation’s endowment in the next 25 years

In our July issue, we noted that more foundations were pursuing a “time-limited” approach to their own existence. Now you can add the country’s largest charitable foundation to the list.

Speaking at the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit, Bill Gates revealed that he and ex-wife Melinda French Gates had discussed winding down the Gates Foundation over the next 25 years.

Of course, in a sense “winding down” also means “ramping up.” In order to spend down its endowment, the foundation plans to increase its giving, from $6 billion annually now to $9 billion by 2026.

The Gates Foundation is just the most prominent example of a larger trend in the industry, as philanthropies big and small become more thoughtful about how their structures and processes influence the outcomes they deliver. Read on for more insights you can incorporate to make your own giving more strategic.

Sand going through an hour glass

Bill Gates Sees the Gates Foundation Winding Down in 25 Years (Geekwire) – Time-bound giving got a big boost when Gates said his foundation would likely spend down its endowment in the coming decades. The goal in the meantime? Bring infectious disease “largely to an end.”

A piggy bank looking at coins

A QCD Can Lower Your Tax Bill Even If You Take the Standard Deduction (Kiplinger) – A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from your IRA can benefit both you and your chosen cause in several ways. Here’s what your savings could look like, plus some rules you’ll need to follow.

A "Wrong Way" Sign

What Foundation Trustees Need to Know To Keep Out of Trouble (Philanthropy Roundtable) – Rental payments, credit cards, staff sharing arrangements—here are some common “self-dealing” pitfalls trustees fall into, often by innocent mistake.

Someone pulling money out of their wallet

Nearly 6 in 10 Donors May Increase Giving Despite Economic Fears (CNBC) – Large majorities of Americans say they’re worried about the health of their communities. So 2022 might turn out to be a robust year for giving, whatever the economy brings.

A gavel

The Messy Newman’s Own Estate Fight Has Lessons for Foundations (Wealth Management) – The late actor’s daughters are suing for more control over his foundation’s spending. A lack of written documents made the situation “ripe for conflict.”

Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.