Melinda French Gates Models Three Strong Lessons for Philanthropists

Gates' willingness to pivot and her focus on her charitable giving vision provide an excellent example for current and future philanthropists.

Melinda French Gates
Philanthropist Melinda French Gates in Paris in June 2023 for the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact.
(Image credit: Christian Liewig - Corbis/Getty Images)

Philanthropist Melinda French Gates recently made headlines when she announced she was formally stepping down from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Notably, it was reported by NBC News that she will retain “$12.5 billion that she plans to put toward her ongoing work supporting women and families.”

With (perhaps) a clearer path ahead and a resolve to be hyper-focused on her core areas of support, Gates’ announcement provides strong lessons for current and future philanthropists about the importance of having a plan, being willing to pivot and always aligning your vision with your funding abilities.

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Peter J. Klein, CFA®, CAP®, CSRIC®, CRPS®
CIO and Founder, ALINE Wealth

Peter J. Klein, CFA®, CAP®, CSRIC®, CRPS®, is the Chief Investment Officer and Founder of ALINE Wealth, a wealth management firm that specializes in providing clients with financial planning advice for every stage of their lives. Along with Peter’s deep financial wisdom, he adds considerable acumen in philanthropy, helping clients navigate family trusts, institutions, and nonprofits.