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Ode to Chuck Feeney Sets the Tone for Gates Foundation

Resource type: News

The Chronicle of Philanthropy | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]

By Thalia Beaty, Associated Press


The CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a message: Hey billionaires, give away more of your money to address inequality and do it soon.

Mark Suzman made the call in his annual letter released Thursday that led with the story of Chuck Feeney, a billionaire whose philanthropy inspired Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Melinda French-Gates. Feeney, who died in October, made a fortune through duty-free stores and gave away $8 billion during his life, much of it anonymously.

“He showed us all how the actions of one generous person can set the wheels in motion for generations of progress,” Suzman wrote of Feeney.

The message is a familiar one from the Gates Foundation, one of the largest global health funders in the world. The foundation recently announced it would spend $8.6 billion in 2024, its largest budget to date, aided by a $20 billion donation by Gates in 2022.

The record-setting budget coincides with the erosion of progress nonprofits made toward ending poverty, fighting treatable diseases, and eradicating hunger. Experts say the backsliding is caused by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and high debt levels in many low- and middle-income countries.


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Bill & Melinda Gates, Bill Gates, Chuck Feeney