All About Bill Gates Foundation Grants

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, was launched in 2000 by Bill and Melinda Gates. The foundation is the largest private foundation in the world, with over $50 billion in assets. All lives have equal value, and therefore, the Gates are working to reduce inequity.

Mission of the Foundation

The Gates fulfill their philanthropic goals by working with grantees, staff and partners. They focus on helping people take action in their local communities. These are the Gates’ goals to achieve their mission:

  • Inspire people to take action to change the world
  • Fight infectious diseases that particularly affect the poorest
  • Make certain that more young people and children survive and thrive
  • Empower the most deprived, especially women and girls, to transform their lives

Grant Development

The foundation uses an established four-phase process to develop all of their grants and contracts. There is no specific timeline for this process.

  • The foundation makes sure that a concept is aligned to a strategy during concept development.
  • Concepts are refined and explored, with the help of groups in the field, in the pre-proposal phase.
  • Applicants are given guidelines for developing a proposal in the investment development stage.
  • The foundation’s program officer and the partner work together during the management and close phase of grant development.

How to Apply For a Grant

The foundation usually invites proposals by directly contacting organizations. However, it does sometimes award grants through printed letters of inquiry or Requests for Proposals (RFPs). You can view a list of current open Concept Memos and RFPs on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website. The foundation requests that you submit only the requested forms, and refrain from sending samples, prototypes and other supplementary materials. The typical set of forms includes a budget and narrative, a proposal narrative and a results framework and tracker.

What the Foundation Does Not Fund

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds work that meets specific priorities and supports its mission goals. The majority of funding is made to non-profit, tax-exempt organizations. The foundation is aware of many types of fraudulent correspondence. With this in mind, remember that the foundation does not fund:

  • Grants to individuals
  • Building or capital campaigns
  • Projects that serve only religious purposes
  • Legislative lobbying and political campaigns
  • Projects that focus on health problems in developed countries

Global Grand Challenges

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Global Grand Challenges partnership network. Grand Challenges is a group of initiatives promoting innovation to solve key global health and development problems, according to the Global Grand Challenges’ website. The website also lists current grant opportunities. In the past, grants were awarded for projects like Marketing an Iron-Fortified Food to India’s Adolescent Girls and Obtaining Accurate Estimates of Subnational Vaccine Coverage.