A reported change in Melinda French Gates’ pledge to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation opens the door for the billionaire philanthropist and investor to make a broader impact on her own, following her divorce from Bill Gates.
French Gates “is no longer pledging to give the bulk of her wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and instead plans to spread it among philanthropic endeavors,” the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.
The report appears to negate an announcement in July that Gates and French Gates were committing an $15 billion to the foundation. However, the Wall Street Journal added that it’s possible French Gates will continue to make donations to the Gates Foundation even as she funds and donates to a wider variety of organizations and causes.
Signs of the change in plans first emerged after the Gates Foundation named four new trustees Jan. 26. The foundation took the unusual step of issuing a correction to its initial press release o remove a reference to French Gates, Gates, and Warren Buffett planning “to devote the bulk of their remaining resources to the foundation.”
Under a plan announced by the Gates Foundation last year, Melinda French Gates to step down as co-chair and trustee of the Gates Foundation if she and Bill Gates decide after two years that they can no longer work together as trustees.
We’ve contacted the Gates Foundation and French Gates’ Pivotal Ventures for comment.