The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was formed in 2000 through the merger of the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation, adopting their previous agendas of improving global health and education.
With offices in the US, India, China and UK, the foundation has a global reach of over 100 countries and total assets of $34.6bn (£21.4bn), making it the largest philanthropic organisation in the world. Last year the foundation gave away grant payments of $4.4bn.
The foundation is led by chief executive Jeff Raikes and co-chair William H. Gates Snr, under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet. In 2011, Bill Gates spoke at the G20 summit, the first philanthropist to do so. “I got the strong impression that the leaders are very sympathetic to the case that aid budgets should not be cut, even as governments reduce their spending,” he wrote in his 2012 Annual Letter. “However, this will be possible only if their constituents understand that aid, which is less than 1 per cent of the budget in most countries, has a significant impact on people’s lives.”
Current projects: Providing internet access in libraries of emerging countries. Helping farms in Africa and South Asia boost incomes.
2 THE WELLCOME TRUST
Founded in the will of American businessman and pharmaceutical philanthropist Sir Henry Wellcome in 1936, the Wellcome Trust funds scientific studies, biomedical research and has influenced health policy across the world.
Based in London, the Wellcome Trust has net assets of £12.4bn and donated £642m in 2011, with focus towards research concerned with human and animal health.
“Sir Henry could hardly have imagined how biomedical science would progress and change in 75 years,” wrote director Mark Walport (pictured) in his 2011 Annual Report. “We will continue to fund excellent researchers who will use all the tools at their disposal to make new discoveries, develop better treatments and improve health for people across the world.”
The trust also dedicates itself to the public understanding of medical science and history, and has hosted a series of exhibitions at its affiliated museum, The Wellcome Collection.
Recent projects: MRI scanner small enough to use in neonatal intensive care units. Largest ever clinical trial of patients hospitalised with severe malaria - which led to revised guidelines on the treatment of the disease.
3 NOVAMEDIA / POSTCODE LOTTERIES
Novamedia/Postcode Lotteries started the Dutch National Postcode Lottery in 1989 to raise money for global charities. Headed by chief executive Boudewijn Poelmann (pictured), the organisation now runs five separate charity lotteries across Europe, including Britain’s Peoples’ Postcode Lottery.
Since inception, the lotteries have given €4.9bn (£4bn) to over 240 charities, including UNICEF, War Child and Greenpeace, as well as providing publicity. In 2011, the organisation gave €508m. 20 per cent of every ticket sold by People’s Postcode Lottery goes to charity, with funds supporting causes in Great Britain. Poelmann is chairman of City A.M.
Recent projects: €7m to Oxfam to connect remote areas of north Uganda to the internet.
4 ELI LILLY AND COMPANY FOUNDATION
The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation was set up as a philanthropic arm of American pharmaceutical giant the Lilly Company in 1968. The foundation aims to improve healthcare in low-income countries, aid scientific research and enhance US public education.
Based in Indianapolis, the foundation has focused on improving the understanding of chronic and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and mental health. It has also provided hunger relief, disaster relief and has supported community developments in Indianapolis. In 2011, the foundation gave $597m (£368.2m) towards these causes.
Recent projects: Indiana Science Initiative aims to improve scientific teaching in the state. Improving education for underserved children.
5 FORD FOUNDATION
Established in 1936 by a gift of $25,000 (£15,424) from Edsel Ford, son of motoring pioneer Henry Ford, the Ford Foundation’s founding charter stated that the resources should go towards “scientific, educational and charitable purposes, all for the public welfare.”
In 2012, the foundation’s remit has been stretched to include the promotion of human rights, economic fairness and supporting sustainable development, while the reach of the organisation’s philanthropic arm has also grown, with projects in North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia. In 2011, the foundation gave grants of $413m. Luis A. Ubinas (pictured) is the foundation’s ninth president.
Recent projects: Alleviating poverty caused by the early marriage of girls.
6 ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION
Robert Wood Johnson, whose father and uncles created Johnson & Johnson and invented the world’s first antiseptic wound dressing, founded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 1972. His desire was to improve the health and healthcare of all Americans; how it was distributed, paid for and the impact that it had for patients and their families.
RWJF has continued this aspiration and in 2011 donated $327m (£201m) towards healthcare developments in the US.
“We so far have invested a total of $9bn, delivering on our promise to make health care better and to improve the health of individuals and families, entire communities and populations,” said president Risa Lavizzo-Mourey (pictured) in her end of year letter.
The foundation supports both private and public healthcare organisations, with 20 per cent of the foundation’s grants going towards research on public health.
Recent projects: Reversing childhood obesity with healthy schools programmes. Advancing end-of-life health care quality.
7 WK KELLOGG FOUNDATION
Breakfast cereal entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg founded the WK Kellogg Child Welfare Foundation in his hometown of Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1930. Despite the name since being shortened to the WK Kellogg Foundation, its focus remains wholly concerned with children and education.
In 2011, the WK Kellogg Foundation gave $307m (£189.3m) to a series of programmes that work towards improved education, healthy lifestyles, secure families and racial equality for all children and their families.
The foundation’s work predominantly takes place in the US, Latin America and Africa, and is currently overseen by president Sterling K. Speirn, who acknowledged in the 2011 Annual Report the importance of their work during tough economic times. “Economic pressures almost certainly will result in reduced public sector funding. We are addressing this challenge, by ensuring that our limited resources work as effectively and efficiently as possible.”
Recent projects: Improving children’s access to healthy foods. New Options Initiative aims to help out-of-work 16-24 year-olds find career opportunities.
8 ANDREW W MELLON FOUNDATION
The Andrew W Mellon Foundation was formed in 1969 through the merger of the Avalon Foundation and the Old Dominion Foundation, whose roots go back to 1940. The two foundations were owned by siblings Paul Mellon and Alisa Mellon-Bruce, who named the new amalgamative foundation after their late father, a renowned banker and politician.
With offices in New York, Princeton and New Jersey, the foundation distributes its grants into the fields of higher education; scholarly communications and information technology; art history, conservation and museums; the performing arts and environmental conservation. Last year it gave $243m (£149.9m) towards these areas.
Fifth president of the foundation, Don M. Randal (pictured) has held the position for the past five years, having previously served as the president of the University of Chicago.
Recent projects: supported performing arts programmes, such as the Washington Drama Society and the New York Live Arts. Arts programmes at universities of Oxford, Princeton, Michigan and Virginia received funding. Supported South African university programmes.
9 GORDON AND BETTY MOORE FOUNDATION
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation was established in 2000 by one of the founders of Intel, Gordon E Moore, and his wife. Their founding vision was “significant, lasting and measurable results in environmental conservation, science, patient care and the San Francisco Bay Area.” The foundation gave $223m (£137.5m) to these causes in 2011.
Based in Palo Alto, California, the group is part of a new wave of Silicon Valley-based foundations. President Steve McCormick (pictured) wrote: “Our community is poised to be the vanguard for philanthropy and become a truly game-changing force, creating solutions to our most critical social problems.”
Recent projects: Andres-Amazon initiative promotes forest conservation.
10 DAVID AND LUCILE PACKARD FOUNDATION
Technology entrepreneurs David and Lucile Packard created the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in 1964, as a focused outlet for their philanthropic work. The foundation took a large concern in improving the lives of children and their families, but also covered conservation, science, health and community issues. In 2011, the foundation donated $212m (£130.7m) to these areas.
Headquartered in California, the organisation is still considered a family foundation, with many of the Packard’s children and grandchildren sitting on the board of trustees. Carol S. Larson has held the position of president since 2004.
Recent projects: US sex education programme. Conservation of the coastal ecosystem of California.
11 JOHN D AND CATHERINE T MACARTHUR FOUNDATION
Founded in the US in 1970, the John D and Catherine T Macarthur Foundation now has operations running in over 50 countries, including Mexico, Russia, India and Nigeria. Property and business tycoon John D Macarthur started the foundation with his wife to make good use of his wealth, and gave 92 per cent of his $1bn fortune when he passed in 1978.
Created to promote human rights, global conservation and security, the foundation remit has since expanded to include education, healthcare, media, arts and cultural projects. Led by president Robert Galluci (pictured), the foundation gave grants of $205m (£126.4m) in 2011.
Recent projects: supported Nigeria’s free election last year through media monitoring and logistical assistance.
12 WILLIAM AND FLORA HEWLETT FOUNDATION
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation was founded by computer entrepreneurs William and Flora Hewlett and their son, Walter, in 1967. The foundation’s goals include helping to reduce global poverty, limiting the risk of climate change and supporting education and performing arts in their founding home, California.
With assets totalling $7.2bn (£4.4bn), the foundation disbursed $203m in grant and gift payments in 2011. It was to become a year of transition for the foundation, as the presidency was handed over to Larry Kramer (pictured) in September 2012.
Recent projects: Restoration of 19,000 acres of the salt ponds in San Francisco Bay. Awarded $3.5m to establish the California Education Policy Fund.
13 THE KRESGE FOUNDATION
Retailer Sebastian Kresge started the Kresge Foundation in 1924 with a stock gift of $1.6m (£985,000) with the intention to help people on lower incomes. Now 88 years old, the foundation’s remit has branched out to seven key areas: community, education, environment, arts, education, health, human services and the foundation’s home city, Detroit.
The foundation donated $152m last year, which included funds towards the long-term redevelopment of Detroit; the city’s green credentials, healthcare, education and arts programmes are all to be improved. This move into strategic philanthropy is new ground for the foundation; something that president Rip Rapson (pictured) hopes to continue.
Recent projects: $21m for the betterment of art spaces in the US. $2.7m given to support higher education in Africa.
14 KNUT AND ALICE WALLENBERG FOUNDATION
The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation was founded in 1917 by chairman of Stockholm’s Enskilda Bank, Knut Wallenberg, with an initial donation of SEK 20m (£1.8m). It was established with the aim of enhancing scientific research, teaching and education in Sweden.
Based in Stockholm, the foundation granted funds of SEK 752m last year. The majority of the foundation’s grants are donated to Swedish universities and academies, either in the form of project grants or equipment.
The foundation’s chairman, Peter Wallenberg (pictured), is a direct descendant of Knut Wallenberg, with several other members of his family sitting on the board.
Recent projects: Grants given to University of Gothenberg, Stockholm University and Sweden’s natural history museum. Studies into degenerative brain diseases supported.
15 GATSBY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
The Gatsby Charitable Foundation was started in 1967 by David Sainsbury (pictured), great grandson of supermarket founder John James Sainsbury, agreeing its first grant payment of £50 to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Sainsbury is now settler.
One of the Sainsbury Family Charity Trusts, the foundation has distributed more than £1bn to charitable projects. The organisation concerns its donations in six areas: plant science research, neuroscience research, the economic development of Africa, science and engineering education, public policy research and the arts. Last year, the foundation donated £69m.
Recent projects: official launch of the Sainsbury Laboratory at Cambridge University - a plant development research facility. $25m (£15.4m) private equity fund focused on small agricultural businesses in East Africa.
16 ROBERT BOSCH FOUNDATION
Based in Stuttgart, Germany, the Robert Bosch Foundation came into being following directions outlined in the will of German technology entrepreneur Robert Bosch. The foundation provides funding on international relations, science and research, education, health issues and humanitarian causes.
The Robert Bosch Foundation has given over €1bn (£810m) since its founding, and last year spent €68m on charitable causes.
The organisation employs over 130 people and is overseen by chairman Dieter Berg (pictured). The foundation has helped with the training of healthcare assistants and nursing for the elderly and disabled. It has also offered scholarships in civil engineering, from which Bosch himself developed his trade.
Recent projects: AcademiaNet: promotes the awareness of outstanding female scientists.
17 THE LEVERHULME TRUST
The Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925 with the passing of soap entrepreneur Lord Leverhulme, who had outlined plans in his will for a proportion of his business interests to go towards charities and “scholarships for the purposes of research and education”.
Situated in London, the trust now provides funding for a number of awards across all academic disciplines, including research grants, fellowships, academic collaborations, prizes and arts grants. In 2011, the Trust gave £53m.
Chairman Sir Michael Perry argued in the 2011 annual report the importance of private foundations spending on research, particularly as they can invest in “high-risk” projects that public funding might shy away from.
Recent projects: The Leverhulme Arts Scholarship: set up to encourage students with innovative artistic development.
18 THE WOLFSON FOUNDATION
Based in London, The Wolfson Foundation was established in 1955 by Scottish businessman Sir Isaac Wolfson. With the help of his wife and son (Lord Leonard Wolfson, who was chairman of the foundation until his death in 2010), Wolfson created the charity to fund progress in key areas such as science, health, medicine, education and the arts.
Last year the foundation gave £49.6m towards these causes, with a particular focus on medical research and healthcare.
The board of trustees still features members of Wolfson’s family, including current chairman Janet Wolfson de Botton. Paul Ramsbottom (pictured) is the foundation’s chief executive.
Recent projects: £20m to University College London to set up the Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre. The National Theatre received £1m for major redevelopment.
19 GARFIELD WESTON FOUNDATION
The Garfield Weston Foundation was founded in 1958 by Canadian businessman Williard Garfield Weston (right). Creator of Associated British Foods, Weston endowed the foundation with family-owned company shares, before being succeeded as chairman to both the company and foundation by his son Garfield H Weston.
Based in London, the foundation supports projects in several categories, including arts, education, medical, religion, youth, community, welfare and the environment. In 2011, it gave £46.1m worth of grants. The foundation is one of a few to support religious causes, with significant funding spent on the restoration of some of the UK’s oldest and listed churches.
Recent projects: £3m to National Theatre and Tate Britain improvements. Grants to Westminster Abbey and Salisbury Cathedral.
20 DEUTSCHE FERNSEHLOTTERIE
The Deutsche Fernsehlotterie’s (German TV Lottery) roots go back to 1948, to a charity known as “A Place In The Sun”, which provided vacations for underprivileged children from Berlin. In 1956, the charity held the nation’s first TV lottery with broadcaster ARD.
The lottery has since undergone numerous name changes, and in 2012 became the German Television Lottery. While its charity funding is still prioritised towards children, the lottery has also supported rehabilitation centres, disabled facilities, hospices and special education.
The non-profit lottery vows to donate at least 30 per cent of its proceeds to charitable causes, and has given a total of €1.4bn (£1.1bn) to more than 6,350 institutions since its inception. In 2011, the charity lottery gave away €53m.
Recent projects: development of St. Anna Munderkingen dementia community centre.