Melinda 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, according to people familiar with the matter.
The billionaire made the change official in late 2021 following her divorce from Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +1.52% co-founder Bill Gates, the people said, when she published her first individual Giving Pledge letter. In 2010, the couple had committed in a joint Giving Pledge letter to give most of their fortune to the Gates Foundation.
“I recognize the absurdity of so much wealth being concentrated in the hands of one person, and I believe the only responsible thing to do with a fortune this size is give it away—as thoughtfully and impactfully as possible,” French Gates wrote in her new letter.
The Gates Foundation is one of the world’s largest philanthropies with an endowment topping $50 billion. In July, Gates and French Gates said they would commit a further $15 billion to the endowment. It is possible that French Gates makes additional donations to the foundation even as she gives to other charities, one of the people familiar with the matter said.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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