Economics

The Wealthiest Charitable Foundations In the World

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a private foundation founded by Bill and Melinda Gates, is the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the US ranks among the world’s top wealthiest charitable foundations. A charitable foundation is established to aid charitable concerns such as education, medical research, and religion for the benefit of the public. The organization can either be a public or a private foundation. While a public charity solicits funds from the public, a private charity depends on a person, family, or corporation to aid its cause. Private charities have become a powerful force in recent years as their donations have overtaken those of international aid bodies and governments.

1. Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation

This organization’s endowment is valued at $42.3 billion. It began operations as a private charitable organization in 2000 by channeling profits from the ownership of Microsoft, a global technology giant. Through donors and grants, the Foundation seeks to support innovative projects primarily in the areas of poverty, healthcare, and education. The organization serves the whole world and regularly collaborates with NGOs to alleviate the world’s most pressing concerns such as HIV/AIDS. Its healthcare budget alone exceeds that of the World Health Organization (WHO).

2. Stichting INGKA Foundation

Located in the Netherlands, the Stichting INGKA Foundation has assets worth $34.63 billion. The foundation was established in Leiden in 1982 by the Swedish billionaire, Ingvar Kamprad. Kamprad is the founder of the global retailer, IKEA. The organization is listed as the owner of INGKA Holding. Its philanthropic activities have recently been targeted towards refugees and children in the developing countries. The foundation partners with reputed NGOs such as the UN in developing programs which will have the most impact.

3. Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is the second wealthiest foundation in Europe with an endowment valued at $26.0 billion. It began operations in 1936 using capital left by Sir Henry Wellcome in his will. Sir Wellcome was a pharmaceutical entrepreneur known for founding Burroughs Wellcome &Company. The organization is headquartered in London, and it focuses on the field of biomedical research. The Foundation funds new drug discoveries and new medical methods. To inform the public, the foundation publishes free journals. The trust has funded research into such concerns as the Ebola virus and organ transplant.

4. Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is the second wealthiest charitable foundation in the US with assets valued at $18.2 billion. The organization has been operating since 1953 after being founded by Howard Hughes who is mainly associated with the Hughes Aircraft Company. The foundation primarily supports medical and biological research as well as education and science. It invests nearly $825 million in biomedical research annually. The Foundation supports outstanding students and scientists in different disciplines including genetics and neurosciences.

Significance Of Charitable Foundations

Charitable organizations are praised all over the world for positively impacting the lives of the public. The foundations are essential partners of the government in meeting social and economic goals. In some cases, the foundations serve to relieve governments of their massive financial and social burdens. Foundations have also been at the forefront of the major breakthroughs in the modern day especially in the field of healthcare.

Which Are The Wealthiest Charitable Foundations Worldwide?

RankOrganization / Country / by individualCountryHeadquartersEndowment (Billions, USD)
1Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation United StatesSeattle, Washington42.3
2Stichting INGKA Foundation NetherlandsLeiden34.6
3Wellcome Trust United KingdomLondon26.0
4Howard Hughes Medical Institute United StatesChevy Chase, Maryland18.2
5Ford Foundation United StatesNew York City, New York11.2
6Kamehameha Schools United StatesHonolulu, Hawaii11.1
7J. Paul Getty Trust United StatesLos Angeles, California10.5
8Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation United Arab EmiratesDubai10.0
9Azim Premji Foundation IndiaBangalore9.8
10Robert Wood Johnson Foundation United StatesPrinceton, New Jersey9.5

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