Besides tackling some of the world's worst problems, by insisting on efficiency and good business practices, the Gates have helped focus a laser beam on all nonprofit organizations, demanding that they operate in with an exacting accountability to their donors and the people they serve.
The unusual combination of Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates is working very well. Bono brings charisma, passion, and the ability to bring everyone into the cause. Bill and Melinda bring hard data, systems analysis, vision and the belief that money can create solutions. As TIME concluded:
"This is not about pity. It's more about passion. Pity sees suffering and wants to ease the pain; passion sees injustice and wants to settle the score. Pity implores the powerful to pay attention; passion warns them about what will happen if they don't. The risk of pity is that it kills with kindness; the promise of passion is that it builds on the hope that the poor are fully capable of helping themselves if given the chance. In 2005 the world's poor needed no more condolences; they needed people to get interested, get mad and then get to work."
The Gates Foundation is young...as are its founders. It is yet to be seen if it can bring sense to senseless conditions. But, Bill and Melinda have made a great start and the world will be watching.
Here is a list of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's charitable causes:
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization
The Institute for OneWorld Health
Indian Ocean Earthquake
Children's Vaccine Program
Gates Millennium Scholars
Access to Learning Award
Gates Cambridge Scholarships
University Scholars Program
University of Washington Department of Global Health