Every year I look forward to receiving the annual report from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation because it is always full of encouraging and energizing facts concerning recent trends in the world we live in. This year is no exception.
The recent report is in the form of a progress report to Warren Buffet concerning the impact of their massive donation to the Foundation a few years ago. It cites data concerning some major trends that demonstrate remarkable progress in the quality of life of hundreds of millions people around the world. This progress was, in one way or another, influenced by the power of philanthropy. Sometimes by spurring local governments to action, sometimes by creating incentives for business to respond, sometimes simply by bringing an issue to public attention. The report is quick to point out that these improvements are the result of many philanthropic organizations not just the Gates Foundation. By virtue of its size, however, we can be sure that the Gates Foundation is a major player.
Some examples from the report:
Participation in philanthropic activities is one of the great rewards of retirement. One way to participate, of course, is by means of direct financial donations. But we also have the luxury of participating by contributing our time, energy and talents, many of which we developed in our working lives.
Would you please share your creative ideas for philanthropy?
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