Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Believing that "every life has equal value," Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, established their foundation in 2000 with $106 million. The foundation's goals include improving health care and education, fighting extreme poverty, and providing increased access to information technology. In June 2006, Warren Buffett, the world's second richest person (behind Gates), pledged ten million shares of his company's stock (worth nearly $31 billion) to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As of April 2006, the foundation's endowment exceeded $33 billion, which means that to keep its charitable status, it must make approximately $1.65 billion in annual charitable contributions. In addition to his ample financial gifts, Bill Gates has also pledged his time to the foundation, announcing that he will phase out of his managerial role at Microsoft by July 2008 to focus on charity work.