It’s the largest donation he’s made since 2000

Bill Gates is one of the world’s most prolific philanthropists. Back in 1999, he donated $16billion of his wealth to philanthropic causes. The following year he not only started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation but also donated another $5.1 billion to the foundation.

This week, according to a Securities and Exchange filing, it was revealed that Gates has donated another $4.6 billion in Microsoft shares to charity in June. Although the recipient of that donation hasn’t been specified, it is believed to be the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which is now the world’s largest private charity.

In 1996, Bill Gates held a 24 per cent stake in Microsoft. This latest donation of 64 million shares amounting to $4.6 billion means that he currently holds only 1.3 per cent of the total shares in Microsoft. Still, with a net worth of just under $90 billion, he is the richest person in the world. It is worth noting that his Microsoft shares account for only nine per cent of his total net worth.

The latest infusion of capital into the foundation is expected to be diverted towards combating malaria in the Inhambane region of Mozambique. According to Gates, the number of people who die annually from malaria globally has reduced by 50 per cent from 2000 until now. At present, around 429,000 people die from the disease each year.

To date, Bill and Melinda have donated nearly $40 billion of their personal wealth to several charities including their own. In 2006, Warren Buffet donated $36.1 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Just last month, Buffett committed another $2.42 billion to the foundation.

Not only is Gates contributing billions to philanthropy, he is also getting his fellow billionaires to do the same. In 2010, he and Buffett started the Giving Pledge that gets billionaires to commit at least half of their wealth to philanthropy. There are nearly 170 signatories to the pledge already.

Gates has also said that for every person who reads his blog titled “Mosquito Wars” and completes a quiz at the end of it, he will donate an insecticide-treated bed net to combat malaria. For keyboard warriors who cannot match Gates’ ten-figure donations to charity, doing their bit for charity couldn’t get any easier.