Gates Foundation: Grants for Global Health

OVERVIEW: Gates prioritizes the area of global health. The foundation makes big grants ranging from about $100,000 to more than $200 million to ambitious projects in disease prevention, HIV/AIDS, and sexual and reproductive health.

IP TAKE: Gates is a top funder. Grant seekers who approach the foundation for funding need to make certain they have the institutional capacity to deliver measurable results. 

PROFILE: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a global philanthropic force. It seeks to “unlock the possibility inside every individual.” One of its overall goals is to level the international economic playing field. It accomplishes this by awarding billions in grants every year to economic development and social welfare projects around the world. It ultimately believes that access to great healthcare and education are the pathways out of poverty. 

The foundation is not specific about what its grantees can and cannot do. Gates strives to fund the best people doing the best work to create the greatest amount of societal change in the global health space. Grantmaking through the foundation's Global Health  and Global Development programs often intersect. For example, Gates may award a grant toward polio eradication through its global development program rather than global health. Both are broad and include the following sub-programs: Enteric and diarrheal diseasesMalaria, HIVPolioNeglected infectious diseasesTuberculosisVaccine deliveryPneumoniaDiscovery and translational sciencesWater, sanitation, and hygieneFamily PlanningMaternal, Newborn, and Child HealthNutrition.

Gates will fund NGOs focusing on various aspects of global health work such as service delivery, treatment, and medical research. Related grants tend to be large, usually starting at  $100,000 each and can reach into the millions. To get a more concrete idea of what Gates looks for in a grantee, grant seekers can take a look at its excellent grants database.

The Gates Foundation periodically calls for proposals in specific program areas; however, nonprofits should not hesitate to contact the foundation if they are working on a project that aligns with the foundation's focus priorities. The key for grantees is to be ambitious and committed to solving a substantial but entrenched problem.

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