Posts Tagged ‘Melinda Gates’

Vital Voices Must be Heard

518597_16018794Vital Voices identifies women around the world and invests in and empowers their efforts to be leaders. They have over 1,000 international partners, and over the years, they have trained and mentored more than 14,000 women from over 144 countries. These women have returned home to their communities and passed on their knowledge to over 500,000 other women and girls, infusing cities, towns, and villages with vital energy and forward thinking. By raising international visibility for these women and the issues to which they devote themselves, progress accelerates at a brand new pace. There is a wide array of projects around the globe, from combating human trafficking and striving for education equality, to healthcare issues both universal and those unique to women and girls.

The philanthropic community has long known that an investment in a woman (and this is unique and different from an investment in a man), of money, time, expertise, etc…is an investment in an entire family and also most likely to build up a community.

Volunteers can lend their expertise in many fields and become part of the Vital Voices Resource network, and also lend energy and time to initiatives in Human Rights, Economic Empowerment, Political and Public Leadership, and Global Leadership. You can even generate support by shopping in their gifts, arts, and crafts marketplace. Look around the website, get involved, support women and you support us all.

“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman” Melinda French Gates

Giving Half

Some guys have all the luck. And some guys have all the dough…or at least it seems like it. I have to say I have a hefty appreciation for the super rich that are putting their money into making the whole world, not just their slice of it, a better place.

Philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett have challenged a few hundred of the richest Americans to pledge half of their fortunes to their favorite causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills.

The Gates family already gives billions via their own Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is a truly life-changing charitable organization dedicated to conquering some of the world’s worst poverty and disease.  The Gates have invested over 30 billion dollars there and vigorously support other charitable foundations.

In 2006, Buffett took the lead with his own pledge: to donate 99% of his wealth. He says he commits it “to benefit others who, through the luck of the draw, have received the short straws in life.”

At, the three titans of finance call upon other rich people to make a conscious commitment to giving a “majority” of their wealth to philanthropy…50% or better…and to go public with their pledges to motivate others to do the same. Worldwide figures suggest that there are about 1,000 billionaires in the world, and shy of 400 in the United States (the pledge challenge is currently focused on the richest of the US, with plans to reach out internationally in the future). If every one took up the challenge, it would represent about $600 billion for philanthropic and charitable causes (chosen by the donors) around the globe.

Don’t be discouraged or feel left out if your bank balance doesn’t fall in line with the Gates family or Buffett’s…the pledge was inspired by people like you and me. The final line of the official pledge is “We are inspired by the example set by millions of Americans who give generously (and often at great personal sacrifice) to make the world a better place.”