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Melinda French Gates is backing women and girls by donating $1bn

Melinda French Gates is backing women and girls by donating $1bn

Welcome to our #239 weekly newsletter.

“For women taking control of their financial future”

-Jana Hlistova

From The Purse

In this week’s newsletter, we focus on Melinda French Gates’ announcement on Tuesday that she will be donating $1bn to women and girls over the next 2 years.

We highlight why this is important and how Melinda has decided to allocate the money over a two year period.

(Re) listen to The Purse Podcast interview with Nicole Sykes, who leads Pro Bono Economics' communications and influencing work in the UK. We discuss how women and women with wealth are reshaping the charity sector.


And you can review the news in brief so you stay on top of global financial, economic and investing trends.

I hope you enjoy this week’s newsletter.

Until next week,


Melinda French Gates is backing women and girls by donating $1bn

On Tuesday, Melinda French Gates announced that she would be leaving as Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which she co-founded almost 25 years ago.

And she embarks on a new chapter in her philanthropy: to donate $1bn in new spending to women and girls over two years, as per her opinion piece in The New York Times.

This is the second billion-dollar commitment Melinda has personally made in the past five years.

Why focus on women and girls?

Because ‘the second the global agenda gets crowded, women and girls fall off’. And Melinda has been a gender advocate for nearly 20 years.


Melinda follows on the heels of billionaire philanthropist, MacKenzie Scott, who has donated $16.5bn since her 2019 divorce from Amazon's Jeff Bezos. And this year has more than doubled her previously planned donations for the year to $640m.

Why is Melinda donating $1bn to women and girls?

  • In the US, only about 2% of charitable giving in the United States goes to organisations focused on women and girls. And only about 0.5% goes to organisations focused on women of colour.

  • Decades of research on economics, well-being and governance make it clear that investing in women and girls benefits everyone.

    • Economies with women’s full participation leads to GDP growth and economic resilience.

    • Women’s political participation leads to decreased corruption

    • Reducing the time women spend in poor health could add $1tn to the global economy by 2040.

  • And yet, around the world ‘women are seeing a tremendous upsurge in political violence and other threats to their safety.’ And in ‘many low-income countries.. the number of acutely malnourished pregnant and breastfeeding women is soaring’.

  • ‘In the US, maternal mortality rates continue to be very high, with Black and Native American mothers at highest risk. Women in 14 states have lost the right to terminate a pregnancy under almost any circumstances. The US remains the only advanced economy without any form of national paid family leave.’ And teenage girls’ mental health is under threat.

This is how Melinda’s $1bn donation will be allocated:

  • $240m will be devoted to partnerships with a diverse group of 12 global leaders.

    • Each leader will be provided with a $20m fund to distribute to charitable organisations they consider to be doing urgent, impactful and innovative work to improve women’s health and well-being in the US and around the world.

  • $250m will be awarded through an open call, launching later this year, with Lever for Change to identify organisations working to improve women’s mental health and physical health worldwide.

  • $200m in grants aimed at supercharging the work of organisations that are fighting the US to advance women’s power and protect their rights.

Overall, Melinda has received $12bn from Bill Gates for her philanthropy.

Teresa Younger, the president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, who also received a grant, has said:

"If philanthropy took lessons from the way that women are moving money, we would see more money in the field having greater impact..”

What next? (Re) listen to The Purse Podcast interview:

News in Brief

Financial news

  • Hang Seng Tech Index, the benchmark for Chinese tech stocks listed in Hong Kong, down 10% from May high, entering correction territory.

  • China’s economic miracle is ending, leaving President Xi Jinping with a challenge none of his predecessors faced: how to govern after the boom.

  • On Friday, software stock prices dropped: iShares Tech Software Sector ETF finished -5.8% (biggest daily drop since the pandemic with Salesforce down 20% (worst session in ~20 years), UiPath -35%, Okta -6%, Mongo DB -24%.

  • US liquidity has increased for the third week in a row. This also explains the recent winning streak on the Nasdaq 100 and the crypto rally.

  • US Q1 GDP growth was slower on soft consumer spending. The US economy expanded at 1.3% pace versus initial estimate of 1.6%. Consumer spending was lower on outlays for goods like autos.

  • Eurozone's inflation rose faster than expected in May ahead of ECB meeting. Overall CPI accelerated to 2.6% in May year-on-year, up from April's 2.4%. Even worse: downtrend in core inflation reversed with core CPI ticked up to 2.9% in May from 2.7% in April.

  • UK house prices return to growth as market ‘shows signs of resilience’.

    Rate more than doubles to 1.3% in May and average property price rises to £264,249, Nationwide says.

  • Nvidia is now worth $2.8tn after the recent rally, a whole $300bn more than the German stock market. (Nvidia rises to $1,000+ per share in all-high following blowout numbers and 10:1 stock split announcement).

  • To put things into perspective: the bulk of the S&P 500 performance came from the 5 tech heavyweights Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Nvidia. The tech combo gained 27% YTD.

Crypto: bitcoin, ethereum, DeFi

Coffee Break? Read This

We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with Jana via the The Purse website or tweet @jointhepurse and janicka. We do no provide investment advice. Please do your own research or speak to a financial adviser.

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