Bill and Melinda Gates have made a name for themselves as being one of the largest charity donation source in the world. This is seen by their huge involvement within the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. If you are a non-profit looking for money, Bill Gates may just be a great source for you.
Form a non-profit organization. Bill and Melinda Gates do not offer grants to individuals, only to organizations with tax exempt status. With so much money to give it is only right for them to set up quite the process to be sure that their money goes to worthy causes. If you have a heart to change your community or the world, consider starting a non-profit organization to help catalyze change. Once you have gotten yourself established, you can then look for sources of funding, including Bill Gates.
Align yourself with a cause. The Gates foundations has very strict guideline for who can and who cannot apply for grants. If you want to get your hands on some of Bill Gates money you will need to be supporting a cause that they also support. A list of possible causes that The Gates Foundation is currently giving funding for can be found at their website found in the resources section at the end of this article.
Hire a grant writer. Although you can write and submit grant proposals on your own, if you truly want to increase your chances of receiving a grant from Bill Gates you will need to hire a grant writer. There are many organizations (probably even within your home town) that offer both grant writing services or grant writing classes to the community. You can also do a search online for freelance grant writers. Freelance writers may be less expensive but you also run the risk of having someone who does not have adequate experience or abilities to get you the money that you are hoping for. Be sure to check references of any individual or company that you desire to hire.
Meet with the grant writer. Some things that you are going to want to prepare before you meet with your grant writer are all the pertinent info about your organization. Why do you need the money? How is it going to help the community? How much money do you need and why? What other sources of income will your organization have? How are you presently serving the community? What is your mission statement? What is your 5 and 10 year plan? These are all important things to have available for the grant writer by your first meeting.
Turn the information over to the grant writer and wait. After all your paperwork has been submitted, it can take up to a year to hear back from the foundation. This is the time to use your grant writers services to locate and apply for other grants as well for funding for your organization. Have patience and you will see the money coming through eventually.
Keep track of everything. Having good records skills in a non-profit is just as important as in a for profit business. All accounting and taxes should be in order before trying to apply for money, especially from Bill Gates.
Bill Gates does not accept solicitations for money from individuals. If you are just looking for money for yourself don't bother looking to Bill Gates for it.
Chris Sherwood is a professional journalist who after years in the health administration field and writing health and wellness articles turned towards organic sustainable gardening and food education. He now owns and operates an organic-method small farm focusing his research and writing on both organic gardening methods and hydroponics.