Buffett gives fortune to Gates Health Foundation

Warren Buffett gave shares worth approximately $30 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, approximately doubling the size of what was already the world's largest charitable trust. Buffett said he will donate 10 million Class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway to the charity established by the Microsoft founder, which focuses on global health issues including the fight against HIV/AIDS, malnutrition and tuberculosis. That gives the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation an endowment worth approximately $60 billion based on the current value of Berkshire Hathaway stock, dwarfing the next largest endowment, that of the Ford Foundation ($11.6 billion). The development comes immediately after the surprising news last week that Gates is stepping down from running day-to-day operations at Microsoft to concentrate on running the charity.

The creation of the philanthropic giant could be good news for nonprofit hospitals.  In the past, the Buffett foundation, the charitable organization set up by Buffet's wife Susie, who died of a stroke in 2004, has given extensively to hospitals and groups working on women's health issues. The story is the latest of three big stories to hit the nonprofit world in the past week. On Friday, Harvard made waves when it announced that it was stripping Oracle founder Larry Ellison's name from its new global health institute, which is set to open some time next year.

- read this article from Fortune

PLUS: Gates' switch to a full-time role is likely to mean big changes that are likely to have a significant impact on the non-profit world, The Wall Street Journal reports. Chief among them a focus on Microsoft-style micromanagement and high visibility moves. Article (WSJ sub. req.)