Honoring our local roots.

Honoring our local roots.

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What We Do

The work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spans the globe, but we have a deep commitment to improving the lives of people in Washington State, where the Gates family has lived for generations.

We honor our local roots by giving back to the community that has given us so much. In our home state, each year the foundation grants about $300 million to nonprofits based in the Greater Seattle region. Explore these grants in more detail.

A Focus on Education

Fair, equitable, and effective education systems should be designed to ensure that all children growing up in Washington State can complete college, earn a family wage, and give back to their community in ways that are meaningful to them. To reach this goal, we’re supporting partners that empower students and families where they live, learn, and play.

Our beliefs and values:

  • We focus on equity—to ensure that every child is valued and supported, so that race, gender, ethnicity, family income, or zip code no longer predict how they’ll do in school.
  • We start early—supporting high-quality pre-K and helping teachers and students excel in early math and language skills.
  • We believe learning is about more than academics—the definition of success must include the development of a student’s social and emotional skills.
  • We believe all families deserve safety and stability—meeting basic needs like food and shelter are a prerequisite to academic achievement. Learn more about our family homelessness investments.
  • We connect people and organizations—linking after-school and summer programs, parents, teachers, principals, and community organizations to learn from each other and develop the habits and programs that support students wherever they are.

Through all our efforts, we are committed to engaging partners in discussions about how programs and investments can dismantle the racial and structural inequities that limit opportunities, so that people historically marginalized can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.