Bill Gates

How The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s interactive 2014 letter doubled its reach

Last week I attended Sitecore Digital Trendspot 2014 and listened to the UK CEO of POSSIBLE, Justin Cooke, speak on how his agency helped transform the annual missive from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and more than doubled its expected reach.

As you are probably aware, Bill Gates has dedicated much of his recent life and indeed billions of dollars to philanthropy.

In 2000 The William H Gates Foundation was renamed The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as of 2008 Gates has taken a full-time role co-chairing the charitable foundation.

By May 2013 Bill Gates had donated 28bn dollars to the foundation and yet is still currently the richest man on the planet with a personal fortune of $76bn. 

The foundation’s aim is to tackle the world’s ‘toughest problems’. Extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries, and the failures of America’s education system.

One of the key methods of communication that the foundation uses is an annual letter, written by Bill Gates himself, in which he shares in a frank way the foundation’s goal, where progress is being made and where it is not.

Five lessons in setting strategy from Bill Gates

The Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation has a big, possibly the biggest, goal. 

The philanthropic organisation, backed by a $36bn share of Gates’ substantial fortune, exists to raise the human condition. To improve the quality of life for every individual on the planet.

When that’s your goal, where on earth (quite literally) do you focus?

In February I wrote an article about where to start with a digital marketing strategy. Then recently, on a slow Sunday train journey, I read Rolling Stone’s interview with Bill Gates and saw that his answers to questions about the Gates Foundation’s work contain some great lessons for effective strategy.