Analyzing the Donations by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Over the past two decades the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have donated billions of dollars to help those in need across the world.  I created visualizations to help show the public the causes that their foundation is focused on improving.


Below is n overview of how I approached the analysis shown above.

Project Objectives:

  • Visualize and understand the donations made by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2000.
  • Track donations over time by sector to understand donation policy over time.

Data source:

I only tracked the 4 main program areas of the foundation: Global Development, Global Health, United States Program, and Global Policy & Advocacy.

Wrangled data from annual reports on foundation website (

Data Cleaning and Validation:

Data Issue 1: The strategies for Polio and Vaccine Delivery changed program area from global health to global development in 2012.

  • Resolution: Made both strategies Global Health strategy for all years and adjusted program area totals for impacted years.

Data Issue 2: Global health strategies were grouped and un-grouped by program area in recent years.

  • Resolution: Collected funding for each individual strategies and made sure every year had strategy funding breakdown.

Data Understanding:

Validated strategy amounts did not have any outliers.

  • US Education, Agricultural Development and Vaccine Delivery strategies have been consistently supported with large donations of over $250 million since 2009.
  • The median strategy got $62 million of funding since 2009.

Data Insights:

  • The Gates foundation initially started off tackling education in the United States. Over the years they have developed a more utilitarian perspective and have targeted global interventions that have the biggest return for each $ dollar invested.
  • ~60% of the foundation’s total funding dating back to 2009 has gone to the Agricultural Development, U.S. Education, and giving providing vaccines to HIV, TB, and Polio.
  • Foundation Donation marks
    • $1 Billion [Year 2000]
    • $2 Billion [Year 2007]
    • $3 Billion [Year 2009]
    • $3.8 Billion [Year 2014]

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